1 handful ITALIAN FLAT LEAF PARSLEY or more, to taste
2 stalks of CELERY or more, chopped, with CELERY LEAVES
4-5 BANANAS, frozen if desired
(AGAVE or DATES to taste - optional)
Parsley is also known as "Rock Celery". Both Parsley and Celery come from the same family! One day I started adding celery to my green smoothies and I haven't stopped since! It is so refreshing! By far, this is my favorite green smoothie! The combination of celery AND parsley is amazingly REFRESHING! Chopping the celery helps the fibers not to twist around your blender blade. Add all ingredients to blender and blend thoroughly. I enjoy this slightly salty and bitter green smoothie without any sweeteners. Enjoy!
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Celery leaves has high content of vitamin A, whilst the stems are an excellent source of vitamins B1, B2, B6 and C with rich supplies of potassium, folic acid, calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, sodium and plenty essential amino acids.
Nutrients in the fiber are released during juicing or using in smoothies, aiding bowel movements.
The natural organic sodium (salt) in celery is very safe for consumption, in fact is essential for the body. Even individuals who are salt-sensitive can safely take the sodium in celery, unlike table salt (iodised sodium) which is harmful for those with high blood pressure.
While many foods lose nutrients during cooking, most of the compounds in celery hold up well during cooking.
Celery has always been associated with lowering of blood pressure.
Recent studies have shown that celery might also be effective in combating cancer.
Neutralizes Acidity: The important minerals in celery and celery juice effectively balance the body's blood pH, neutralizing acidity.
Replaces Electrolytes: Celery juice is the perfect post-workout tonic as it replaces lost electrolytes and rehydrates the body with its rich minerals.
Cancer Fighting: Celery is known to contain at least eight families of anti-cancer compounds. Among them are the acetylenics that have been shown to stop the growth of tumor cells. Phenolic acids which block the action of prostaglandins that encourage the growth of tumor cells. And coumarins which help prevent free radicals from damaging cells.
Lowers Cholesterol: This humble pale juice has been shown to effectively and significantly lower total cholesterol and LDL (bad) cholesterol.
Prevents colon and stomach cancer: The phytochemical coumarins prevent the formation and development of colon and stomach cancers.
Alleviates constipation: The natural laxative effect of celery helps to relieve constipation. It also helps relax nerves that have been overworked by man-made laxatives.
Cooling: During dry and hot weather, drink a glass of celery juice two or three times a day, between meals. It wonderfully helps to normalize body temperature.
Diuretic: The potassium and sodium in celery juice helps to regulate body fluid and stimulate urine production, making it an important help to rid the body of excess fluid.
Aids Inflammation: The polyacetylene in celery is an amazing relief for all inflammation like rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, gout, asthma and bronchitis.
Promotes Healthy Kidney function: Celery promotes healthy and normal kidney function by aiding elimination of toxins from the body. While eliminating toxins, it also prevents formation of kidney stones.
Lower blood pressure: Drinking celery juice every day for a week significantly helps lower blood pressure. A compound called phtalides help relax the muscle around arteries, dilating the vessels and allowing blood to flow normally. To be effective, drink the juice for one week, stop for three weeks, and start over.
Calms Nervous system: The organic alkaline minerals in celery juice has a calming effect on the nervous system, making it a wonderful drink for insomniacs.
Weight loss: Drink celery juice frequently throughout the day. It helps curb your cravings for sweets and rich food.
Urinary and Gall stones: The diuretic effect of celery juice also aids the breaking and elimination of urinary and gall bladder stones.
You can expect many more healing benefits from celery juice as you consume its natural sodium. Our bodies lack and have been deprived of natural salt.
Choose green celery where possible for its chlorophyll. The whiter the celery, the less chlorophyll it contains. Ensure that the ribs are still firm, not limp. To store in the fridge, wrap celery in a sealed container or wrap in a plastic bag or a damp cloth.
Do not leave it at room temperature for too long as it tends to wilt quickly. If your celery has wilted, sprinkle it with a little water and put it in the refrigerator for a few hours. It will regain its crispness.
CAUTION WITH CELERY:
Celery is such a succulent plant that it produces its own "pesticide" to protect itself from fungi. This protective layer is called psoralens which although protects the celery, may not go down so well with some people. If you begin having skin problems after eating celery, it might mean that you have some sensitivity to psoralens.
Some people with low blood pressure complain that celery makes their blood pressure even lower, so you might want to avoid celery if you have low blood pressure. Listen to your body when you take celery.
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INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT PARSLEY
While parsley is a wonderfully nutritious and healing food, it is often under-appreciated. Most people do not realize that this vegetable has more uses than just being a decorative garnish that accompanies restaurant meals.
