4 health benefits of parsley and parsley recipes, from a doctor

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OWhen you think of the term “superfood,” berries and dark leafy greens (think kale, collard greens, and spinach) may come to mind. But if you skip herbs such as parsley — perhaps thinking they’re just a garnish or even consumables in recipes — you’ll be missing out on some *major* benefits for your brain, sanity, energy, and energy. longevity. .

Below, see why Uma Naidoo, MD—a Harvard-trained nutritional psychiatrist, professional chef, nutritional biologist, and national and international bestselling author, It’s your brain on the food– I can’t recommend parsley enough. Plus: a few approved recipes that will boost your intake of this nutritional powerhouse.

Parsley’s Key Nutrients and Their Benefits

1. Luteolin

For starters, Dr. Naidoo calls luteolin the star antioxidant found in parsley, which works wonders for fighting brain fog, mental health imbalances, and more. “Parsley is an excellent source of luteolin, a flavonoid that helps reduce inflammation and the damaging effects of oxidative stress,” she says. “This is particularly important for brain health, as reduced inflammation is associated with fewer symptoms of stress and anxiety, as well as a reduced risk of cognitive decline or neurodegenerative disease with age.”

2. Folate

Similar to other green vegetables, parsley is also high in folate (aka vitamin B9). “Folate is one of my key nutrients for mental fitness because it helps neurotransmitter synthesis and supports the integrity of myelin, the fat that protects neurons and potentiates rapid transmission,” says Dr. Naidoo . She goes on to say that folate deficiencies are associated with symptoms of depression and brain fog — and folate can even help ward off Alzheimer’s disease — so its importance in your diet can’t be understated. to keep your mental health and cognition in top shape. . (For reference, the The RDA for folate is 400 mcg for adultsalthough the recommendation increases to 600 mcg during pregnancy and 500 mcg while breastfeeding.)

3. Fiber

Dr. Naidoo shares that this leafy green grass offers fiber, “which feeds the good bacteria in the gut for a while. healthier microbiome and reduced inflammation.” Again, inflammation wreaks havoc not only on your brain, mind, and mood, but also on your health and well-being on all levels. “Reducing inflammation is key to improving physical health and reducing the risk of a host of other chronic diseases, ranging from asthma and heart disease to arthritis and even cancer,” says the Dr Naidoo.

4. Additional Nutrients in Parsley

While Dr. Naidoo is careful to highlight some of the key parsley nutrients above, there are many more packed into this herb. “Parsley also contains several antioxidants such as apiol, limonene and eugenol; flavonoids such as apigenin glycosides and quercetin; carotenoids, ascorbic acid, tocopherol, tannins, sterols, vitamins A, C and K, potassium, calcium and magnesium,” she adds. Talk about small and mighty!

“As a source of key micronutrients for neurological health, parsley may help improve mental fitness, brain health, energy levels, and overall cognition,” says Dr. Naidoo. In short, you’ll be doing your brain and body a favor by buying this versatile weed at your local farmers market or your next grocery store, or even growing it in your own backyard. From there, get creative with some of the recipes below where parsley takes center stage.

But first, some info on preparing parsley

If you’re short on time, follow Dr. Naidoo’s advice and chop it over your favorite salad “for a delicious and bright flavor, or add it as a fresh garnish to count in the number of different colors and vegetables. which add biodiversity to intestinal health.Might as well mix into your smoothies if you have some on hand as well.

And while Dr. Naidoo prefers parsley in its fresh, natural state, she says dried parsley “still provides brain-healthy antioxidants and amazing flavor to foods,” so you’ll also want to keep a jar stocked in your pantry. With that, she offers an important chef’s tip: “Use half the amount of dried parsley versus fresh parsley in recipes, as the dried herb is more concentrated.”

All things considered, you really can’t go wrong with this high performing weed.

3 Parsley Recipes to Boost Brain and Mental Health

1. Parsley pesto

health benefits of parsley
Photo: The Latest Food Blog

One of the easiest ways to get more parsley in your diet is to make a sauce from a big old bunch, a la this parsley pesto recipe by The latest food blog. The recipe developer suggests opting for flat-leaf (rather than curly) parsley for a stronger flavor profile, as well as toasting your pine nuts beforehand to add a warm, toasty taste. Add pecorino or Parmesan cheese, EVOO, garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper, and voila – you have a delicious and nutritious spread to mix into pasta, spoon over eggs or spread on toast.

Get the recipe: Parsley pesto

2. Green Chimichurri

health benefits of parsley
Photo: The forked spoon

Native to Argentina and Uruguay, chimichurri is a delicious marinade sauce usually made with chopped fresh parsley, garlic, red wine vinegar, oregano and olive oil. This chimichurri recipe by The forked spoon aims to stay as close to its cultural roots as possible and also includes red chili peppers (fresh or flaked) for a little extra heat, although this is completely optional if you have a mild palate. “You can use this marinade on your favorite grass-fed steak, grilled tofu, or my favorite: cauliflower steak,” shares Dr. Naidoo.

Get the recipe: green chimichurri

3. Tabbouleh

health benefits of parsley
Photo: Cookie and Kate

Parsley is the main leaf in tabbouleh (aka tabbouleh), a Middle Eastern salad made with bulgur, cucumbers, tomatoes, lemon juice and olive oil. In this tabbouleh recipe by Cookie and Kateshe recommends opting for curly parsley for more volume and also includes mint, scallion and garlic as optional blends.

Get the recipe: tabbouleh

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Richard V. Johnson