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May 24th, 2017

parsley

The Power Of Parsley

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Parsley is too often relegated to “garnish” status: one little sprig that gets picked off a dish and left at the side of the plate. But in reality, the flavorful green leaf deserves a great deal more respect. Here’s a closer look at what you’re missing when you overlook this flavorful herb.

Parsley is a significant source of vitamin B-9, commonly known as folate. A single half-cup of parsley will provide more than 10% of your daily folate needs. That makes this herb an impressive ally if you’re looking to improve your general health.

Commonly found in leafy greens, folate is invaluable to cell growth and healthy human development. It plays an essential role in the formation of both RNA and DNA. It’s also been proven to prevent brain and spine defects in babies, making it especially important for pregnant women. The consumption of folate has also been shown to release serotonin in our brains – providing the effects of a mild, all-natural anti-depressant.

Folate is also an important player in the fight against cardiovascular disease. Studies suggest that consuming at least 400 micrograms of folate each day can reduce the risk of heart disease by 20-30 percent. The nutrient has been shown to reduce blood levels of the amino acid homocysteine, which causes blood clots and damages our blood vessels.

Of course, parsley won’t just provide you with folate. Half a cup of chopped parsley boasts more than four times the recommended daily amount of vitamin K, improving the health of your bones and helping your blood to coagulate properly. The herb is also a great source of iron, as well as vitamins A and C.

Parsley comes in several forms, both of which boast significant flavor. Curly leaf varieties may look prettier on a plate, but the softer texture of “Italian” flat-leaf parsley is ideal for use in salads and cooking.

Try replacing basil with parsley in a fresh pesto pasta dish with parmesan, or make a tabbouleh salad by tossing a cup of parsley with cooked bulgur, tomatoes, cucumber, mint, and lemon juice.

Whichever variety you choose, your body will thank you – so make an effort to give this herb the accolades it deserves.