Parsley is one of less calorific herb. 100 g of fresh leaves carry only 36 calories. Additionally, its leaves contains zero cholesterol and fat, but rich in anti-oxidants, vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber. Altogether, the herb helps control blood-cholesterol, offer protection from free radical mediated injury and cancers.
Parsley contains health benefiting essential volatile oils that include myristicin, limonene, eugenol, and alpha-thujene.
The essential oil, Eugenol, present in this herb has been in therapeutic application in dentistry as a local anesthetic and anti-septic agent for teeth and gum diseases. Eugenol has also been found to reduce blood sugar levels in diabetics; however, further detailed studies required to establish its role.
Parsley is rich in poly-phenolic flavonoid antioxidants, including apiin, apigenin, crisoeriol, and luteolin;and has been rated as one of the plant sources with quality antioxidant activities. Total ORAC value, which measures the anti-oxidant strength of 100 g of fresh, raw parsley, is 1301 µmol TE (Trolex equivalents).
The herb is a good source of minerals like potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, and magnesium. 100 g fresh herb provides 554 mg or 12% of daily-required levels of potassium. Potassium is the chief component of cell and body fluids that helps control heart rate and blood pressure by countering the effects of sodium. Iron is essential for the production of heme, which is an important oxygen-carrying component inside the red blood cells. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase.
Additionally, the herb is also rich in many antioxidant vitamins, including vitamin-A, beta-carotene,vitamin-C, vitamin-E, zea-xanthin, lutein, and cryptoxanthin. The herb is an excellent source of vitamin-K and folates. Zea-xanthin helps prevent age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) in the retina of the eye in the old age population through its anti-oxidant and ultra-violet light filtering functions.
Fresh herb leaves are also rich in many essential vitamins such as pantothenic acid (vitamin B-5), riboflavin (vitamin B-2), niacin (vitamin B-3), pyridoxine (vitamin B-6) and thiamin (vitamin B-1). These vitamins play a vital role in carbohydrate, fat and protein metabolism by acting as co-enzymes inside the human body.
It is, perhaps, the richest herbal source for vitamin K; provide 1640 µg or 1366% of recommended daily intake. Vitamin K has been found to have the potential role in bone health by promoting osteotrophic activity in the bones. It has also established role in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease patients by limiting neuronal damage in the brain.
Wonderful! Humble parsley has just 36 calories/100 g, but their phyto-nutrients profile is no less than any high-calorie food sources.
This unique herb provides:
38% of folates,
220% of vitamin C,
281% of vitamin A,
1366% of vitamin K,
14% of calcium,
77.5% of iron and
5561 mcg of zeaxanthin.
5054 mcg of carotene-beta
(Note: the values are in % of RDA per 100 g (RDA-Recommended daily allowance)
Its leaves, stems and roots of this herb plant have antiseptic and carminative properties.
Eugenol also has been found to reduce blood sugar levels in diabetics; however, further detailed studies required to establish its role.
The extraction from the herb has been found to have diuretic effects.
Parsley should not be consumed in large amounts or as a drug or supplement by pregnant women. The essential oil in its root, leaf, or seed could lead to uterine stimulation, bleeding and preterm labor.
This herbal plant is very high in oxalic acid, 1.70 mg per 100 g. Prolong consumption of oxalate rich foods may results in gouty arthritis, kidney stones and mineral-nutrient deficiencies.
Parsley oil contains furanocoumarins and psoralens, which may lead to extreme photosensitivity if used orally.
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