wholesome health advice

World’s most popular cooking herb

…is not just a garnish.

Parsley, a member of the carrot family, is usually the most healthful food on restaurant plates.

“Parsley – the jewel of herbs, both in the pot and on the plate.” ~Albert Stockli

This therapeutic spice can be used for so much more, add its tangy sweet flavor  to dishes such as salads, coleslaw, dips, sauces, salad dressings, butter spreads, and most entrees.  Both stalks and leaves are useful, the former has a stronger flavor.  Though 30 varieties of parsley grow throughout Europe, the most popular ones used here are the curly leaf and the flat leaf, also called Italian parsley.

Parsley’s history is rich, including its use by banqueting Greeks, who donned parsley crowns for appetite stimulation and good humor promotion.  Romans mention this spice back in the fourth century B.C.  During Hebrew Passover, it was a symbol of rebirth.  And in Medieval times, parsley was set on tables and adorned around diners’ necks to absorb food odors.  During this time, it was also used a poison antedote.

More recently, when Peter Rabbit had overeaten in McGregor’s garden, he used parsley as a digestive aid.  Today, parsley is known for a multitude of benefits.

Its slightly warming nature improves digestion; supports bladder, kidneys and stomach; helps water imbalances and promotes urination; eliminates toxins; strengthens adrenal glands; benefits optic and brain nerves; helps treat kidney stones and gallstones; freshens breath odor; plus it’s an anti-carcinogen and antioxidant.

Parsley’s remarkable nutrition:

  • Excellent source of Vitamin A
  • Three times more Vitamin C than oranges
  • Twice as much iron as spinach
  • High source of chlorophyll, calcium, sodium, and magnesium

Parsley’s nutritional analysis: http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/3112

USDA Nutrient Data Base:

Principle

Nutrient Value

Percentage of RDA

 Energy 36 Kcal 1.5%
Carbohydrates 6.33 g 5%
Protein 2.97 g 5%
Total Fat 0.8 g 3%
Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
Dietary Fiber 3.3 g 8.5%

Vitamins

Folates 152 mcg 38%
Niacin 1.313 mg 8%
Pantothenic acid 0.400 mg 8%
Pyridoxine 0.090 mg 7%
Riboflavin 0.098 mg 7.5%
Thiamin 0.086 mg 7%
Vitamin A 8424 IU 281%
Vitamin C 133 mg 220%
Vitamin E 0.75 mg 5%
Vitamin K 1640 µg 1366%

Electrolytes

Sodium 56 mg 4%
Potassium 554 mg 12%

Minerals

Calcium 138 mg 14%
Copper 0.149 mg 16.5%
Iron 6.20 mg 77.5%
Magnesium 50 mg 12.5%
Manganese 0.160 mg 7%
Phosphorus 58 mg 8%
Zinc 1.07 mg 10%

Phyto-nutrients

Carotene-ß 5054 µg
Crypto-xanthin-ß 0 µg
Lutein-zeaxanthin 5561 µg

 

A word of caution: As with most things, this spice must be used in moderation by pregnant women.  Parsley stimulates the uterus.  And it also may dry up milk in nursing mothers.

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