Parsley is a common herb used in many cuisines around the world. Whether added to a dish or used as a garnish, this wonderful and magical herb adds colour and flavour, as well as offering a boost of healthy alternatives to expensive tablets.
But what's in parsley that has health benefits? Amazingly, parsley is a rich source of vitamin A, B1, B3, C and K, as well as folate, copper, calcium, magnesium, iron, fibre, zinc and potassium.
Parsley also contains nutrients and antioxidants which all help to promote a healthy heart, cleans the blood, improves digestion and freshens the breath; and it is said that parsley may also help to prevent cancer, heart disease and arthritis.
So, including parsley in your diet is simple. Add a few freshly chopped sprigs to a salad, stew or soup, or add a few sprigs to your home-blended juice, sources or dips - such as a freshly made pesto.
If you don’t mind the taste, chew on a fresh sprig after a meal. It'll cleanse your palate after enjoying your dinner. (That’s the reason many better quality restaurants include parsley as a garnish!)
Parsley is also simple to grow, needing only sunlight, a daily dose of water and some liquid fertiliser every few weeks.
Here's how it's done.
Pop over to your local store and purchase a small parsley plant, a larger pot and a bag of potting mix.
Now transplant your new parsley plant into the larger pot. With proper nurturing, and given a few weeks, your plant should look healthy and full.
Maintaining your new plant
Many people cut their parsley sprigs to high up the stem to capture the leafy greens at the top; however, there are many beneficial nutrients in the woody fibrous stems as well.
While the plant is sending growing energy to the long cut stem, (which, by the way, will never develop a leafy top), it's depleting the new fronds from vital nutrients which slows their development and the growth of the whole plant in general.
It's much better to cut the sprigs close to the base of the plant, but be careful not to nick the new fronds with the point of the sharp scissors.
Until next time
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