Juicing is a convenient way to add more parsley to your diet than you might normally eat raw. Mixing just a handful of parsley in with your other favorite vegetables creates a glass of juice overflowing with vitamins K, C and A. This combination of nutrients supports your bones, vision and immune system while delivering system-wide antioxidant protection.
Maintain Bone Strength
Parsley is such an excellent source of vitamin K that you’ll get nearly 600 percent of the daily value from a 1-ounce portion, reports the Nutrition Value website. Because the daily value is based on a 2,000-calorie-a-day diet, you may get a little more or less vitamin K depending on the calories you consume.
Vitamin K was originally discovered for its role in making blood clot, but you also need it for strong bones. It helps make proteins that regulate the amount of calcium lost, as well as the amount absorbed to build new bone. Studies cited by the Linus Pauling Institute report that getting plenty of vitamin K may help reduce the risk of bone loss or fracture as you age.
You’ll boost the amount of vitamin C in your juice when you add parsley. As an antioxidant, vitamin C interacts with reactive molecules -- free radicals -- which prevents them from binding with and harming other cells.
Parsley also contains antioxidants from the vitamin A family known as lutein and zeaxanthin. Both antioxidants accumulate in the eye and protect the retina from damaging blue light, according to a report in Nutrition Reviews in September 2014. They may reduce your risk of developing age-related macular degeneration.
One ounce of fresh parsley contains 63 percent of the daily value for vitamin C and 48 percent of the daily value for vitamin A. About half of the total vitamin A consists of lutein and zeaxanthin.
Healthy Immune System
Half of the vitamin A in parsley comes from beta carotene, which fills dual roles. Beta carotene is an antioxidant, but it’s also known as a provitamin A carotenoid because your body converts it into retinol. This is the form of vitamin A responsible for normal vision and immune support.
Your immune system depends on a variety of white blood cells that fight bacteria and remove harmful substances. These cells need vitamin A to do their jobs. Vitamin A also guards the health and integrity of your skin and the cells that line airways, which are part of your immune system because they block bacteria from getting inside your body.
Tips for Juicing Parsley
One ounce of fresh parsley, or about 28 sprigs, works well for one serving when it's juiced together with other fruits and vegetables.
If you find parsley’s flavor to be overwhelming, juice it together with vegetables that have a strong flavor so that parsley will fade into the background. Some good choices include kale, spinach and celery. Add another depth of flavor with fresh ginger root or lemon juice.
For a touch of sweetness, add apples and carrots. You can also use some honey, but a tablespoon of honey doesn’t contribute any measurable nutrients other than sugar.
- Linus Pauling Institute: Vitamin K
- Nutrition Reviews: Role of Lutein and Zeaxanthin in Visual and Cognitive Function Throughout the Lifespan
- Linus Pauling Institute: Nutrition and Immunity
- Office of Dietary Supplements: Vitamin A
- NutritionValue.org: Parsley, Fresh
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Honey
- Photo Credit bulentozber/iStock/Getty Images
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