What So Great About Parsley?

What So Great About Parsley?

On the face of it, it seems unlikely there could be anything too great about parsley. From a kid’s perspective, it’s green so… ’nuff said. And from an adult’s perspective there’s the inevitable giant wad that gets jammed between two teeth at the most inopportune times and that nobody will EVER tell you is there. I guess it shouldn’t come as a surprise at this point… any green food is good for you. Wait, I should clarify… that’s any green produce. Sour Patch Kids and Jell-O shots, green though they may be, are not on the list (cruel news so close to Halloween I know, sorry!)  But parsley, really? It just always seems so limp and unassuming. But despite its reputation as little more than plate décor, parsley is in fact good for you. Like, really good for you. Grab the floss and read on.

According to Everyday Health, “Parsley is high in antioxidants, vitamins A and C, and the chemical apigenin, which (several studies have found) may help inhibit the growth of cancer cells. It also has been shown to have heart-healthy effects, reducing high blood pressure”. And www.superfoodprofiles.com has a positively glowing list of reasons not to pass up the parsley. They say it’s “the best plant-based source of vitamin K, which many people are thought to be deficient in, and which is essential to blood clotting and healthy bones”. Parsley is also very high in calcium, magnesium, potassium and iron. In fact, “it contains twice as much iron as spinach.” (Source)  Mind……blown.

Something else parsley has going for it is its high concentration of volatile oils. Superfood Profiles explains that “volatile oils are potent compounds that can have bioactive effects even in very small doses”. The particular volatile oils found in parsley have been scientifically shown to help reduce blood sugar levels and to have a “strong antibacterial and antimicrobial effect that may help control bad bacteria in the digestive system.” One side note: the volatile oils in parsley “can stimulate the uterus and potentially lead to uterine contractions” in very high doses so if you’re pregnant or trying to get pregnant, giant parsley smoothies are not for you mama! Otherwise, the research seems to indicate that it is safe in normal amounts.

Ok, so now the big question. How do we get the kiddies to eat it? Check out the purple parsley smoothie on Babble (spoiler alert…its purple). And for dippers, this parsley hummus from the New York Times looks delish. Although it is indeed green….maybe some purple food coloring? Ooh, I know, let them dip the Sour Patch Kids in the green hummus. Gotta pick your battles after all.

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  1. Anne
    November 07, 10:15 Reply

    I would love to eat more parsley – but a childhood experience has coloured my relationship to it.

    I was prone to car sickness and, when travelling with some family friends as a child, I was forced to eat parsley to settle my stomach. It had, hmmm, let’s just say the opposite effect and now, some 35ish years later, I am still not fond of the stuff.

  2. Cheryl H in NC
    November 09, 23:49 Reply

    I love cooked parsley (minus the stems), both by itself and mixed with other greens (kale, collards, turnip, etc.). It is especially good steamed in a little chicken broth, or in water and then swirled in the residue of a roast chicken that is left in the pan (after pouring off the fat, of course. :). Surprisingly, the strong flavor of raw parsley mellows into something almost sweet when cooked. Delish!! (And the stems are great in homemade veggie broth!) But altho’ I knew it was good for me, I had no idea of the details until your blog. So thank you SO MUCH for the info…and for your whole blog in general. Love it!

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