We often think of seasonal vegetables but what about seasonal herbs?
Parsley is in season and it is packed with much more nutrition than meets the eye.
To break it down, just one cup of fresh Parsley leaves contains significant amounts of vitamins and minerals including:
✅ Vitamin K 984mg (~1406% RDI) for bone health
✅ Vitamin C 80mg (178% RDI) for immune boosting
✅ Vitamin A 5055 IU (~562% RDI) for eye health
✅ Iron 4mg (~50% RDI) for energy & oxygen transport
✅ Folate 91 mcg (~23% RDI) for cell growth & DNA
✅ Also 2 grams each of fibre and protein, 332 mg potassium (9% RDI), 83 mg calcium (~8% RDI), 30mg magnesium (~8% RDI), 1mg zinc (7% RDI).
And even though parsley is what we call “nutrient dense” meaning heaps of nutrition per gram of the food, it is low in energy at (22 calories/92kJ per cup of fresh leaves) whilst containing zero fat or cholesterol.
Parsley also contains powerful phytonutrients (plant compounds) including flavonoids and volatile oil compounds (phenlypropenes such as myristicin ). These plant compounds in parsley coupled with its high levels of vitamin C, K, A and folate make it helpful in protecting against cancer, supporting the immune system, reducing inflammation and rheumatoid arthritis and improving heart health!! 💚💚💚
So that’s the science, but you can’t eat science…
Parsley has a wonderful aromatic flavour, which tastes best when fresh as opposed to dried. Whether flat leaf or curly, think of it as more than just a pretty garnish that’s pushed to the side of your plate.
To make the most of this healthy herb try using parsley as the basis to make pesto, tabouli, crumbs/rubs, in soups and sauces such as salsa verde or chimichurri, in pilafs and couscous, as a stuffing and in salads
I recommend heading to your local store, market (or garden if you grow it) and grabbing a bunch or two today!
*RDI stands for recommended daily intake to meet the needs of 97% of the population. These RDI’s are based on a adult male aged 19-30 years old. Females and different age groups make differ slightly in their RDI for nutrients . If you’re curious about yours check out the NRV’s at www.nrv.gov.au
Nutrition post brought to by plant-based/vegan Dietitian Amber Sewell-Green
- Craig W. Health-promoting properties of common herbs. Am J Clin Nutr. 1999;70(3):491s-499s.
- Zheng GQ, Kenney PM, Lam LKT. Myristicin: a potential cancer chemopreventive agent from parsley leaf oil. J Agric Food Chem 1992;40:107–10.
- Hirano R, Sasamoto W, Matsumoto A et al. Antioxidant ability of various flavonoids against DPPH radicals and LDL oxidation. J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo). 2001 Oct;47(5):357-62. 2001.
- Pattison DJ, Silman AJ, Goodson NJ, Lunt M, Bunn D, Luben R, Welch A, Bingham S, Khaw KT, Day N, Symmons DP. Vitamin C and the risk of developing inflammatory polyarthritis: prospective nested case-control study. Ann Rheum Dis. 2004 Jul;63(7):843-7. 2004. PMID:15194581.
- Nutrients | Nutrient Reference Values [Internet]. Nrv.gov.au. 2017 [cited 29 August 2017]. Available from: https://www.nrv.gov.au/nutrients