To most people, parsley is a garnish. It is that weird clump of green stuff served in restaurants that you toss to the side of your plate. It’s too bad, too, because parsley adds a powerful dose of vitamins and minerals and tastes great in a green smoothie.
What’s so special about parsley? For starters, one cup of fresh Italian parsley only contains about 22 calories. It has 2 grams of protein and 2 grams of fiber. Like most fruits and vegetables, parsley is a complete protein, meaning that it contains all essential amino acids.
Fresh Parsley Is Rich in Minerals
It’s rich in calcium. One cup of fresh parsley in a smoothie gives you 83 milligrams (8% RDA) of calcium. Blend them with oranges, kiwifruit and/or figs and you’ll be on your way to exceeding the amount of calcium provided in a glass of cow’s milk.
They are rich in iron. One cup contains 3.7 milligrams of iron, adding a significant source of this important mineral to my vegan diet. Parsley is the richest source of iron from any leafy green that you’d get from the supermarket.
One cup of parsley will also provide up to 10% RDA of copper, 7% RDA of magnesium, 7% RDA of potassium, 6% RDA of zinc and 5% RDA of phosphorus.
Lots Of Vitamins In Fresh Parsley
Parsley is rich in vitamin A (as beta-carotene) and provides up to 168% RDA in just one cup. Like most leafy greens, they are an especially rich source of vitamin K providing up to 820% RDA. They provide an excellent source of folate (23% RDA) and vitamin C (89% RDA).
Health Benefits Of Parsley
Parsley is a rich source of dietary carotenoids which provide a variety of health supporting benefits against a variety of diseases. Beta-carotene, which is converted to retinal (vitamin A) in the body is known to support eye health. Vitamin C is an important antioxidant vitamin that has been shown to protect against a variety of diseases as well.
A phytochemical in parsley called myristicin, has been shown to have potential chemopreventive benefits. Parsley also makes up an important part of the Mediterranean Diet, which has been studied extensively for its potential therapeutic and disease preventative benefits. An Italian diet study published in the Journal of Nutrition and Cancer in 2003 found that participants who had a higher dietary intake of parsley appeared to have a lower incidence of lung cancer.
How To Use Fresh Parsley In Green Smoothie Recipes
Parsley has a distinctive, pungent flavor and aroma so it is best to use no more than one cup in a smoothie recipe. You can combine it with non-bitter greens like fresh baby spinach or romaine and green leaf lettuce. Parsley pairs best with fruits like pear, coconut, pineapple, mango, oranges and kiwifruit. I prefer to use fresh Italian (flat leaf) parsley, but curly parsley also works fine.
Some of my favorite parsley green smoothie recipes include:
I also add it to this Morning Energy Smoothie recipe.
Browse more parsley recipes.
Browse more green smoothie recipes.
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.