Parsley is an herb in the family of Apiaceae and looks like coriander. Many communities, especially in the Middle Eastern countries, Europe, and America have been using this herb to treat conditions like allergies, high blood pressure, and inflammatory diseases. Parsley is also used today as a culinary herb and dried spice. Plus, it’s cost-effective, easy to prepare, and delicious making it the best addition to a healthy diet. Parsley is rich in potassium, fatty acids, calcium, iron, sodium carotene, magnesium, manganese, and fiber. The herb is also good for the stomach, lungs, bladder, and liver. To learn more about this delicious herb, here are 7 benefits of parsley you may not know.
Prevents Kidney Stones
Kidney stones result from mineral deposits that form in the kidneys and can lead to sharp and severe pain in your back, side, and stomach. One lab study showed that treating rats with parsley increased their urine volume, and raised the acidity of urine. The researchers concluded that parsley can aid in preventing kidney stones.
Additionally, parsley acts as a natural diuretic, increasing urination, and preventing kidney stone formation. But this study is still limited because it used a very small group, thus further studies are needed.
Parsley has been used for years as a natural remedy for problems associated with menstruation and hormone levels. It has myristicin and apiole compounds that influence estrogen production, hence balancing hormones. This herb is also said to act as an emmenagogue – a substance that stimulates menstrual flow. You can find parsley in formulations designed to support healthy menstruation and prevent the overproduction of milk for breastfeeding mothers.
Supports Bone Health
Human bones require certain minerals and vitamins for them to stay healthy and strong. Parsley has high amounts of vitamin K, which is essential for bone health. 30 grams of parsley provides 547% of the RDI. Vitamin K promotes strong bones by supporting bone-building cells called osteoblasts. It also activates certain proteins that increase bone mineral density, a measure of the amount of mineral available in your bones. Reduced bone density results in an increased risk of fractures. Thus, eating foods rich in vitamin K reduces the risk of fractures.
Contain Nutrients That Protect the Eye
Parsley is rich in lutein, beta carotene, and zeaxanthin – three compounds essential to the protection your eyes and promotion of healthy vision. These compounds contain carotenoids, which is a powerful antioxidant. Zeaxanthin and lutein also prevent age-related macular degeneration (AMD) – an incurable eye disease and the leading cause of blindness in the world today. Note that eating foods high in lutein and zeaxanthin can reduce the chances of having AMD by up to 26%. Beta carotene is converted to vitamin A in the body, which explains why parsley is rich in vitamin A. Vitamin A is important for eye health and safeguards the cornea, the outermost layer of the eye, as well as conjunctiva, the layer covering the front of the eye, which is also found inside the eyelids.
Parsley contains a flavonoid called myricetin, which is also found in other foods like cranberries, blackcurrants, and sweet potatoes. The higher amount of myricetin in a particular food, the more effective it is at fighting skin cancer. The green color of parsley shows that it’s full of chlorophyll. Chlorophyll works well in defense against carcinogenic agents of heterocyclic amines produced when grilling meat at high temperatures. Be warned, charred meat is linked to several types of cancers. Hence if you love to barbecue, include lots of green vegetables in your diet to reduce the effects.
This tiny plant has the ability to fight arthritis. A study published in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases that included 20,000 subjects found that a higher intake of vitamin C eliminated any chances of being infected by arthritis. Parsley is a vitamin C powerhouse, thus it reduces the inflammation and oxidation damage to joints.
Promotes Healthy Hair
Before there were shampoos and conditioners, parsley was used as a hair tonic for disinfecting the scalp, to stimulate hair growth, and add shine. Parsley has an antioxidant flavonoid called apigenin, which helps to reduce hair loss. This herb has high amounts of copper as well that help to retain your hair color.
There are several ways you can consume parsley. One includes adding it like a spice to meat, which boosts its aroma as well as adding flavor. Additionally, you can make parsley tea that offers essential nutrients and health benefits. Remember, normal consumption of parsley should be maintained because excessive consumption can cause uterotonic effects on pregnant women. If you’re on blood thinner medications, you need to take parsley in moderation since it can interact negatively with the drugs.
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