Parsley is Packed with Health Benefits
Often used to decorate a restaurant dinner plate, a sprig of parsley is more than just a pretty garnish. In fact, parsley is full of flavor and packed with many important health benefits!
High in vitamins A, B, C, E and K, parsley is also a rich source of calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus and potassium. Myristicin and apigenin are compounds found in parsley with antioxidant properties that are said to be important in the prevention of tumors.
Research conducted at the University of Missouri determined that apigenin can slow the growth of breast cancer cells in rats which led researchers to the conclusion that parsley may be helpful to women in fighting and preventing breast cancer.
Here are some other important health benefits of parsley:
- It can protect against cardiovascular disease, heart attack and stroke due to its rich supply of folate or vitamin B9. Folate neutralizes homocysteine levels which can damage blood vessels.
- Because parsley is said to have diuretic properties and promote satiety, it is a great product to incorporate into the diet if you are trying to shed a few pounds.
- When applied to the skin, parsley oil can shrink small blood vessels, stop bleeding, heal skin and relieve pain. It can also boost collagen production, firm the skin and reduce the appearance of wrinkles. Parsley oil is even said to stimulate hair growth when applied to the scalp.
- People who suffer from arthritis can develop pain due to acid buildup around joints. Because parsley restores the acid/alkaline balance in the body and reduces inflammation, it can relieve this type of joint pain. In fact, it is said that people who have a regular intake of parsley are less likely to develop rheumatic diseases like rheumatoid and osteoarthritis.
- Parsley helps boost circulation within the digestive tract. Consequently, people who regularly consume parsley in any form are less likely to suffer from digestive problems.
- Parsley also helps in the prevention of kidney and gall stones and aids in cleansing the urinary tract, which lowers chances for infection. It has been said that gallstones can be eliminated by drinking a pint of parsley tea daily.
- Because parsley can be effective at drying mucous and reducing congestion, it has been touted as a folk remedy for colds, bronchitis, the flu and hay fever.
- In addition to possible prevention of breast cancer, parsley benefits women in other ways. It can relieve pain and reduce bloating during menstruation, and because it is said to promote uterine contractions, it may also induce labor in overdue pregnant women.
- For men, parsley may help to tone the prostate which can reduce chances for infection and other prostate problems.
Fresh parsley can be found throughout the year in the produce section of most local supermarkets, or if you are a gardener, parsley will return year after year once it has been established in the garden. It typically thrives in moist, humus-rich soil and partial shade. You can also find parsley in supplements or in the form of tea at many health food stores and natural supplement websites.