Parsley is native to the Mediterranean region of Southern Europe.
While it has been cultivated for more than 2,000 years, parsley was used medicinally prior to being consumed as a food. Even when eaten in small amounts, there are numerous parsley health benefits because it’s packed with beneficial nutrients, essential oils and antioxidants — to the point that it’s often called a superfood.
The impressive health benefits of parsley come via its active ingredients, which include phenolic compounds, antioxidant flavonoids, essential oils like myristicin and apiol, and various nutrients like vitamins K, C and A.
12 Science Informed Reasons to Include Parsley in Your Dog’s Diet:
- May Help to Slow the Ageing Process – by fighting free radical damage, or oxidative stress, along with inflammation within the body. (6, 14, 15)
- Provides Beneficial Essential Oils that May Fight Cancer – Parsley contains unique elements in its oil known as volatile oil components — myristicin, limonene, eugenol and alpha-thujene that help fight cancer formation, in particular slowing tumour growth, neutralizing oxidative stress and fighting off carcinogens. Parsley was one of the top four herbs revealed to have the highest inhibitory effects on cancer-inducing inflammatory compounds. (7, 8, 16)
- Acts as Natural Diuretic and Helps to Relieve Bloating – Parsley benefits digestive health because it helps stimulate kidney production of urine and draws excess water out of the abdomen reducing bloating. (9, 17)
- May Help Fight Kidney Stones, Urinary Tract Infections and Gallbladder Infections – Parsley is used for inflammation of the kidneys and bladder, gravel, stones, and urine retention. (10, 11, 18)
- Supports Improved Digestion – can help increase bile production and beneficial gastric juices that are needed for proper enzyme functions involved in food and nutrient absorption. (12)
- Has Antibacterial and Antifungal Properties – Parsley oil has been shown to provide anti-bacterial and anti-fungal benefits against pathogens. (19, 20)
- Helps Reduce Bad Breath – Parsley is a natural breath freshener because it kills the bacteria in the mouth that cause odours. (13, 21)
- Good Source of Bone-Protecting Vitamin K – Parsley provides high levels of vitamin K, an essential nutrient for maintaining bone density, fighting bone breaks and fractures. It works together with the other bone-building nutrients including calcium, phosphorus, vitamin D and magnesium. (22, 23)
- Contains Immune-Boosting Vitamin C – Parsley has been shown to exhibit powerful immunomodulatory effects. (24, 25)
- Helps Protect Eye and Skin Health by Providing Vitamin A – Vitamin A is essential for many physiological processes, including maintaining the integrity and function of all surface tissues (epithelia): for example, the skin, the lining of the respiratory tract, the gut, the bladder, the inner ear and the eye. (26)
- Provides Folate That Is Needed for Heart Health – Parsley has been shown to be beneficial in reducing numerous cardiovascular conditions. (27, 28)
- Helps Balance Hormones – compounds found in Parsley may help address hormone imbalances. (29, 30)