Parsley is one of the most used herbaceous plants in the kitchen and also for medicinal purposes throughout the world, its origin is Mediterranean, specifically on an Italian island called Sardinia where all its leaves are grown.
As it is an herb with a variety of types, apart from multiple uses both in food and drinks, we will learn in this article the nutritional properties and 10 benefits of parsley for health.
What is parsley?
Parsley, whose scientific name is “Petroselinum sativum” , is a green herb part of the Apiaceae family , whose life cycle is biennial, although the seeds begin to be sown to germinate between autumn and winter.
Parsley began to be used in the kitchen since the early Middle Ages , its cultivation being quite common in many parts. But previously, parsley leaves were used solely and exclusively to be thrown into graves in honor of the deceased , without taking their properties into account.
You should know: A study sheet adds the following information: ” The entire organ of the parsley plant contains an essential oil in a variable proportion, depending on the variety cultivated and the geographical origin, this is essential for medicine .” (1)
Parsley is a plant with important properties , mostly providing an antioxidant effect mainly, although it also has other compounds of great nutritional value. For this reason we will teach you with the following information, what are the properties of parsley:
Parsley has a variety of vitamins, but it has the highest content of vitamin A among all the others, which are B complex vitamins , such as thiamine, niacin, riboflavin, vitamin B6, folic acid, and folates. .
Parsley has a high content of essential minerals for the body, in descending order, it begins with potassium , calcium , iron , phosphorus, selenium, magnesium, zinc and sodium, which are all notable minerals in 100 g consumption.
3. Other compounds
Parsley has unique compounds in its structure, such as apiol and myristicin , part of its essential oils, as well as containing flavonoids and furocoumarins, which are mainly in its fresh and unprocessed structure.
Note: It also naturally has calories, proteins, total lipids, abundant water, soluble fiber and even carbohydrates as additional compounds.
What benefits does parsley have?
Having a solid source of information on the main properties of parsley, we can fully understand the main health benefits that parsley provides in its vast majority:
1. Boosts the immune system
Parsley turns out to be a great medicinal herb to boost a person’s immune system as a whole, as it is an antioxidant.
You should know: This is thanks to the abundance of vitamin C that is in the composition of parsley, a vitamin designed to stimulate immune responses by leukocytes, monocytes and neutrophils, which also helps to detect and destroy toxic microorganisms in the body. Body.
2. Reduces the risk of cardiac disorders
Another of the benefits of parsley is that it is also an essential herb to reduce the risk of heart disorders or problems , such as arrhythmia or tachycardia.
To highlight: Parsley has a high level of antioxidants and diuretic actions, which can purify the blood of toxins.
Along with improving the production of red blood cells , parsley with its properties makes blood flow flow and flavonoids help lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
3. Regulates blood sugar levels
Parsley is a great medicinal herb to regulate blood sugar levels , or failing that, control glucose in the body, being one of its most notorious benefits.
For this reason, it is considered of great use in favor of controlling type 2 diabetes, thanks to its flavonoids such as myricetin, which are designed to lower glucose levels. Put more simply, parsley inhibits the absorption of sugar into the blood and thus enhances the actions of insulin.
Important: An outstanding study mentions the following information: “Parsley has traditionally been used in some areas by diabetic patients to reduce blood glucose levels. Following the recommendations of the WHO Expert Committee on diabetes mellitus . (two)
4. Limits the action of free radicals
One of the benefits of parsley is that it can greatly limit the actions of free radicals, which lead to premature aging or chronic diseases.
Note: Parsley antioxidants are essential to inhibit the effects of these radicals, which are called cellular oxidations , this is thanks to both vitamin C, as well as other compounds such as flavonoids and beta-carotene, which neutralize all damage to cells. cells.
5. Eliminate fluid retention
Parsley is effective to eliminate edema or fluid retention , according to its oxalate compounds. We cannot also forget that parsley has a source of diuretic effects (the elimination of salt and excess fluids in the body).
Therefore, this herb is a great stimulant for the kidneys due to its flavonoids , which also help in the production of urine in these organs.
6. Contributes to weight loss
Parsley greatly contributes to weight loss and the prevention of obesity, as it is a diuretic food.
You should know: Parsley is a herb that greatly influences the decrease in fluids, specifically in the accumulation of water, but it is also effective in increasing metabolism , which especially contributes to the burning of fats and calories, and indirectly decreases the production of waxy substances such as LDL cholesterol.
7. Fights anemia, flu and infections
Parsley is effective in combating anemia and promotes its prevention, since it can provide adequate levels of iron for the blood , taking into account that it also contains vitamin C, which improves the absorption of iron in hemoglobin in anemia.
On the other hand, parsley has a certain antimicrobial reputation , being essential to protect the body from infections and overcome colds.
To highlight: Thanks to a study it is known that: “The essential oils of parsley are generally more active against Gram positive bacteria than against Gram negative ones .” (3)
8. Improves digestive functions
Parsley is essential to improve digestive functions in the face of gastrointestinal system problems.
You should know: This is because this herb has abundant water and soluble fiber, providing antiflatulent effects that prevent excess gas in the stomach , as well as providing carminative actions that reduce colic, strengthen the intestinal tract and prevent infections of the stomach. intestine.
9. Promotes skin health
Parsley is quite favorable for skin health, first of all due to the production of collagen that ascorbic acid provides and is an antioxidant.
Secondly, parsley contains flavonoids and compounds called furanocoumarins, which are used as skin protectants in cosmetic treatments, as well as being effective for skin diseases such as vitiligo or cutaneous T-lymphoma.
10. Protects against cancer
It is known for sure that parsley and its leaves can protect against cancer or prevent cancer cells, as part of its benefits and properties.
It is even essential to be a protective barrier for the brain and body organs against the formation of tumors.
Important: A study confirms this with the following information: ” It has been proven that the parsley flavone Apigenin is capable of acting on different pathways involved in the processes of mutation , cell proliferation and in the processes of apoptosis of cancer cells” . (4)
How can you consume parsley?
Parsley is so common in gastronomy for its benefits and properties that it can certainly be consumed in different ways depending on your preferences.
The main consumption is fresh, which can even be eaten alone or cut into pieces to be incorporated into foods such as salads , fish, meat, mashed potatoes and a wide variety of dishes to give it flavor, even in sauces. homemade or green juice shakes on an empty stomach.
Note: It can also be consumed as a tea infusion, as long as it is made cold, as with smoothies, because boiling water can remove important properties from its composition , it can also be obtained as a ground seasoning, but it may not contain the same properties.
- Parsley is a plant with a great flavor that is well-known in the world of gastronomy and is used primarily in many dishes.
- Parsley has properties such as minerals, essential acids and antioxidant vitamin content in its leaves.
- Parsley has benefits for heart health, to improve intestinal transit problems and to protect against cancer.
- It can be eaten fresh, chopped into pieces to be an ingredient in various dishes such as salads, depending on your preferences.
University Professional in the area of Human Resources, Postgraduate in Occupational Health and Hygiene of the Work Environment, 14 years of experience in the area of health. Interested in topics of Psychology, Occupational Health, and General Medicine.