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Eating Green With Fresh Herbs

Spice it up with two good-for-you herbs.

Parsley and Cilantro for Flavor and Health

This is the perfect time of year to enjoy the wonderful freshness of parsley and cilantro.  As more people seek out a natural and organic lifestyle, fresh herbs have become a major food trend. These two herbs are more available than ever, at the supermarket, the farmer's market, and the natural food store.   And they play a starring role on restaurant menus in Italian, Asian, and Latin cuisine.  These herbs not only add flavor and color, but also have special health benefits.

Boost Antioxidants with Parsley

Parsley outstrips almost all other vegetables in its ability to raise the levels of antioxidants in your body. Parsley gets its health benefits from:

1. A high content of carotenoids. Parsley has almost twice the carotenoid content of carrots (the vegetable for which carotenoids were named) and is matched only by red peppers and kale.

2. Apigenin, the major polyphenol in parsley, which is part of the group of compounds called flavonoids.

Cut Cholesterol with Cilantro

Cilantro, also known as Asian parsley or coriander, is a frequent garnish in Latin and Asian cuisines. In research studies, Cilantro’s remarkable components have shown the potential to:

  •  Reduce high blood sugar
  •  Lower levels of cholesterol
  •  Kill dangerous bacteria
  •  Promote detoxification

How to get Fresh Herbs into Your Day

Here is a fantastic tip you can pick up from the top chefs:  adding a garnish of fresh parsley or cilantro adds a quick and easy splash of freshness and color to dishes. 

When shopping for herbs, freshness is key.  Look for bright green leaves that are perky like fresh cut flowers.  Avoid anything wilted or waterlogged.

Organic herbs are becoming more popular; choose them when available. At home you can store them in a bag in the refrigerator.  Just make sure the leaves are dry before storing, to keep them fresh.

To use, simply tear off a handful of parsley or cilantro leaves and soak them in water in a bowl.  Swish the herbs around in the water with your fingers to speed the removal of  any sand or dirt.  Rinse them well and then dry with a paper towel. 

Simply break the herbs into pieces, and then sprinkle them over favorite dishes such as omelets, soups, salads, pizzas, pastas—the ways to enjoy these beautiful herbs are endless.

We reach for parsley when making Italian and French dishes.  For Latin favorites such as salsa or chili, cilantro is perfect. Cilantro also pairs well with Asian dishes such as Stir Fried Vegetables. 

Using fresh herbs is a great way to be a little adventurous and enjoy your creativity in the kitchen.

Copyright © Renaissance Workshops Ltd. Used by permission.


This article is provided for general educational purposes only and is not intended to constitute medical advice or counseling, the practice of medicine or the provision of health care diagnosis or treatment, the creation of a physician-patient relationship, or an endorsement, recommendation, or sponsorship of any third party product or service by the sender or the sender's affiliates, agents, employees, or service providers. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, contact your doctor promptly.

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