Wonderful Health Benefits Of Parsley
What Is Parsley?
Parsley is a herb that originated in the Mediterranean region of southern Italy, Algeria, and Tunisia. This herb is known scientifically as Petroselinum Hortense and Petroselinum crispum and it belongs to the family Apiaceae.
Parsley, a predominantly tropical plant, needs moisture and ample sunlight to grow. It is used as a herb, a green leafy vegetable, and as a spice. It is actually used in two forms: leaf and root. Both the leaf and the root are used in Mediterranean and European cuisines. It is consumed in many different ways, including garnishing, salads, stocks, and sandwiches. The leaf is further divided into two more types: curly leaf and flat leaf. The root form is a new addition, which only began to be cultivated about 300 years ago, and was first grown in Hamburg, Germany. Nowadays, root parsley is steadily becoming more and more popular.
Parsley Nutritional Facts:
The nutrients found in parsley include vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin E, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, pantothenic acid, choline, folates, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, potassium, zinc, and copper. It is also a very good source of volatile compounds such as myristicin, limonene, eugenol, and alpha-thujene. Its leaves contain energy, carbohydrates, fat, and protein.
Health Benefits Of Parsley:
Traditionally, parsley was used as a medicine for diabetes in Turkey. In order to scientifically validate this claim, research was conducted at Marmara University in Istanbul, Turkey. The research showed evidence that diabetic rats that were given parsley actually showed a decrease in their blood sugar levels over a period of a month.
Zheng, Kenney and Lam from LKT Laboratories in Minneapolis, Minnesota have extracted a compound named myristicin, which is a phenylpropane compound, from parsley oil extract. A preliminary investigation into the myristicin compound had revealed that it has anti-carcinogenic properties. Myristicin extract from the herb was only tested on rats and human application of this compound still remains to be seen.
Strengthens the Immune System:
The vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants found in parsley are helpful for strengthening immunity. Vitamins such as vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin K, folate, and niacin each act on different aspects of the immune system. Vitamin A acts directly on lymphocytes or white blood cells, thereby increasing their effect.
Parsley is effective in cases of osteoporosis and is helpful in maintaining bone health. Osteoporosis occurs due to depleted levels of calcium in the bones and also due to an amino acid called homocysteine. This amino acid can be broken down by the intake of folic acid. Due to this aspect, apart from dairy products and vegetables, parsley is regarded as one of the best sources of calcium. It also contains an appropriate amount of folic acid, which may break down homocysteine.
For many centuries now, parsley has been used as a diuretic that helps in controlling various diseases such as kidney stones, urinary tract infections, and gallbladder stones. Edema is a medical condition where a patient retains fluid in the body more than what he or she is supposed to hold under normal circumstances. The body swells because of fluid accumulation. If you are afflicted by this condition, a few teaspoons of parsley juice can provide some quick relief. The roots of the herb are also very much useful in counteracting kidney stones.