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Parsley Blog

Revitalive’s Pick of the Week: Parsley

Parsley Blog
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!

Kale Caesar Salad

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Parsley-Lemon Photo: http://spoonwithme.com/2012/08/13/fresh-summer-tomato-pasta-with-lemon-garlic-and-capers/

References:
Dr. Weil: http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/REM00044/Parsley-Dr-Weils-Herbal-Remedies.html
VeraVeg.org: http://www.veraveg.org/Veg%20History/Veg%20History%20Italian%20Parsley.html
WebMD: http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-792-PARSLEY.aspx?activeIngredientId=792&activeIngredientName=PARSLEY
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

flax seeds

Revitalive’s Pick of the Week: Flax Seeds!

flax seeds
At Revitalive Café, we offer a delicious menu of smoothies, which are made fresh when ordered. You may have tried our Berry Bliss smoothie, the classic Evergreen, or our rich Maca Mocha. But we also have a variety of options of smoothie boosters to give an extra kick of protein, flavor, antioxidants, energy, omega 3’s…you name it! Flax seeds, one of our smoothie boosters, provide several of these benefits.

Flax seeds have a unique and powerful combination of omega-3 fatty acids, lignans, and fiber. They are also a great source of protein! By themselves, these nutrients have a number of health benefits, and acting together, they are capable of even more. Lignans, the lesser known of these, have antioxidant effects, and flax seeds are the best source of them in human diets. Flax seeds have seven times the amount of lignans as sesame seeds and over 300 times the amount as in sunflower seeds!

Flax seeds are also one of the best food sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which may help reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, and autoimmune diseases.

The fiber in flax seeds is a combination of both insoluble fiber and soluble fiber, which work together to keep things moving in the digestive system, not too fast and not too slow. Flax seeds are especially known for their soluble fiber content, called mucilage. Mucilage can improve the body’s absorption of nutrients by forming a gel that slows down the rate that food travels from the stomach to the small intestine.

Together, the nutrients in flax seeds may have the following benefits:
• Reducing inflammation
• Protecting against cancer, especially breast, prostate, and colon cancers
• Improving cholesterol ratio
• Regulating digestion
• Lowering blood pressure
• Preventing of heart attacks
• Increasing absorption of nutrients

If you buy whole flax seeds, it is best to grind them before using them; if swallowed whole, they will go undigested through the digestive tract, preventing you from gaining any of their wonderful benefits.

Next time you’re getting a smoothie at Revitalive this summer, try out flax seeds as a booster or try one of our many other nutritious options!

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Photo: http://naturalremediespocketguide.com/8-tips-balancing-cholesterol-levels-without-drugs/

References
SFGate: http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/benefits-ground-flaxseed-smoothies-5332.html
University of Maryland Medical Center: http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/flaxseed
WebMD: http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/benefits-of-flaxseed
World’s Healthiest Foods: http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=81
http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/omega-3/

More Green Juice Please!

At Revitalive in Newburyport

we love our greens so much that we offer 3 different daily green juices, wheatgrass, kale bowls, kale chips and MORE. My favorite green juice has been the Tropical Greens lately.  The sweetness of the pineapple allows us to cram more green into the juice without you really noticing (aside from the color of course).  Anyway, give greens a chance and stop in for some GREEN at our vegan cafe in Newburyport:)

The Daily Kale

We are crazy for kale and other leafy greens for so many reasons! So to encourage more leafy love we have launched The Daily Kale to help you get your greens in fun new ways. While we have always used kale in our juices and smoothies, we wanted to add one more interesting way to eat raw kale in your daily diet. So, cheers to green stuff and we hope to see you soon.