Herbs have always played an important role in maintaining our health, be it the fresh dill leaves or the lavender flowers. One such herb which has gained quite a lot of popularity in the healthcare industry and fitness regime is Parsley.
This article will talk about parsley benefits for skin, hair, health and in general. In addition, we will also explain some relevant facts to parsley-like its types, the ways to consume the leaves, and so on.
What is Parsley- origin, structure, and nutritional content?
Parsley is a green herb belonging to the Apiaceae family, which consists of flowering plants mostly. Going by the books, Parsley is mainly grown in the Mediterranean region like Turkey, Spain, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and so on. However, nowadays, the plant is grown widely and even used in almost all the cuisines you can find globally, especially the American, Middle-East, and Asian cuisines.
For growing the parsleys, a temperate climate is needed, which is a biennial species. For the annual parsleys, tropical and subtropical areas are preferred. The leaves of the plants are grown in a clustered form which looks like bunches around the nodes of the stem. Carefully looking at the leaves, you will find them in a star-shaped structure, having five extended vertices.
Coming to the nutritional content of the herb, it has high concentrations of antioxidants and flavonoids mainly. Luteolin, folate, and Apigenin are the three most important components which result in Parsley’s benefits for our health. Besides, the herb can also be considered as a reserve of vitamins and minerals. It contains vitamins like Riboflavin, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, beta-carotene, Thiamine, Niacin, etc. In addition, you will find calcium, sodium, iron, zinc, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and manganese in terms of minerals.
Types of parsleys found in the market
You will find four main types of parsleys in the market, each differing in leaf structure, plant heights, cultivation methods, and others. In the below section, we will give you a brief explanation of these four parsley types.
1. Flat-leaf Parsley
Flat-leaved parsley is the tallest of the four varieties. From the name itself, you can understand that the leaves are completely flat. The flavour profile is so intense that people usually use herbs to add bold and fresh flavours to the dishes. You can divide the flat-leaf parsley into two main types- the Titan Parsley, where the leaves are serrated and come with deep green colour, and the Italian Parsley, which almost looks like the Cilantro herbs and tastes similar to that of pepper.
2. Curled leaf parsley
One of the commonly used Parsley is the one having curled leaves. As it’s very easy to cultivate, people usually grow the curled leaves and parsley in their kitchen gardens. The curls in the leaves allow chefs to use them for decoration, and due to their amazing texture and flavor combination, the leaves are also used in culinary dishes.
Botanically, this particular parsley category can be subdivided into other forms like the drawled curled Parsley where the plants do not grow to a standard height, and the Forest Green Parsley, where the leaves are vibrant green in colour.
3. Hamburger parsley
Hamburger parsleys are widely used in different cuisines, thanks to the wonderful texture and flavour profile. The leaves almost look like that of the fern plant. These are also termed the root parsleys as their roots are quite big, almost resembling the parsnips. People not only consume the stems and leaves but also the roots are used in some dishes.
4. Japanese Parsley
The Japanese Parsley is categorized based on its place of cultivation since it is grown mainly in Japan and China. Leaves aren’t vibrant green in colour. Rather they are soft and have a pale green color which you can chew easily in the raw form. However, since the Japanese Parsley has a bitter taste, it can be difficult to consume them, especially if you are worried more about your palette.
Is Parsley beneficial for health?
Yes, according to several studies, parsleys are extremely beneficial for health. As the leaves contain huge amounts of antioxidants and flavonoids, it helps maintain the body’s homeostasis. Besides, the high concentration of vitamins and minerals also help in ensuring that your body is functioning normally without any issue.
Overall health benefits of parsley leaves
This section will discuss the major health benefits of the parsley leaves that will give you more clarity about the herb.
1. Alleviates the risks of cancer
Since parsleys have Apigenin in them, it is believed that the herb can prevent the risks of breast cancers in women. Breast cancer is one of the most common diseases in women throughout the world. About 45% of females suffer from this problem after crossing the age of thirty. Cancer develops in the form of small tumours in the mammary glands and gradually spreads like cancer. Studies have shown that eating Parsley reduces the risks of developing breast cancers.
