When it comes to herbs, many people don’t realize just how healthy they are. Herbs are most commonly used to add flavor to meals, but they can also be used as a garnish. Either way, adding them to your diet can have some great benefits for many areas of your health. Parsley is a common herb that is easy to find and versatile enough to be used in many ways. There are many reasons to add parsley to your grocery list, but its inflammatory properties are one of the best. Here’s why parsley should be your new herb of choice.
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Nutrients That Fight Inflammation
Parsley is an herb that is rich in several nutrients that play a role in inflammation and warding it off. Two such nutrients are vitamins A and C, both of which help protect your immune system. Because many diseases, illnesses and health conditions are the result of some type of inflammation, eating foods that increase your intake of vitamins A and C offers your body the opportunity to effectively fight it off so that you can stay healthy. Combining parsley with other foods that contain these vitamins is even more beneficial.
Antioxidants Help Too
In addition to the presence of vitamins A and C, parsley also contains the antioxidants, lutein and zeaxanthin, both of which protect your eyes. Because inflammation in the eyes can lead to all kinds of issues affecting the health of your eyes and your vision, increasing your intake of these important antioxidants can protect them. Experts say that people who work in front of a computer on a daily basis can really benefit from eating more foods that contain them. Parsley is a wonderful way to boost your intake and ensure that you are getting enough on a regular basis.
What The Research Says
In addition to the above-mentioned information, a specific research study was conducted regarding the potential of using parsley to battle allergies. This is largely due to its potential to fight off inflammation, which is one of the culprits when it comes to suffering from various types of allergies. According to the authors of the study, parsley is a good choice for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it contains a wealth of polyphenols, which are plant compounds with a variety of medicinal benefits. At the same time, eating parsley encourages the production of a hormone called adiponectin.
This hormone has been shown to have anti-allergenic benefits that can help control the symptoms of allergies. The research shows that people who want to fight their allergies simply by changing up their diet plans can give parsley a bigger role in how and what they eat. Fortunately, parsley can be used in a multitude of ways, so it isn’t that hard to include it in your cooking. It’s easy to find at any supermarket and is affordable and easy to work with too. There really isn’t any excuse not to be eating parsley.
Other Health Benefits
Fighting inflammation certainly isn’t the only reason to be eating parsley. It also has a wealth of other health benefits that make it something that could be good for just about anyone. The many flavonols, antioxidants and polyphenols found in parsley may play a role in cancer prevention. These types of plant compounds help counteract free radical damage in your body, which helps prevent the cellular changes that can lead to the development of various types of cancer. In fact, some studies show that eating parsley with charred meats can help counteract the carcinogenic effects that those meats can have in your body.
Because parsley is so good for battling inflammation, it also shows promise as a viable way to protect against type 2 diabetes. Not only can parsley help ward off the insulin resistance that often indicates future diabetes, but it also proves beneficial in controlling blood sugar levels. What an easy way to protect your health!
Parsley is also a good source of vitamin K, which researchers show can help keep your bones strong and healthy. In fact, just 10 sprigs of parsley provide you with a daily dose of vitamin K. In addition to offering support for your skeleton, vitamin K is also important for healthy blood clotting, so being deficient in this important nutrient can really spell trouble for your health.
Additional Nutrients In Parsley
While you most likely can’t rely on parsley to satisfy a majority of your daily intake recommendations (barring vitamin K, of course), you can expect it to add to your quota, allowing you to keep your body free of inflammation and healthy in general. Parsley also contains calcium and trace amounts of protein, fiber and healthy complex carbohydrates. Again, parsley doesn’t need to make up a huge part of your diet, but it certainly can’t hurt to add it to your current menu.
How To Use Parsley
You can certainly eat parsley just plain, as it has a mild and fresh flavor that is appealing to many people. But that’s not the only way to enjoy parsley. You can snip it into fresh veggie salads or slide it onto sandwiches with your usual lettuce leaf. Parsley is a great garnish for chicken, steak and fish. It works wonderfully in fresh sauces, pesto and salsa for a unique twist on the classic flavors you’re probably used to. Use parsley to finish an omelet, add it to homemade salad dressing, use it for flavor in fresh marinades, or add it to your green juice for a slightly different flavor that you will absolutely love.
Cautions With Parsley
For the most part, parsley is a healthy addition to anyone’s meal plan. However, it should be consumed with caution by certain individuals. Most notably, people who take a blood thinner should not consume too much parsley. This is because of parsley’s vitamin K content. When you take blood thinners, it’s vital not to alter your intake of vitamin K to a large degree, which can interfere with the effectiveness of the medication. If you’re on a blood thinner, talk to your doctor about an appropriate amount of parsley for your health condition.
As you can see, adding parsley to your diet can be highly beneficial, especially if you’re at risk for certain health issues or are already suffering from one. Start with a small amount and build on that as you get used to the taste of the herb. It is easy to store in a damp paper towel in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator. Fresh parsley should last at least a week, so stock up when you get groceries. If you don’t have access to fresh parsley, the dried version is beneficial, so you can sprinkle it into your cooking to reap the same rewards. Choosing to add parsley to your diet is a decision you’ll never regret making.