Parsley is a flowering plant native to the Mediterranean. The two most common types are French curly-leaf and Italian flat-leaf.
1. Contains many important nutrients
- Calories: 11 calories
- Carbs: 2 grams
- Protein: 1 gram
- Fat: less than 1 gram
- Fiber: 1 gram
- Vitamin A: 108% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
- Vitamin C: 53% of the RDI
- Vitamin K: 547% of the RDI
- Folate: 11% of the RDI
- Potassium: 4% of the RDI
2. Rich in antioxidants
The main antioxidants in parsley are Trusted Source, Trusted Source
- vitamin C.
3. Supports bone health
Your bones need certain vitamins and minerals in varying amounts to remain healthy and strong.
4. Contains cancer-fighting substances
Parsley contains plant compounds that may have anticancer effects. Oxidative stress — a condition characterized by an imbalance in levels of antioxidants and free radicals — is associated with the development of certain chronic diseases, including cancer.
5. Rich in nutrients that protect your eyes
Lutein, beta carotene, and zeaxanthin are three carotenoids in parsley that help protect your eyes and promote healthy vision. Carotenoids are pigments found in plants that have powerful antioxidant activity
6. May improve heart health
Parsley is a nutrient-dense herb that may improve heart health. For example, it’s a good source of the B vitamin folate — with 1/2 cup (30 grams) providing 11% of the RDI.
7. Parsley extract has antibacterial properties.
Parsley may have antibacterial benefits when used as an extract.
8. Easy to add to your diet
Here are a few more ways to add parsley to your diet:
- Stir fresh leaves into a homemade chimichurri sauce.
- Mix finely chopped leaves into your salad dressings.
- Sprinkle fresh or dried leaves on top of a salmon dish.
- Finely chop the stems and add to a potato salad for an extra crunch.
- Simmer dried flakes in a homemade tomato sauce.
Parsley can be used as a dried spice or fresh herb. Dried flakes are usually added to hot dishes like soup and pasta, while the fresh herb is a great addition to salads and dressings.