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Herbs for Health: Parsley

Updated: Apr 1

parsley health benefits polyphenols

Parsley, a vibrant green leafy herby, offers a wealth of culinary and health benefits that make it a valuable addition to any dish. Parsley comes in two types, curly leaf parsley (English or French parsley, dependent on where you come from) and flat leaf parsley, also called Italian parsley. Commonly used in various cuisines worldwide, parsley's fresh and slightly peppery flavour can elevate the taste of salads, soups, sauces, and more.

  • Parsley is rich in health-promoting polyphenols. One of the key polyphenols is apigenin, a flavonoid known for its antioxidant properties. Apigenin helps neutralise free radicals in the body, supporting overall cellular health and potentially reducing the risk of chronic diseases.

"Parsley can be used extensively in salads, mixed with meats for grilled dishes or as a flavouring in sauces"
  • Parsley contains other beneficial polyphenols such as luteolin, another flavonoid with potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Luteolin's actions may contribute to supporting the immune system and reducing inflammation in the body.

  • Parsley is also a good source of chlorogenic acid, a phenolic acid known for its potential benefits in managing blood sugar levels.

  • Additionally, parsley provides essential vitamins, including vitamin C, vitamin A, and vitamin K, along with minerals like calcium, iron, and magnesium, which contribute to its overall nutritional value.

  • In traditional medicine, parsley has been used for its potential diuretic effects, aiding in flushing out excess fluids and toxins from the body. It is also believed to support kidney function and liver function.

As a child I had normally only noticed parsley as a garnish until I tried the intensely flavoured tabbouleh salad or chermoula.
Flat Leaf Italian Parsley
Flat Leaf, or Italian, Parsley

As part of a nutritionally rich, whole health lifestyle, at The Whole Health Practice we advocate enjoying herbs (and spices) as a regular part of one’s diet. While some herbs have shown positive results for specific health outcomes, nutrition science and the interaction of polyphenols from different plant sources is incredibly complex.

Enjoy a healthy eating pattern with a variety of herbs, spices and whole foods that work in synergy to promote maximum health. Think fruits, berries, beans, vegetables, and whole grains; add colour to your dishes wherever possible.


By incorporating parsley into your culinary creations, you not only enhance the taste of your meals but also infuse them with health-boosting polyphenols and vital nutrients. Delight in parsley to promote well-being and enjoy the fresh vibrant flavours it brings to your table.

Stay Healthy,



More than just taste, herbs can bring health and joy to our lives. Read on for our complete collection of articles, recipes and more...


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Related Studies

Liberal Â, Fernandes Â, Polyzos N, Petropoulos SA, Dias MI, Pinela J, Petrović J, Soković M, Ferreira ICFR, Barros L. Bioactive Properties and Phenolic Compound Profiles of Turnip-Rooted, Plain-Leafed and Curly-Leafed Parsley Cultivars. Molecules. 2020 Nov 28;25(23):5606. doi: 10.3390/molecules25235606. PMID: 33260591; PMCID: PMC7730503.

Vázquez-Fresno R, Rosana ARR, Sajed T, Onookome-Okome T, Wishart NA, Wishart DS. Herbs and Spices- Biomarkers of Intake Based on Human Intervention Studies - A Systematic Review. Genes Nutr. 2019 May 22;14:18. doi: 10.1186/s12263-019-0636-8. PMID: 31143299; PMCID: PMC6532192.

Mackonochie M, Rodriguez-Mateos A, Mills S, Rolfe V. A Scoping Review of the Clinical Evidence for the Health Benefits of Culinary Doses of Herbs and Spices for the Prevention and Treatment of Metabolic Syndrome. Nutrients. 2023 Nov 22;15(23):4867. doi: 10.3390/nu15234867. PMID: 38068725; PMCID: PMC10708057.



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