A Nutritionist based in Abuja, Mr Paul Okoh, has listed the immense benefits of parsley leaf in the treatment of arthritis, cancer prevention and other ailments.
According to Wikipedia, parsley or garden parsley is a species of flowering plant in the family Apiaceae that is native to the central Mediterranean region, but has naturalized elsewhere in Europe, and is widely cultivated as a herb, a spice, and a vegetable.
Okoh made the disclosure in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Wednesday, on the sidelines of the ongoing annual National Health Dialogue, organised by Premium Times, an online paper, Project for Advocacy in Child and Family Health (PACFH), Project Pink Blue and the Nigerian Governor’s Forum (NGF).
The nutritionist said that the plant has a variety of applications for medicinal benefits and is packed with vitamins and minerals that makes it valuable for health, adding that a person suffering from chronic aches or pains, particularly those related to arthritis could get immense relief from parsley.
According to him, the herb contains a significant level of antioxidants like beta-carotene, vitamin C, and many others that could help combat pain, inflammation and other symptoms associated with arthritis.
He further explained that the diuretic properties of parsley could also speed the evacuation of uric acid, which could cause pain if allowed to deposit within the joints.
“It only takes one teaspoon of parsley mixed with one cup of boiling water to create an effective treatment for pain”, Okoh said, adding that the plant’s antioxidant compounds could also be effective in the fight against cancer.
“The antioxidants help to protect the body’s cells from damage, whether it is caused by the environment or harmful substances.
“This allows the cells to survive and divide correctly, as opposed to flaw replication that might occur with damaged cells, ultimately leading to cancer.”
He noted that the antioxidants could also prevent the growth of cancer cells by limiting their ability to replicate and preventing them from migrating throughout the body
Okoh disclosed that folate, a “B” vitamin, is also found in parsley.
According to him, it has proven to be a great contributor to heart health because it protects blood vessels.
Furthermore, he stated, the leaf reduces the risk of heart attack because it convert homocysteine, a potentially dangerous compound, into other forms that are harmless.
He stressed that the herb provides an abundance of potassium, another heart helping mineral.
“Potassium strengthens the blood vessels by making sure that they stay flexible and stretchable, so that blood may pass more easily through them.
“This reduces the chances of blood clot, which can lead to heart attack or stroke.”
He said that the herb is rich in vitamins A, C and K, which all contribute to immune health.
“vitamin A directly empowers white blood cells, while other anti-bacterial factors of the plant prevent the development of infection.”
The nutritionist said that a number of components of the immune system rely on the vitamin C found in parsley and other sources to function efficiently, saying the herb also looks promising for people with diabetes and for the control of diabetic complications.
He indicated that myricetin, a nutrient that occurs naturally, could decrease the odds of developing type two diabetes.
“Parsley could provide this nutrient.
“Additionally, another natural compound called flavonol has been inversely related to diabetes, those who regularly consume flavonol, also commonly found in parsley, are less likely to have diabetes.”
The nutritionist said that the fiber content of the plant helps the body’s digestive system to work more effectively, thereby helping to flush waste and various toxins from the body system.