These 11 Benefits of Parsley Will Change Your Life

health benefits of parsley

Are there any benefits of parsley other than to look stupid on your plate? If you think parsley isn’t even real food, be prepared to learn how these 11 benefits of parsley will change your life.

 

Nobody eats parsley right? It’s not exciting and it isn’t cilantro. You can’t really do much with it, and I’m not even sure if most people think it’s food. I used to think all of these things too. One day we had some parsley left over from something (mowing the lawn?) and I decided to put it in my morning juice.

 

From that day on I juice parsley every single day, or at least most days. Parsley has a fresh smell and taste, and is actually really good for your body in ways you never dreamed. So let’s take a look at some of the benefits that parsley has so you can stop throwing it in the garbage like I used to.

 

1) Parsley tastes great

I know this goes against everything you’ve ever read, but it’s true. Parsley may not be great as a main course or in a cake, but when you add it to your foods as an extra flavor or in your juice it tastes really clean and delicious. Parsley doesn’t have to be that lifeless pile of sad looking stuff that sits next to your Denny’s breakfast anymore. It can be used as a seasoning in a vegetable soup or added to your juice and can be used to spruce up all kinds of foods. Now I get that parsley doesn’t taste like cake and you won’t be eating it straight, but when you do eat it, you will find it very tasty.

 

2) Parsley can help prevent birth defects

Parsley is rich in a powerful vitamin called folate, or folic acid. Studies have shown that the folate found in leafy green vegetables (kind of like parsley) and is very important in the development of a baby’s brain and spinal cord. Any woman that is planning on getting pregnant you may want to eat foods with folate 2 – 3 months before you get pregnant and through the first trimester of your pregnancy. Some of the birth defects that folate can help prevent are called “neural tube defects” (NTD’s) and are conditions like spina bifida and anencephaly.

 

3) Parsley may help prevent cancer

Parsley is loaded with the green pigment chlorophyll which has been shown in studies over the years to have a wide range of possible health benefits. While there are many more studies that need to be completed, the idea so far is that chlorophyll can help in your body by acting as an anti-mutagenic in some animals. Simply put, the studies have shown promise that chlorophyll can help prevent certain types of cancerous growths in animals.

 

4) Parsley can help prevent night blindness

Any kind of blindness seems scary to me, but night blindness sounds terrifying! Well, thanks to parsley having vitamin a that can be something to worry a bit less about. Vitamin A deficiency is actually a global problem that affects 50% of all countries. Among the many health risks to a lack of vitamin A is horrible night blindness, complete blindness, and even death from diseases like measles. The good news is that in most of our society vitamin A is easy to find and consume to help ward off these health issues, and the better news is that you can get 14% of your daily recommended allowance of vitamin A from a serving of parsley.

 

5) Parsley can help prevent muscle cramps

Since parsley has small amounts of the very important mineral magnesium in it. A lack of magnesium can contribute to a lot of negative health effects like high blood pressure, fatigue, confusion and muscle cramps. Just like you would expect, a deficiency in a type of mineral can cause a variety of health issues that taking more of that same mineral can solve. So if a magnesium deficiency leads to muscle cramps it only makes sense that consuming more magnesium from foods like parsley can help to solve those issues.

 

6) Parsley can help improve depression

Parsley may not be the next Prozac, which is good since it’s a lot safer – but it has some indirect ways in which it can help prevent or reduce depression. The reason for this is that parsley has the very important electrolyte potassium in it, and a lack of potassium in the diet can cause symptoms of depression. Now am I saying that something as simple as parsley can be an effective cure for severe depression? This may not be likely, but if something as simple as replacing your potassium levels by eating foods like parsley can have a positive effect on depression and other illnesses, then isn’t it worth a try?

 

7) Parsley can prevent excess bleeding

Parsley is rich in vitamin K, which is a fat soluble vitamin that you can get from foods like parsley. One of the main benefits of vitamin K is its ability to allow your blood to clot properly. Without this clotting blood can “ooze” from puncture sites such as surgical incisions or through an ordinary bloody nose. This may not seem like a big deal, but if you are extremely low in vitamin K the bleeding may be very hard to stop. So one really simple way to replace some much needed vitamin K in your diet is to include some fresh parsley in it so you can get some important clotting happening.

 

8) Parsley has another way to fight cancer

I know it’s cheating to have 2 list items about cancer, but cancer is terrible and anyone suffering with it needs all the protection they can get. Parsley has a flavone called apigenin which is believed to be a chemopreventive. What does that mean? A chemopreventive is a substance found naturally (like in parsley) that can help suppress the development of cancer. There is still a lot more research to be done, but so far this apigenin substance has been shown to be a great anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and of course a cancer fighting agent.

 

9) Parsley can prevent anemia

Low levels of iron in your blood can cause anemia which can range from mild to severe and can be deadly if severe enough. Anemia causes almost 5,000 deaths per year and in most any case can be easily prevented by making sure you get enough dietary iron by eating foods such as parsley. Some of the symptoms of mild anemia can be very mild and not noticeable at first until the deficiency gets out of hand, so it’s important to consume enough dietary iron each day to help keep this risk at a minimum.

 

 

10) Parsley is good for heart health

Remember how important folic acid is in preventing some birth defects from earlier? Folic acid comes to the rescue again by helping you to have a healthier heart. A molecule in your body called homocysteine has been shown to damage blood vessels at high volumes and therefore are associated with heart disease. While eating parsley is certainly not the one and only important factor in your heart health, it just goes to show that this green leafy food that is usually thrown away can be quite healthy for so many parts of your body.

 

11) Parsley can help fight rheumatoid arthritis

About 1.5 million people suffer from this painful and debilitating condition known as rheumatoid arthritis affects (RA). Even though the cause of RA is not yet fully understood, it has been shown that healthy doses of vitamin C is looking promising in treating conditions like RA. It is believed that the anti-inflammatory properties of vitamin C may be one of the main reasons why it is so helpful in treating the condition.

 

 

References:

http://umm.edu/health/medical/pregnancy/staying-healthy-during-pregnancy/folic-acid-prevents-birth-defects

http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/fw06/chlorophylls.html

http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/nutritional_disorders/vitamin_deficiency_dependency_and_toxicity/vitamin_k.html

http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/anemia.htm

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17143534

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=100#healthbenefits

http://www.nutraceuticalsworld.com/contents/view_online-exclusives/2013-01-17/vitamin-c-proves-promising-for-rheumatoid-arthritis

http://www.cdc.gov/arthritis/data_statistics/arthritis_related_stats.htm

 

 

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Wally
 

Hello, My name is Wally and this is my plant based diet blog. I started a plant based diet 3 years ago and lost 70 pounds, and have kept it off. I want to help you start and thrive on a plant based diet too.