#HealthBytes: Surprising health benefits of parsley
Parsley is a popular culinary herb that has a mild, bitter taste and is used to flavor soups, salads, and meat dishes. Not just in cooking but parsley leaves are effective at warding off illnesses and are regularly used in preparing medical concoctions and to treat allergies and inflammatory diseases. This article lists out the most important benefits of including parsley in your diet.
The body requires antioxidants to prevent the damage caused by free radicals at the cellular level. Parsley is a powerhouse of flavonoids, carotenoids, and vitamin C, all of which are crucial to prevent life-altering diseases. To make the most of parsley, add the dried herb to your recipes as it is known to have up to 17 times more antioxidant content than fresh leaves.
Our bones require several vitamins and minerals to keep them strong and to prevent bone diseases. Parsley is a rich source of vitamin K — an essential nutrient that supports bone-building cells. A lower bone mineral density increases the risk of fractures. However, studies prove that diets with a higher vitamin K intake can reduce bone fractures by up to 22%
Parsley contains carotenoids like lutein, beta carotene, and zeaxanthin that have powerful antioxidant activity and prevent eye infections. Lutein and zeaxanthin are known to reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration, a condition responsible for blindness, by up to 26%. Out body converts beta carotene into vitamin A, which is essential for eye health and protects the cornea and the conjunctiva of the eye.
Elevated blood sugar levels are often a result of an unhealthy diet or a sedentary lifestyle. This can often lead to health complications like diabetes, heart disease, and high cholesterol. Laboratory studies on rats suggest that parsley extracts help reduce blood sugar levels and lead to improvements in pancreatic functioning. However, human studies regarding this aspect are in their nascent stage.