Parsley makes great for healing and nutritious food. Most people do not realize these qualities and believe that the plant is mainly used as a decorative garnish. Keep reading and learn about the benefits and qualities of parsley.
The two most popular types of parsley are curly parsley and Italian flat leafed parsley. The Italian variety has a more fragrant and less bitter taste than the curly. There is also another type of parsley known as turnip rooted (or Hamburg variety) that is cultivated because of its roots, known as burdock root. Parsley belongs to the Apiaceae family.
The origin of parsley stems from the Mediterranean region of southern Europe. It has been cultivated since more than 2, 000 years ago, but parsley was used more as a medicine than as food. The ancient Greeks considered parsley sacred and used it not only to decorate the winners of athletic contests, but also for decorating the tombs of the deceased. The practice of using parsley as a garnish actually has a long history that goes back to the ancient Roman civilization.
People began to eat parsley to add flavor at some time during the Middle Ages in Europe.
In some countries, the curly variety is more popular. This goes back to the ancient preference for this type because people likened the flat leafed parsley to a poisonous weed at first sight.
Whenever possible, it is good to choose fresh parsley over it’s dried form, as it has a better taste. You may choose fresh parsley, which is deep green in color and looks fresh and crisp. Wilted and yellowed ones should be avoided as much as possible. Fresh parsley should be kept in the refrigerator in a plastic bag.
The flat leafed parsley can be stored frozen as well as dry. Before drying, remove the yellow, withered and decayed leaves. Then rinse well under cold running water. Parsley sprigs are formed, which hang to dry in a dry ventilated area. Drying of parsley in the sun or under direct sunlight is not recommended because under the action of sunlight it is crushed and loses color. Once dried, it should be stored in a tightly closed container in a cool, dark, dry place. Well dried parsley must be break into small pieces, when squeezed gently.
Curly parsley is better stored by freezing rather than drying. For this purpose, the parsley is washed well, chopped finely, and placed in freezer bags that are stored frozen. During the first two hours, take out the bags several times and shake, so they do not stick. Chopped parsley can be stored in an ice cream box in the freezer.
Composition of parsley
Parsley is one of the few foods that contain measurable amounts of oxalates, it is a naturally occurring substance in plants, animals and humans. When oxalates become too concentrated in body fluids, they can crystallize and cause health problems. For this reason, people with already existing and untreated kidney or gallbladder issues should avoid consumption of parsley.
The oil components included in parsley are myristicin, limonene, alpha- teugen and eugenol. In parsley, there are apiin flavonoids, apigenin, luteolin and crisoeriol. It is these two types of unusual components /oils and flavonoids/ contained in parsley, which provide unique health benefits.
Benefits of parsley
The oils in parsley are shown that inhibits tumor and, in particular, tumor formation in the lungs.
Flavonoids contained in parsley have been shown to function as antioxidants that combine with highly reactive oxygen-containing molecules (called oxygen radicals) and help prevent oxygen-based damage to cells.
Parsley is a good source of folic acid, which is one of the most important in vitamins. Although it plays many roles in the body, one of its most important roles is to prevent cardiovascular diseases. Hence the need for its participation in the process through which the body converts homocysteine into benign molecules.
Parsley is very useful in the treatment of various eye diseases. Inflammation of the cornea, cataract, conjunctivitis, ophthalmia in different forms are treated with fresh parsley juice mixed with the juices of celery and chicory.
Foods rich in vitamin C, such as parsley, provide people with protection against inflammatory polyarthritis, a form of rheumatoid arthritis involving two or more joints.
Parsley is recommended for women with abnormal menstruation.See more