“I have a tendency to be anemic, and I take supplements in addition to drinking green smoothies. I know parsley is rich in iron, but whenever I attempt to include it in my green smoothies, it ends up overpowering the fruit and is not palatable. The best I can do is to put a small amount of parsley along with another type of green. What do you recommend?” – Daylan
Daylan, even a little bit of parsley can quickly overpower a green smoothie. I usually use no more than 1 cup of chopped fresh Italian parsley, and even that is too much for most people.
Parsley blends quite well with pear, mango and young coconut. You should try out this recipe here!
I get a significant amount of my iron from leafy greens such as kale and dandelion as well as through other sources in my diet throughout the day. I see no problem with blending parsley with another green in a smoothie. I don’t rely solely on green smoothies for iron, however.
It’s a good idea to take a supplement if you are prone to anemia.
I take an iron supplement sometimes because vegan and vegetarian women (including women who follow a raw food diet) may have a hard time meeting their iron needs because plant-based iron is less bioavailable. Pre-menopausal women have much higher iron needs than men – about 33 milligrams per day as opposed to veg*n men who need 14 milligrams.
It’s easy to get 14 milligrams of iron from a whole foods, vegan diet, but it’s a challenge to get 33.
Even if you could eat several bunches of parsley each day, I’d advise you not to. Eating too much of any leafy green can cause nutritional imbalances and lead to toxicity from the various anti-nutrients found in all greens.
If anemia and iron deficiency is a persistent problem, definitely consult with a qualified medical professional to ensure that you are meeting your requirements.
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Tracy Russell is the creator of the Green Smoothie Weight Loss Program, the 30-Day Whole Foods Challenge and founder of Incredible Smoothies. She is passionate about helping people improve their health with green smoothies and a whole foods lifestyle.