Hats Off to Parsley
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!