2. Helps in reducing inflammations
Inflammations can be caused due to serious injuries to the muscles, ligaments, and other parts of the body. Such swellings can be easily treated by applying ice packs and anti-inflammatory ointments topically. However, sometimes, cells and tissues also get inflamed due to allergies or any other body’s other adverse reaction. Such inflammations are hard to treat, which is why you need to take anti-inflammatory drugs.
But as they have side effects, it’s best to rely on natural sources like parsleys. This green herb is loaded with anti-inflammatory components, which can slowly reduce the tissue and cell swellings, thereby providing relief.
3. Strengthen the joints and bones
As parsleys are rich in manganese and calcium, it plays an important role in maintaining bone health. It has been proven that by taking parsleys, one can get relief from tissue inflammations surrounding the joints, bone aches, and chronic diseases like arthritis and others.
4. Ideal for treating anaemia
Anaemia is mainly caused due to the deficiency of iron in the blood. Since iron can’t be, be produced by our body, it needs to be supplied from outsides. Along with several other food ingredients rich in this mineral, parsleys also provide iron to the body. This will increase the haemoglobin in your blood and help in the formation of more RBCs. With increased haemoglobin, oxygen will be supplied to the tissues and cells in adequate quantities.
5. Aids in proper digestion
Studies have suggested that parsleys might help in regulating the functioning of the gut. Due to antioxidants and anti-microbial properties, the green herb maintains the gut flora, which further improves the digestive strength of your body. Having Parsley infused smoothies, soups, juices, and others will also help prevent constipation or bloating.
Parsley Benefits for Skin
1. Helps in preventing early ageing signs
Parsleys help in preventing the signs of early ageing, like wrinkles and fine lines on the face. This green herb is loaded with vitamins and minerals, which are highly useful for strengthening the skin and adding nutrients to the skin, preventing wrinkles on your face. Hence, you will look younger without any signs of early ageing.
2. Prevents acne and pimple breakouts
Since parsleys contain a high amount of Vitamin C, the herb will prevent the growth of microbes on your skin. This will further reduce the chances of acne and pimple breakouts which is one of the common skin problems in teenagers. Also, with antioxidants, you can get rid of dark circles and dullness due to the accumulation of dead cells.
Hair Benefits of eating Parsley
1. Nourishes the hair follicles
One of the major benefits of eating Parsley is that the hair follicles will be nourished properly. In addition, since the herb consists of so many essential vitamins and minerals, the blood reaching the follicles will help nourish the roots, which will further make your hair grow faster and in healthier conditions.
2. Prevent scalp infections and allergies
Thanks to the presence of anti-microbial properties and flavonoids, scalp infections will be prevented. Starting from rashes to itching of the scalp, such problems can be alleviated easily by taking the herb daily in smoothies, juices, and other food items.
3. Increases the shine and strength of the hair strands
Parsleys also ensure that the strength of the hair is reinforced. Hence, hair fall will be reduced greatly, which will further ensure that your original hair volume is restored. Besides, thanks to the multiple vitamins, your hair will shine, making the strands look more beautiful.
What parts to consume of Parsley?
Considering that Parsley is a herb, you can consume both the leaves and the stem. However, while consuming the ingredients, you need to ensure that they are fresh. You can judge the freshness by looking at the colour as parsleys are of vibrant green, the shades varying from pale to deep green according to the type.
Parsley has proven to be one of the most beneficial herbs in recent years. However, medical studies are still going on to provide absolute proof against the benefit claims of the herb. Nevertheless, you can eat Parsley in raw forms by adding to the salads or even using the leaves in smoothies and juices. In addition, soups, pizzas, portions of pasta and other such foods also contain parsley leaves, either in fresh or dried forms.
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