Parsley is native to the Mediterranean region of Southern Europe and has been cultivated for more than 2,000 years. It was originally used as a medicinal plant (see below) prior to being consumed as a food. Ancient Greeks held parsley to be sacred, using it to not only adorn victors of athletic contests, but also for decorating the tombs of the deceased. While it is uncertain when and where parsley began to be consumed as a seasoning, historians think it may be sometime during the Middle Ages in Europe. Some historians credit Charlemagne with its popularization as he had it grown on his estates.
Parsley’s Many Therapeutic Health Benefits Include Its Use For:
* Anemia: Parsley builds up the blood because it is high in iron. The high vitamin C content assists the absorption of iron.
* Antioxidant: Parsley increases the anti-oxidant capacity of the blood.
* Bactericidal: Parsley kills bacteria.
* Bad breath: Parsley deoderizes breath. Chew on it after eating.
* Baldness: Believe it or not, men even scrubbed parsley onto their scalps to cure baldness—which doesn’t work.
* Blood purifier
* Blood vessel rejuvenation: Parsley maintains elasticity of blood vessels, and helps to repair bruises.
* Diarrhea is greatly helped by drinking parsley tea.
* Digestion: Parsley is an excellent digestion restorative remedy. It improves the digestion of proteins and fats therefore promoting intestinal absorption, liver assimilation and storage. Because of its high enzyme content, parsley benefits digestive activity and elimination.
* Dissolves cholesterol within the veins
* Diuretic: Parsley acts as a diuretic and blood vessel strengthener
* Ear health: Parsley is effective in treating deafness and ear infections.
* Fatigue: Parsley is high in iron so helps repair and provides components for better blood cells.
* Gallstones: Parsley helps dissolve them.
* Glandular support of the liver, spleen, kidneys and adrenal glands.
* Hormonal support: In women, parsley improves estrogen and nourishes and restores the blood of the uterus. Conditions like delayed menstruation, PMS, and the menopause (dry skin, irritability, depression and hair loss) can often improve.
* Hormone balancing is achieved through the volatile fatty acids contained in parsley.
* Immune booster: The high vitamin C, beta carotene, B12, chlorophyll and essential fatty acid content render parsley an extraordinary immunity enhancing food. Parsley is an immune-enhancing multi-vitamin and mineral complex in green plant form and one of the most important herbs for providing vitamins to the body.
* Inhibits tumor formation: Parsley inhibits tumor formation, particularly in the lungs.
* Insect bites: Rub on to relieve the swelling and itch.
* Kidneys: Parsley is effective for nearly all kidney and urinary complaints except severe kidney inflammation. It improves kidney activity and can help eliminate wastes from the blood and tissues of the kidneys. It prevents salt from being reabsorbed into the body tissues; thus parsley literally forces debris out of the kidneys, liver and bladder. It helps improve edema and general water retention, fatigue and scanty or painful urination.
* Liver congestion: Parsley enriches the liver and nourishes the blood. Parsley helps reduce liver congestion, clearing toxins and aiding rejuvenation.
* Menstrual irregularity: Parsley helps to make the cycles regular by the presence of apiol which is a constituent of the female sex hormone estrogen.
* Menstrual pain
* Night blindness: Bad eyesight is a sign of Vitamin A deficiency. Parsley packs in the Vitamin A.
* Spleen strengthening: The parsley root in particular strengthens the spleen, and can, therefore, treat malabsorption.
* Stamina and Resistance to Infection: Stamina loss and low resistance to infection point to a sluggish liver. Taking parsley can help clear up blood deficiencies, fatigue, a pale complexion and poor nails, dizzy spells, anemia and mineral depletion.
* Stomach problems
* Strengthens loose teeth: In the Middle Ages parsley was used for many conditions including 'fastening teeth' (Scurvy, which is caused by a Vitamin C deficiency, makes the gums spongy and the teeth loose.)
* Uterine tonic
* Weight loss benefits from being a diuretic
Nutritional Benefits of Parsley:
Parsley is a nutrient powerhouse containing high levels of beta carotene, vitamin B12, folate, chlorophyll, calcium, more vitamin C than citrus fruits, and just about all other known nutrients. Parsley is a moistening, nourishing, restoring, ‘warming’ food, pungent with a slightly bitter, salty flavor. It enhances and stimulates the energy of organs, improving their ability to assimilate and utilize nutrients.
Beta carotene is used for protein assimilation. This nutrient benefits the liver and protects the lungs and colon. Beta-carotene is converted by the body to vitamin A, a nutrient so important to a strong immune system that its nickname is the "anti-infective vitamin."
Parsley is abundant in chlorophyll, thus purifying and inhibiting the spread of bacteria, fungi and other organisms. Chlorophyll from parsley is slightly anti-bacterial and anti-fungal which acts to enhance immune response and to relieve mucus congestion, sinusitis and other ‘damp’ conditions. Chlorophyll, high in oxygen, also suppresses viruses and helps the lungs to discharge residues from environmental pollution.
Essential Fatty Acids: Parsley is a source of alpha-linolenic acid, an important essential fatty acid that is too frequently deficient in today’s diets.
