Parsley Health Benefits That Will Surprise You

Parsley is a plant native to the Mediterranean region, belonging to the Apiaceae family of plants, which also grow carrots, celery and cumin. The ingredient is used either as an oil or herb for hundreds of years in ancient medicine systems to detox, promote diuresis and to provide antiseptic as well as anti-inflammatory properties. 

The components of the plant that make it a beneficial ingredient for people seeking good health are: phenolic compounds, carotenoids, antioxidants, ascorbic acid and essential oils. The essential types of parsley are curly-leaf parsley, flat-leaf parsley and Hamburg root parsley that is found rarely in America.

Root parsley is sometimes added in European cuisines to make soups, salads and pasta. Here are some of the benefits of adding this disease-fighting ingredient to the daily diet. 

Antioxidant Properties

Parsley is rich in flavonoid antioxidants, namely beta-carotene and alpha-carotene, luteolin, apigenin and lycopene. They protect the body against oxidative stress that lead to the spread of free radicals in the body and even inflammation. It also aids in building the body’s immunity against chronic diseases. 

Diuretic and Digestion

A study conducted by the American University of Beirut showed some evidence of diuretic properties of parsley, which decreased bloating and water retention. One study on rats showed that quantity of urine had increased post-consuming the herb, after 24 hours. The herb also generates the production of urine in the kidneys, to relieve the abdomen of any discomfort. In this manner, it prevents gastrointestinal problems. 

Vitamins C and K

Parsley is filled with vitamins, especially vitamin K, which is an essential nutrient to bind all the nutrients needed to maintain bone health, such as calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and vitamin D. It also contains ample vitamin C, which aids the healthy gut microbiome, where the immune system is influenced most. This brings down the risk of several diseases such as arthritis, diabetes and colon cancer by lowering inflammation in the body. 

Antibacterial Properties

The herb can help prevent the formation of bacteria that leads to infections, and damages the skin. The leaves of the plant that generate parsley have oil present inside them, so do the roots and seeds, which have antimicrobial properties. For this reason, it is used in various products that help maintain daily hygiene such as soaps and detergents. 

Kidney Health

It helps reduce the risk of kidney stone formation by preventing excess of calcium leaving the body and increases urinary pH. It also helps keep the body’s pH at normal levels by bringing down acidity. 

Root Parsley Different kinds of root vegetables, including turnips, root parsley, beetroot and rutabaga, lie on display at the 2018 International Green Week (Internationale Gruene Woche) agricultural trade fair on January 19, 2018 in Berlin, Germany. Sean Gallup/Getty Images