Enjoying the benefits of parsley
Most people know parsley as those little springs of green often used to dress up food at the finer restaurants. Did you know, however, that parsley has many health benefits?
Parsley actually has a delicious and unique taste, so the next time you see it why not try eating this colorful dinner plate decoration? Parsley is actually quite nutritious and quite good tasting, and parsley can generally be found year round in the local supermarket.
Parsley is much more than a garnish
Parsley is actually the most popular herb in the world, and it is genetically related to celery. It is a perennial plant, and it is able to regenerate in the garden year after year on only one planting. Parsley is quite easy to grow in the home garden, and many healthy eaters find that growing their own parsley is a good alternative to buying it in the grocery store.
A spring of parsley contains much more than just good looks on the plate. Parsley actually contains two unusual compounds that can provide some unique health benefits. The first of these compounds are volatile oil compounds, such as myisticin, limonene, alpha diujene and eugenol. The other set of compounds are the flavonoids, including such vital elements as apjin, apigenin, crisoeriol and luteolin.
Volatile oils in parsley
The volatile oils contained in a spring of parsley, myisticin in particular, is believed to help inhibit the growth of tumors in animals, and it is thought the same may be true of humans. Myisticin has shown particular promise at inhibiting the growth of tumors in the lungs.
The volatile oils in parsley are also thought to provide protection against pollutants in the environment, such as pollution from cars and secondhand cigarette smoke.
Unfortunately all too few people fully appreciate the nutritional value of parsley as a food, and they look upon it purely as a decorative item. In addition to being made into a healthy treat in salads and other foods, parsley can even be put into a juicer for a healthy and delicious snack.
Types of parsley
Parsley comes in two basic varieties – curly parsley and Italian flat leaf parsley. The Italian form of parsley features a more intense aroma and a less bitter taste than the curly type. In addition to these two common varieties, there is a third form of parsley that is lesser known. That third type is also called turnip rooted parsley, and it is grown for its roots.
When buying parsley, whether the flat leaf, curly or turnip rooted variety, it is important to choose the freshest parsley you can find. Most supermarkets and grocery stores have at least one variety of parsley available year round, so it should not be difficult to find, no matter what part of the country you call home.
A great alternative to store bought parsley, of course, is to grow your own. Parsley is one of the most popular herbs for the home garden, and it is generally quite easy to grow in most parts of the country. Growing your own parsley has many advantages, so you may want to give it a try.