Before starting off this week’s post, let’s welcome back Quinoa Taboule to the Grab & Go section at Revitalive! Quinoa Taboule is our gluten-free version of the traditional Middle Eastern salad, with red quinoa instead of bulgur wheat, and with a wonderful mix of tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, lemon, and – you guessed it – parsley.
Parsley originated in the Mediterranean region of Europe (likely in Greece and/or Italy) and has a history one would not expect from such a flavorful, popular, and healthy food. Ancient Greeks used parsley, but not for food; they associated it with death, believing it sprang from the blood of the god Archemorus, “the forerunner of death.” They used it to decorate tombs and as crowns for the victors at funeral games (which celebrated the lives of those who had recently passed).
Contradictorily, Hippocrates of ancient Greek times may have been one of the first people to use parsley as medicine. Since that time, parsley has been used for digestive and urinary tract problems, for rheumatoid arthritis, to build blood, to bring on a late menstrual cycle, to reverse baldness, and as a poison antidote. An interesting mix of treatment options!
It may not have been until Charlemagne’s time in the Early Middle Ages that parsley became popular as a seasoning, and Catherine de Medici is said to have introduced it to France in the Late Middle Ages.
Now, parsley is one of the most popular herbs in the world. It is often used to garnish dishes, but like in taboule, it can also be used as a main ingredient. Parsley is super high in vitamin K, which is important for bone health, has three times the amount of vitamin C as oranges, and has double the iron of spinach. It is also a good source of vitamin A and folic acid.
Beyond vitamins, parsley has flavonoids with antioxidant effects, and its oils may help prevent cancer and protect against chemotherapy’s side effects.
The potential benefits of eating parsley include:
• Improving digestion
• Stimulating the appetite
• Relieving symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis
• Promoting urination
• Bringing on a late menstrual cycle
• Freshening breath (by chewing the fresh leaves)
• Reducing gas and bloating (by chewing the seeds)
• Preventing cancer
• Protecting against the toxic effects of chemotherapy
Parsley can be found in the following salads and juices at Revitalive:
• Lean Green juice
• Spicy Green juice
• Kale Caesar salad
• Quinoa Taboule
The ancient Greeks sure knew a lot, but we’re happy that their superstitions about parsley are not true. Come in to try one of these salads or juices to find out what they were missing!
Parsley-Lemon Photo: http://spoonwithme.com/2012/08/13/fresh-summer-tomato-pasta-with-lemon-garlic-and-capers/
Dr. Weil: http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/REM00044/Parsley-Dr-Weils-Herbal-Remedies.html
West Virginia University: http://www.wvu.edu/~agexten/hortcult/herbs/parsley.htm
World’s Healthiest Foods: http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=100
World’s Healthiest Foods: http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=nutrient&dbid=112