Although you may use garlic and parsley when cooking to increase flavor, you probably don’t realize that both herbs offer a ton of health benefits. They are full of many different minerals and vitamins that offer significant health benefits as listed below!
Vitamins and Minerals
Both garlic and parsley contain a ton of vitamin C, which you use to produce to keep your connective tissue in good condition. They both also contain potassium, important for healthy kidneys, and regulating blood pressure.
Garlic cloves contain several natural phytonutrients, including one called alliin that converts to alicin when cloves are crushed. Alicin has antibiotic activity, according to experts at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, and also may help keep your blood level of low-density lipoprotein, or bad cholesterol, in a healthy range by suppressing an enzyme called HMG-CoA reductase in your liver that helps manufacture cholesterol. Allicin also inhibits aggregation of blood elements called platelets that are involved in clot formation and tends to reduce blood pressure by causing muscle in your artery walls to relax, effects that can benefit your circulatory system and lower your risk of stroke.
The leaves and stems of the parsley plant contain several natural compounds belonging to a group called flavonoids that act as antioxidants, helping remove potentially damaging free radicals from your body. Over time, free radicals can raise your risk of chronic conditions such as cancer and heart disease. Parsley is especially rich in a flavonoid called luteolin, which is both an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compound, helping suppress inflammation associated with arthritis and other painful conditions. Laboratory research published in “Molecules” in 2011 found that myristicin, another member of this group found in parsley, inhibits production of several inflammatory compounds by cultured immune cells, but these promising results still need confirmation in studies with human subjects.
Use and Cautions
There are no real adverse side effects of either herb. However, it has been shown that garlic, in excess, can interact negatively with blood thinning medications. Always consult with your physician before beginning any form of supplementation.
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