Parsley, also called parsley, is an aromatic herb that is very common in kitchens throughout Brazil and has great therapeutic potential .
Its consumption is associated with the prevention of various diseases, such as urinary tract infections, anemia and liver problems . Parsley can also help to treat constipation and bad breath.
Jacqueline Baraúna, food engineer and gastronomy teacher, says that the herb, in addition to being super nutritious, can be used at the beginning and end of savory dishes, to prepare an infusion and even a very healthy juice!
9 benefits of parsley
Parsley is considered a super nutritious food. It is a source of vitamins A, C, E, K and the B complex, as highlighted by food engineer Jacqueline.
It is also very rich in minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, sulfur, phosphorus and sodium, as well as some proteins and amino acids essential for health.
In the leaves of this aromatic herb is found an essential oil , which gives the characteristic aroma and flavor of the species.
1. Treat urinary infection
Parsley is a strong diuretic component. That is, it acts by increasing the volume of urine by stimulating kidney function, as the professional explains, and it is precisely this characteristic that makes it a great ally in the treatment of urinary infections.
With a greater production of urine, the body is able to expel the bacteria that are causing the infection more quickly , speeding up recovery.
Due to its diuretic potential, the condiment is an ally in combating high blood pressure, as it increases sodium excretion.
2. Benefits intestinal health
Have you ever heard that eating parsley is good for constipation? Well know that this is true, since the aromatic herb has a mild laxative effect , in addition to being spasmolytic, which serves to relieve intestinal cramps. ( 1 )
Jacqueline highlighted that parsley still has the so-called carminative effect, which prevents and helps to eliminate uncomfortable gases.
3. Improves digestion
Did you eat something that didn’t go down well and now you’re feeling bloated? A cup of tea or a glass of parsley juice relieves discomfort.
The phytochemical compounds found in the leaves of the plant “break the surface tension of the gases to integrate with solids and liquids”, emphasized Jacqueline Baraúna.
As a result, regular consumption of parsley helps to prevent the problem of indigestion and is also capable of improving the rate of absorption of some nutrients, such as proteins and fibers, as they facilitate their handling by the body. ( 2 )
4. Strengthens immunity
Eating parsley can also protect against disease , because the condiment is considered a natural immunomodulating agent.
This means that it increases the production of defense cells, antibodies , “because it is rich in antioxidants and its anti-inflammatory action favors the elimination of accumulated toxins in the body” that can make the body more susceptible to infectious agents, such as highlights Jacqueline.
This action on the immune system is also linked to the presence of vitamins A, C, complex B and K, which are used by the body in the production of cells that are part of the immune system, in addition to being able to improve its response in case of attacks. ( 3 )
5. Protects the liver
Parsley leaves are also rich in substances with hepatoprotective potential, that is, to protect the liver , as explained by Jacqueline.
This makes them protect the organ against damage caused by cell degradation (oxidation) and even by the action of toxic substances, such as drugs and alcohol. ( 4 )
6. Prevents fluid retention
You know that diuretic effect of parsley? It also has the benefit of preventing bloating caused by fluid retention, according to Jacqueline. This happens because the kidneys manage to filter and eliminate more water , which would accumulate where it shouldn’t, and sodium, a mineral that contributes to retention.
In fact, it is partly due to this property that the juice of parsley with lemon is related to weight loss, when in fact what happens is that it helps to deflate, which gives the impression of weight loss. ( 2 )
7. Prevents anemia
Another therapeutic potential of parsley, according to the professional, is “helping to prevent anemia , as it is rich in iron ”. (two)
Just as an example, every 100 grams of the herb contains 4.2 milligrams of this mineral, which is used in the production of cells responsible for transporting oxygen.
8. Protects the nervous system
The food engineer highlighted another benefit of consuming parsley, which is “helping in the health of the nervous system due to vitamin B2”, she explained.
This nutrient is used to produce a type of protection for the nerve fibers, making it essential for sending connections with information to the rest of the body.
Furthermore, because it is rich in apigenin, the aromatic herb increases brain capacity by increasing the connections between neurons.
9. Fights bad breath
Finally, the chlorophyll found in parsley turns the herb into a homemade bad breath reducer (halitosis), and the substance even helps bring a fresh sensation to the mouth . ( 2 )
But it is necessary to warn that bad breath can have several causes and if you start to feel the bad odor very often, even after doing the correct mouth hygiene, you need to see a dentist to see what is the best treatment.
How to consume?
Parsley can be consumed in the form of a green juice that concentrates all its therapeutic potential in a glass.
To prepare you just need to put ½ cup of fresh parsley, the juice of 1 lemon and 1 cup of coconut water in a blender and blend well.
You can add some ice cubes, but don’t strain, to keep fiber that can help your bowels function, and you can’t add sugar or any other sweeteners.
Another option is to prepare an infusion. To do this, put 1 teaspoon of dried parsley or 3 tablespoons of fresh leaves in 1 cup of boiling water and let it rest for 10 minutes.
Then just strain and drink a maximum of 3 cups a day , always without sweetening.
Jacqueline warns that parsley “may have a labor-inducing effect, as it contains a uterine stimulant” and may also reduce breast milk production. For this reason, pregnant and lactating women should avoid drinking tea or juice.
As a condiment
For having a very characteristic aroma and flavor, parsley can be used in salads, sauces, soups and even meat.
Dried parsley: is it worth using?
The answer to that question is yes . If you don’t find the fresh parsley you can substitute it for the dehydrated version in the kitchen without losing any benefits.
This is because the biggest difference between the two is the characteristic aroma of fresh parsley, but which is not present in the dry season.
Dehydrated, however, has a more concentrated flavor due to the loss of water and therefore should be used in smaller amounts, and also has the advantage of being able to be stored for a longer period of time.
How to choose and store
Parsley leaves should be a vibrant, dark green color and not shriveled, wrinkled, or dark spots.
To keep them you must discard the yellowish parts, wash them under running water to remove all impurities and let all the liquid drain. Once dry, they can be kept for up to five days in the refrigerator, as long as they are stored in bags or covered containers .
Another storage option is to dehydrate by placing the leaves in a high oven for two minutes, or freeze them by placing them in ice cube trays with water. ( 5 )
How to grow
With all the benefits you’ll want to put the salsa on for good, right? So why not start growing organically right at home?
Know that it’s super easy to start a crop and you don’t even need a lot of space as the grass is small and adapts well to pots and it doesn’t take much to start planting.
All you need is seeds and a pot of sandy soil and fertilized with organic matter. Plant the seeds at least 10 centimeters apart and leave in a place with good sunlight.
As parsley prefers cold climates, you will need to water it daily , but be careful not to soak.
The harvest can be done, on average, after 60 days of planting and you can just remove the larger leaves and leave the root so that it will continue to live and produce more. ( 6 )