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4 ways parsley keeps you healthy

Parsley may look pretty on your plate, but if you simply leave it there, you’ve missed out on one of the best ways to punch up the vitamin C in any meal. Parsley’s packed with vitamins and minerals - beta carotene, folate, and iron, to name a few. Plus, like other tasty greens, it’s brimming with falconoid, powerful plant chemicals that may prevent cancer and fight heart disease.

 

* HOLDS OFF HEART DISEASE - Experts say you might be at a greater risk of dying from heart disease if you don’t eat enough flavonoid, those natural antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables. Flavonoids work, scientists believe, by guarding your arteries against cholesterol build-up and by lowering blood pressure. That makes parsley pretty important, since it’s full of key falconoid like apigenin.

* OUTSMARTS BREAST AND PROSTATE CANCER - Here’s some good news for both women and men. Eating parsley may reduce your risk of hormone-related cancers, like breast and prostate tumors. According to a groundbreaking study from Canada, the falconoid apigenin in parsley appears to work like estrogen and progesterone. Your body uses the weaker apigenin instead of these stronger, built-in hormones, which are known to trigger cancerous growth. Although the experts haven’t said how much of this falconoid will do the trick, munching on some extra apigenin-rich parsley is a smart decision.

In addition, half a cup of parsley has the same vitamin C boost as half a cup of broccoli. While there’s no question vitamin C combats cancer, it’s also proven that cooking destroys the C in food before it can even start protecting you. That’s where parsley comes in. Sprinkle some on your hot dishes right before you eat them and you’ll replace any C that’s been lost in the oven.

* IRONS OUT YOUR IRON DEFICIENCY - Millions of women are iron deficient and don’t even know it. If you’re low on iron, it’s harder to exercise, work, and even do chores around the house. More importantly, chronic iron deficiency can lead to anemia. Just to be on the safe side, add parsley to your diet on a regular basis. A half cup fresh or one tablespoon dried has about 10 percent of your iron daily requirements. Plus, parsley has the C your body needs to absorb that iron.

* CUTS DOWN ON BONE BREAKS - A few sprigs of parsley may keep you walking strong. A new study from three top American universities and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute found that getting at least 100 micrograms of vitamin K a day can cut your risk of hip fracture. Vitamin K is necessary for bones to get the minerals they need to form properly. And since parsley is tops when it comes to K - with over 180 micrograms in just a half cup - it’s a hip idea to have parsley around all the time. Top off your sandwiches with it, dress up your salads with it, or better yet, toss it into simmering stews and sauces. Cooking parsley nearly doubles it vitamin K.

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