Fluorine is an important nutritional component abundantly found in parsley. Fluorine has an entirely different molecular structure from chemically-produced fluoride. Tooth decay results from a shortage of fluorine, not fluoride. It is the combination of calcium and fluorine which creates a very hard protective surface on teeth and bones. Fluorine also protects the body from infectious invasion, germs and viruses.
Folic Acid, one of the most important B vitamins, but one of its most critical roles in relation to cardiovascular health is to convert homocysteine into benign molecules. Homocysteine is a potentially dangerous molecule that, at high levels, can directly damage blood vessels and increase the risk of heart attacks and stroke in people with atherosclerosis or diabetic heart disease. Folic acid is also a critical nutrient for proper cell division and is therefore vitally important for cancer-prevention in two areas of the body that contain rapidly dividing cells--the colon, and in women, the cervix.
Iron: The iron content of parsley is exceptional with 5.5mg per100g (4oz). A half-cup of fresh parsley or one tablespoon dried has about 10 percent of your iron daily requirements. Plus, parsley has the vitamin C your body needs to absorb that iron.
Protein: Parsley is made up of 20% protein. (About the same as mushrooms.)
Vitamin B12: Parsley contains traces of B12 producing compounds. Such compounds are needed for the formation of red blood cells and normal cell growth, important for fertility, pregnancy, immunity and the prevention of degenerative illness. The action of vitamin B12, however, is inhibited by birth control pills, antibiotics, intoxicants, stress, sluggish liver, and excess bacteria or parasites in the colon or digestive tracts. Parsley helps to counteract these inhibitors.
Vitamin K: Getting at least 100 micrograms of Vitamin K a day can drastically cut your risk of hip fracture. Vitamin K is necessary for bones to get the minerals they need to form properly. Parsley is loaded with vitamin K (180 mcg per 1/2 cup). Cooking parsley nearly doubles its Vitamin K.
Vitamin C: Parsley contains more vitamin C than any other standard culinary vegetable, with 166mg per 100g (4oz). This is three times as much as oranges. Flavonoids, which make up the Vitamin C molecule, maintain blood cell membranes, and act as an antioxidant helper.
Volatile oil components - including myristicin, limonene, eugenol, and alpha-thujene. Parsley's volatile oils, particularly myristicin, have been shown to inhibit tumor formation in animal studies, and particularly, tumor formation in the lungs. It acts as an antioxidant that can help neutralize particular types of carcinogens (like the benzopyrenes that are part of cigarette smoke, charcoal grill smoke, and the smoke produced by trash incinerators).
Parsley also contains calcium (245mg per 100g), phosphorus, potassium (1000mg per 4 oz), manganese (2.7mg per 100g), inositol, and sulphur.
How to Use Parsley:
Top off your sandwiches with it, include it in your salad greens, put it in Tabbouli or toss it into simmering soups, stews and sauces.
Parsley juice, as an herbal drink, is quite powerful and is usually taken in quantities of about 2 fl oz (50ml) three times a day and is best mixed with other juices. It is most effective to juice parsley in between other vegetables as the juice is heavy and thick and doesn’t move through some juicers very readily.
Types of Parsley:
The two most popular types of parsley are curly parsley and Italian flat leaf parsley. They are both related to celery. The Italian variety has a more fragrant and less bitter taste than the curly variety. There is also another type of parsley known as turnip-rooted (or Hamburg) that is cultivated for its roots, which resemble salsify and burdock. Chinese parsley, is actually cilantro.
How to Pick and Care for Parsley:
Whenever possible, choose fresh, dark green, organically grown parsley that looks fresh and crisp over the dried form of the herb since it is superior in flavor. Avoid bunches that have wilted or yellowed leaves indicating over-mature or damaged produce.
Parsley can be stored loosely wrapped in a damp cloth or plastic bag and refrigerated for up to a week. Wash just before using. If the parsley wilts, either sprinkle it lightly with some water or wash it without completely drying it before putting it back in the refrigerator.
The best way to clean it is just like you would spinach. Place it in a bowl of cold water and plunge it up and down like you would a toilet plunger. This will allow any sand or dirt to dislodge. Remove the leaves from the water, empty the bowl, refill it with clean water and repeat this process until no dirt remains in the water.
If you have excess flat-leaved parsley, you can easily dry it by laying it out in a single layer on a clean kitchen cloth. Pre-chop (both varieties) and place it on a cookie sheet on top of the refrigerator where it is warm. Stir it occasionally to allow consistent drying. Once dried, it should be kept in a tightly sealed container in a cool, dark and dry place.
Some feel the curly leaved variety is best preserved by freezing, as opposed to drying. Although it will retain most of its flavor, it has a tendency to lose its crispness, so it is best used in recipes without first thawing.
So, drink my new favorite green smoothie...and you will receive LOTS and LOTS of health benefits! Bon Appétit!
xoxo michelle joy