Parsley is extremely low in calories and high in nutrients, including vitamins A, C, B-9, K and iron. Parsley is a also rich source of cancer-fighting antioxidants and can be included in a sensible weight loss diet as a garnish or a nutrient-dense ingredient in recipes. However, adding parsley to your daily food intake does not ensure you will lose weight.
You can obtain a lot of nutrients by adding 1/2 cup of fresh parsley to a green smoothie or salad. Cook it into stews, soups, pasta dishes and mashed potatoes, or use it in place of basil in pesto. The same amount of parsley provides from 10 to over 53 percent of your daily intake of iron, vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin B-9 and over 400 percent of your daily vitamin K. There are only 11 calories in 1/2 cup of fresh parsley, so it's a low-calorie, nutrient-dense option when you're trying to lose weight.
If you're taking an anti-clotting medication, check with your doctor before adding parsley to your diet because the high vitamin K content of parsley can interfere with the effects of the drug.
- U.S. Department of Agriculture National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference: Parsley, Fresh
- National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements: Vitamin A
- Oregon State University, Linus Pauling Institute: Vitamin C
- National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements: Folate
- Oregon State University, Linus Pauling Institute: Vitamin K
- National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements: Iron
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Quercetin
- The Herb Garden Cookbook: The Complete Gardening and Gourmet Guide, Second Edition; Lucinda Hutson