7 Benefits of Parsley for Hair, Skin, Eyes and Digestion
Parsley is a superfood well worth eating a lot more of, particularly if you’d like to live longer and lower your risk of serious diseases.
If you’re young and care more about your appearance, parsley can help here too, with powerful nutrients for better skin, preventing acne and encouraging healthy hair growth.
Parsley is also a natural digestive aid, detoxifier and internal cleanser, immune booster and can even make you smell better.
Here are 7 beneficial effects of parsley to show just how good it is for you and why you should have it in your meals more often.
1. Aids Digestion
Parsley stimulates appetite and improves digestive processes within your body. It’s full of enzymes that aid in the proper breakdown of food during digestion.
It’s also rich in a variety of different vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that assist in the absorption and proper utilization of the food you eat.
Compounds in parsley cleanse and detoxify the kidneys, liver and bladder. The herb is also a natural diuretic to relieve water retention and bloating.
Parsley tea is a popular natural remedy for an upset stomach and indigestion. To make it steep a teaspoon of fresh or dried leaves in a cup of boiling water, cover for 15 minutes and then drink slowly.
2. Improves Your Breath and the Way You Smell
Eating parsley helps reduce body odor and flatulence problems by detoxifying your body from the inside with its chlorophyll and potent volatile oils.
And, as many people know, it’s also an excellent breath freshener, able to neutralize even the strongest cases of bad breath. It’s particularly effective for odors caused by garlic, onions or other high sulfur foods.
If you ever need to freshen your breath after a meal at a restaurant, ask for extra parsley. It is a great natural cure for halitosis.
3. Parsley Benefits Your Skin
Fresh parsley is a simple and nutritious food to add to a variety of meals such as salads, soups, pesto, pasta and rice dishes, stir fries and sandwiches.
Eating it is also a great way to get many of the important nutrients for healthy skin and hair into your diet.
Parsley is rich in vitamin C which is needed for collagen production, clearing up blemishes and maintaining good skin tone.
High levels of vitamin K in this herb can also help improve skin’s elasticity and appearance, as well as speeding up wound healing and reducing redness.
Beta-carotene in parsley can be converted to vitamin A for skin maintenance and repair (a dry and flaky forehead and cheeks are a common symptom of mild vitamin A deficiency).
Beta-carotene also acts as a powerful antioxidant to protect your skin cells from free radical damage.
Eating parsley is a great way to get more minerals into your diet too. There are good levels of calcium, potassium, manganese and iron in parsley. Its copper and zinc content are especially relevant for maintaining healthy skin and alleviating blemishes.
If you have a good juicer then juicing parsley would be a very effective way to get a concentrated amount of all of its minerals, vitamins and other beneficial compounds into your body.
While eating it provides the nutrition for healthy skin internally, this homemade parsley face mask is a quick and effective natural remedy to reduce dark spots, discolored skin and acne problems.
4. Prevents Acne and Reduces Skin Redness
Having parsley in your meals regularly can help balance out excessive sebum secretions in oily or inflamed skin. The volatile oils in it can also have an antibacterial effect on pores, potentially leading to less acne outbreaks.
Parsley’s high levels of vitamin C provides antioxidant protection for skin cells. This can reduce the irritations that can lead to pimples.
Vitamin C is also known to speed up skin healing, so will help reduce the time it takes for blemishes to clear.
The zinc found in parsley is well known for its beneficial effects on acne. Zinc is involved in inflammation control, wound healing and skin cell maintenance and regeneration.
A lot of people with acne problems report positive results when they add more zinc rich foods to their diet.
This powerful green herb is also one of the best food sources of vitamin K. This nutrient speeds up skin healing, reduces redness and may help diminish acne blemishes. It is also involved in regulating the body’s inflammatory response.
Some people have success with topical vitamin K treatments for reducing skin redness and clearing up acne scars.
Getting good amounts of this vital, yet hard to get nutrient internally, by eating greens like parsley regularly, could be just as important for maintaining healthy skin.
The volatile oils in parsley, eugenol in particular, also have antibacterial and antifungal properties and can help to disinfect pores, fight infections and prevent acne as well.
5. Parsley for Hair Growth
Parsley has been traditionally used as a hair tonic in an infusion massaged directly into the scalp to stimulate hair growth.
It is also said to help promote hair color (due to its high copper content) and shine, both when used topically and in large amounts in the diet.
On a more scientific note, researchers have recently found that the antioxidant flavonoid apigenin in the herb stimulates hair growth through the down regulation of the TGF-beta1 gene.
Hair growth is closely linked to the level of overall nutrition you get into your diet on a regular basis.
Being such a nutritious food, parsley addresses a number of deficiencies that can lead to hair loss and weak or lackluster hair in general.
It’s also very important for both your hair and your skin to make sure you’re are getting enough essential fatty acids. Black currant seed oil with it’s high levels of gamma linoleic acid and omega-3s is a great choice here.
6. Antioxidants for Eye Health
Parsley contains a variety of beneficial flavonoids with antioxidant properties, including quercetin, luteolin, apigenin and chrysoeriol.
It’s also a good source of the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin for healthy vision and protection against eye diseases like age related macular degeneration and cataracts.
7. Anti-Inflammatory Volatile Oils
Volatile oils are potent compounds that have bioactive effects even in very small doses. Parsley’s volatile oils include myristicin, eugenol, limonene and alpha-thujene.
Research on myristicin has shown it has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Myristicin may also increase the action of your body’s most important detoxifying antioxidant – glutathione.
Eugenol has been shown to reduce blood sugar levels and has been studied by scientists for a potential role as a diabetes preventative.
It is also a strong anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antimicrobial for controlling bad bacteria in the digestive system and even treat debilitating candida overgrowth.
Parsley oil is a concentrated source of these volatile oils and is often taken with garlic oil for a potent immunity booster.
Eat More Parsley
There are so many parsley benefits it’s surely worth eating more of this herb in your diet. Or make up parsley juice and smoothies for an even more potent way to enjoy it.
While fresh parsley is best, dried parsley flakes, like this great value bestseller, are healthy and handy to add to many meals, especially Italian dishes. They can also be used to make parsley tea to relieve water retention and bloating.
Superfood supplements are another convenient way to get your greens like parsley. JuiceFestiv is a low cost alternative to Juice Plus and has parsley powder as one of the main ingredients.
Photo 1: *FlowerGirl* / Photo 2: hpeguk
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