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Volume III
May 11, 2013

Weekly Home / Cook'n & Eat'n

Hats Off to Parsley

By Alice Osborne

Parsley's original home is the Mediterranean. This pretty plant is the herb of choice for garnishing most entrees-it adds such a nice bit of color to your plate or soup bowl.

But it's so much more than just a garnish-after all, parsley has been around for more than 2000 years, and hats off to parsley because it boasts many time-tested benefits that you should know about:

Parsley is rich in Vitamin C, B 12, K and A. This means parsley keeps your immune system strong, tones your bones and heals the nervous system, too-all important issues when it comes to insulin resistance and diabetes!

It helps flush out excess fluid from the body, thus supporting kidney function. (However, don't overdo its use if you have kidney and gall bladder problems-the herb contains oxalates, which can aggravate existing issues.)

Regular use of parsley can help control your blood pressure. The folic acid in this herb is like a tonic for your heart.

Parsley essential oil, when massaged into the scalp, has been shown to reduce hair loss.

Parsley is a tried-and-true antidote to joint pain. That's because the herb has anti-inflammatory properties.

Parsley tea relaxes stiff muscles and encourages digestion.

Studies indicate that parsley-especially its essential oil-may have a role in inhibiting cancerous tumors. In fact, scientists have billed it a 'chemoprotective' food.

All this said, here are a few ways to use it besides garnishing your freshly grilled steak:

Add it to your green smoothie each morning. A little goes a long way though--it's pungent taste can easily overwhelm your drink.

Add a little to your fresh green salad.

Chop it and add a little to steamed veggies. It looks pretty and boosts your vitamin count appreciably.

Chop it again and add some to your meatloaf or meatball mixture.

Keep chopping-add some to your bread dough along with some dill, rosemary, and thyme.

And chop some more-add 1/2 teaspoon to each compartment of your ice cube trays; fill with water and freeze. These ice cubes lend a wonderful touch to lemon and cucumber water!

It's a pretty border plant-easy to grow-in the flower or vegetable garden also.

Finally, we always knew to chew some found on our dinner plates when dining out-it freshens breath, but there are likely other uses as well.

Do you have other uses? Meanwhile, hats off to parsley, and here's to including more of it in our diets!

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