No wonder parsley is one of the most widely used herbs in the U.S.: there is hardly a savory dish that the herb does not go well with. Parsley also provides a ton of nutritional benefits, making it one of the most healthful herbs you can eat.
- ...supports good vision. A 100 gram serving of parsley contains around 900 milligrams of vitamin A, an essential vitamin that keeps eyes and skin healthy.
- ...is good for your bladder. Flat-leat parsley contains essential oils including apiol (parsley camphor) and myristicin, which naturopaths have long used to fight cystitis and other urinary tract diseases.
- ...is good for your cells. With almost 4 milligrams per 100 gram serving, parsley is a great source of vitamin E. This vitamin is essential in protecting the body's cells from harmful free radicals.
- ...is packed with vitamin C. Few other foods contain as much vitamin C as parsley. A 100 gram serving contains 160 milligrams of the essential vitamin, far more than the daily requirement of 110 milligrams.
- ...soothes your stomach. Parsley’s rich essential oils can help soothe stomach aches and irritated intestines. It can also relieve heartburn and an unpleasant feeling of fullness, as well as flatulence and constipation. One way to reap the digestive benefits of parsley is to brew a teat from it: simply pour 125 milliliters of boiling water over a handful of leaves, let it steep for five minutes, strain and drink unsweetened.
- ...is healthiest when eaten raw. Cooking parsley greatly reduces its surplus of vitamins, essential oils and other valuable ingredients, so make sure to eat parsley raw.
- ...can harm the sick. People with kidney disease or heart rhythm disorders should avoid parsley or eat it only after consulting a doctor, because the apiol can cause harm.
What You Should Know About Parsley
Parsley comes in two different varieties: smooth and curly. Both kinds have their advantages, with curly parsley looking more decorative and flat-leaf parsley having a slightly more intense flavor.
Parsley tastes best from early summer to late autumn, when it comes fresh from the field or garden. Throughout the rest of the year, parsley is grown in the greenhouse.
Parsley originally comes from the eastern Mediterranean countries.
Parsley season runs from May through October.
Parsley tastes very spicy and aromatic.
How Healthy Is Parsley?
Parsley has been widely utilized in natural medicine for years, where it has traditionally been used to stimulate appetite and digestion as well as to cleanse and detoxify the body. Brewed in a tea, parsley is said to help with cystitis and kidney inflammation. And these usages are more than old wives tales-- parsley does indeed contain an extraordinary amount of healing substances, including the powerful essential oil apiol, which gives the herb its flavour.
Parsley also contains a considerable amount of the minerals iron, potassium, magnesium and calcium, as well as protein and vitamins. It’s also one of the most vitamin C-rich ingredients around, containing 166 milligrams of the vitamin per 100 gram serving. It’s also a great source of vitamin A-- just 2.5 tablespoons of the finely-chopped herb covers your daily requirement.
Finally, parsley is a great option if you’re suffering from bad breath. Its combination of chlorophyll and the essential oil apiol creates odour-binding properties that refresh the breath when consumed raw.
|Parsley Nutritional Info (100 g)|
Shopping and Cooking Tips
The fresher the parsley the better the flavor and nutrition, so ensure you’re only purchasing the freshest available. Look out for deep green leaves with no wilting or discoloration.
Parsley keeps for several days in the refrigerator. Simply run it under warm water, shake it dry, and store loosely in an unsealed freezer bag.
Parsley can also be easily grown in a pot at home. Just remember to keep it in a semi-shady place and water it regularly, making sure not to over-water it. I
After washing and shaking dry, simply pluck the parsley leaves from the stems and cut or chop them into strips with a sharp knife. After chopping, use the parsley, as it will start to lose vitamins and other nutritional benefits.
What To Make With Parsley
Recipes that have parsley as their foundational ingredient, such as parsley salad or parsley soup, are a great way to enjoy the delicious flavor and health benefits of this herb. Parsley is also a delicious garnish that brightens the flavor of heavier dishes like stews, meat dishes and pizzas and pastas.