Parsley/Ajmoda (Petroselinum crispum) herb is often used to elevate the flavour of speciality dishes. Besides it use as a kitchen herb, parsley plant (leaves, seeds and roots) offers powerful health benefits and is an integral part of Ayurveda and traditional medicine system.
Parsley is a biennial plant that derives its name from the Greek word that means “rock celery”. Parsley is a storehouse of nutrients; it is rich in antioxidants and nutrients. There are different types of Parsley, they are – Curled leaf or common parsley, Flat leaf parsley or Italian parsley, and Hamburg or German parsley.
Parsley is low in calories. Itcomprises of carotenoids, flavonoids, vitamin A, and vitamin C. It is a rich source of vitamins such as vitamin A, K, and C. Nutrients such as iron, folate, potassium, and magnesium can be obtained from parsley.
½ cup of fresh chopped parsley contains 11 calories, 498.5 of vitamin K, 40.43 mg of vitamin C, 46.21 mcg of folate, 1.88 mg of iron, 0.05 mg of copper, 41.95 mg of calcium, 15.20 mg of magnesium, 168.4 mg of potassium, 2 gm of carbohydrates, 1 gm of fiber, 1 gm of protein, 0.33 mg of zinc, 17.63 mg of phosphorus, and 1 gm of fat.
Potential Health Benefits of Parsley…
Supports bone health
1. The high content of vitamin K present in parsley aids in building stronger bones by activating bone-building cells.
2. Vitamin K is also known to stimulate few proteins that elevate bone mineral density thus, reducing the risk to fractures.
3. Vitamin K content enhances bone health by increasing calcium absorption and decreasing calcium excretion in the urine.
Possesses anti-cancer properties
1. Parsley contains plant compounds that possess anti-cancer properties. The high content of flavonoid antioxidants and vitamin C in parsley prevent cell growth, decrease oxidative stress, and may reduce the risk of certain cancers such as cancers of the colon and prostate.
2. Apigenin content of parsley possesses anti-carcinogenic effects on breast cancer, reduces tumour size, and kills cancer cells.
3. The Luteolin content of parsley hinders effects on colorectal cancer.
4. Carnosol content of parsley is effective in treating certain cancers such as colon, skin, breast, and prostate.
5. Myricetin content of parsley helps prevent skin cancer.
6. Parsley blocks the cancer-causing effects of heterocyclic amines.
Protects against diabetes
1. Myricetin content of parsley is effective in the prevention and treatment of diabetes. Myricetin content decreases blood sugar levels and lowers insulin resistance.
2. The anti-inflammatory properties of myricetin relieve pain and diabetes-related complications.
Protects the eyes
1. The three carotenoids present in parsley, Lutein, beta carotene, and zeaxanthin aids in protecting the eyes and promoting healthy vision. They help in maintaining the health of the eyes by preventing oxidative damage.
2. The lutein and zeaxanthin content prevents age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.
3. The beta carotene carotenoid present in parsley can be converted into vitamin A, which is vital for eye health. Vitamin A prevents dryness, ensures optimal health of eyes, and prevents night blindness.
Besides it use as a kitchen herb, parsley plant (leaves, seeds and roots) offers powerful health benefits and is an integral part of Ayurveda and traditional medicine system.
Other potential benefits…
Apart from the health benefits mentioned above, parsley also produces a few more such as, improves heart health, enhances kidney health, fights potentially harmful bacteria, benefits bone health, boosts immunity, enhances liver health, helps in digestion, slows down ageing, reduces acne, reduces irritation and redness of the skin,evens skin tone and reduces pigmentation, promotes optimal health, protects against rheumatoid arthritis, fights inflammation, freshens breath, and helps with bladder infections.
How to use Parsley in your diet?
Parsley can be used as a fresh herb or as a dried spice, in several ways for cooking. It can be added to cooking in several different ways, some of them are as follows:
- Used on pizzas.
- In green juice.
- Added to smoothies.
- Added to homemade bread.
- As a garnish on pasta or soups.
- Add to omelettes, quiche, or frittata.
- Added to any homemade salad dressing.
- Incorporated into marinades and dressings.
- As a flavour to soups, fish, stews, meat, and poultry dishes.
How to prepare Parsley Tea?
Take 250 ml of purified water. Bring it to a boil.
Take ¼ cup of fresh parsley leaves and rinse it under cool, running water.
For around 10 minutes, steep the leaves in the boiling water.
Strain the leaves and enjoy hot parsley tea.