Although parsley is often used to garnish foods or provide an element of color on a plate, it's actually a very potent health food. Parsley is rich in vitamin C, iron, folate, potassium, calcium and vitamin A. Parsley may also contain cancer-fighting properties including polyacetylenes, coumarins, flavonoids and monoterpenes. If you need to include more iron in your diet, there are several ways of incorporating parsley into your daily eating habits.
How to Incorporate More Parsley into Your Diet
Begin your day with a green smoothie. To make a green smoothie, combine 1 or 2 cups of parsley in a blender with fruit of your choice. The blending process breaks down the parsley, which allows your body to more easily digest and assimilate the nutrients. According to Victoria Boutenko, author of Green For Life, in order for the human body to acquire the nutrients within a plant cell, the cell walls in the plant cells need to be ruptured. The walls are strong, and therefore require an individual to chew the food thoroughly to the point where it is creamy, or the cell walls may be broken down by blending the food.
Add parsley to salads or create a parsley salad. Raw parsley contains 21 percent of the daily recommended value of iron per cup. To create a parsley salad, chop sprigs of parsley into smaller sections. Add salad vegetables and a dressing of your choice. For a healthy choice, lemon juice or olive oil complement a parsley salad well.
Juice raw parsley and drink alone or combine with other vegetable or fruit juices. Juicing is beneficial because it removes the fiber from the plant. The human body can then absorb even more nutrients from the freshly juiced foods. Juicing foods also concentrates the nutrients and allows you to consume more than you normally would if the food was in its solid form. Juicing 5 cups of parsley a day would give you 100 percent of the recommended daily intake of iron.
Use dried parsley to flavor pasta dishes, salads, casseroles, soups and pizzas. It may be hard to use enough dried parsley throughout the day to have it effectively serve as your only source of iron. However, adding small amounts throughout the day will help increase your iron consumption.
It may be difficult to eat enough parsley for it to effectively serve as an iron supplement. Juicing parsley and drinking a large glass of parsley juice will be your best option for consuming a large amount of iron solely from parsley. Following a balanced, healthy diet that contains additional sources of iron will help replace an iron supplement.
Consult your doctor before choosing to discontinue use of a recommended supplement.