Once considered more of a garnish than a real vegetable, parsley’s incredible flavor and health benefits have elevated it to an herb worthy of inclusion in daily our daily diet. It is used around the world in an array of cultures, both raw and cooked. It shows up in sauces such as the Italian gremolata and Argentinian chimichurri sauce as well as in the Middle Eastern tabouli salad. In Asia, its close cousin cilantro is preferred.
KEY PHYTONUTRIENTS AND HEALTH BENEFITS:
Apigenin is the potent phytonutrient that gives parsley its unique flavor and medicinal properties. Researchers around the globe are confirming that this compound has powerful health promoting properties:
- Antioxidant: This component of parsley actives two of our body’s most powerful antioxidants, Glutathione and Superoxide Dismutase, reducing oxidative damage to our cells and rolling back the risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes and others.
- Cancer preventive: studies are examining the effects of apigenin in many different aspects of cancer growth and on several different cell lines, demonstrating numerous mechanisms that apigenin inhibits cancer cell growth. Trials are in development as a chemotherapeutic agent.
- Shown to lower blood sugar levels in animals with adult-set diabetes
- Anti-coagulant: reduces blood stickiness (platelet aggregation), and the risk of stroke and heart attacks.
- Improves digestive function, and may ease ulcers and constipation
Lutein is another member of the carotenoid family that helps protect the retina from macular degeneration and resulting blindness. Parsley is packed with chlorophyll, vitamins A, C, magnesium and lutein and fiber. It has long been regarded an herb with a diuretic action, which may benefit hypertension and fluid retention.
Clearly, parsley is an herb we should include in our diet on a regular basis. It holds immense promise as a cancer preventive and in optimizing metabolic function across organ systems. It grows easily in any garden, often persisting into the winter.
DOCTORS NOTE: Pregnant women should not eat large amounts daily as it may result in uterine contractions.
- Dr. Sally’s Vegetable and Chicken Soup
- Chimichurri Sauce
- Marinara Sauce
- Brazilian Seafood Stew