Ubiquitous as parsley is, it may surprise you to learn that this frilly green garnish on your entrée is also a nutritional star. In fact, parsley is packed with beneficial nutrients. It is an excellent source of vitamin K and vitamin C as well as a good source of vitamin A, folic acid – one of the most important B vitamins – and iron.*
Native to the Mediterranean region of Southern Europe, parsley has been cultivated for more than 2,000 years and was used medicinally prior to being consumed as a food. The two most popular types are curly parsley and Italian flat leaf parsley. The Italian variety has a more fragrant, less bitter taste than its curly cousin. Although one might think that using parsley as a garnish is a modern practice, its use in this way can be traced far back to the ancient Romans.
So, next time you find that pretty decoration gracing your plate, appreciate its true worth and partake of its abilities to improve your health. And, as an added bonus, you’ll also enjoy parsley’s legendary ability to cleanse your palate and freshen your breath at the end of your meal.
*The World’s Healthiest Foods (www.whfoods.org)