Parsley is widely used as a fresh culinary herb or dried spice. This bright green herb pair well with many recipes and is considered as one of the most powerful plants that can fight diseases. It is extremely rich in antioxidants, chlorophyll, fiber, and also vitamins A, C, E, and K, as well as beta-carotene, lutein, folate cryptoxanthin, and zeaxanthin.
Parsley and Cancer
Having a mild, bitter flavor, parsley is a great source of flavonoids which were found to possess anti-cancer properties. In a study, results showed that flavonoids inhibit cell growth and reduce oxidative stress.
Furthermore, researchers also found that apigenin, a flavonoid found in parsley seeds, exhibit anti-proliferation, anti-inflammation, and anti-metastasis properties in colorectal cancer. A 2008 clinical trial used apigenin, along with green tea, to great success in reducing the rate of cancer in patients with colon cancer. In a 2015 review, it was shown to decrease tumor size in an aggressive form of breast cancer. Furthermore, a 2013 study in PubMed.gov found that apigenin killed up to 86 percent of lung cancer cells in vitro. Researchers believe that apigenin could be a promising non-toxic cancer treatment in the future.
Another compound present in parsley that offers promising results against cancer is carnosol. It has been shown to be beneficial in treating cancers of the breast, colon, prostate, and skin.
What’s more? Parsley also has luteolin which is another anti-carcinogenic flavonoid. Researchers found that luteolin may have preventive effects on colorectal cancer.
It also has myricetin, a flavonoid that has been shown to help prevent skin cancer. Parsley contains one of the highest concentrations of myricetin per 100 grams.
How To Take Advantage Of The Anticancer Compounds In Parsley
Dried parsley is one of the most abundant sources of apigenin(13,000 mg per 100 grams). Meanwhile, fresh parsley has a good amount as well (225 to 300 mg per 100 grams). We can simply sprinkle a small amount of dried parsley into our food or take one tablespoon of raw chopped parsley per day.
It is best to eat raw parsley or add it at the end of cooking, right before serving. Much of its vitamins and volatile compounds are lost during cooking.