Summer’s Slimming Secret

Bursting with freshness and flavor, parsley is the perfect way to eat green and celebrate the bounty of summer. It is a rich source of nutrients, including vitamins A, C and K. Parsley also contains lutein and zeaxanthin, which are carotenoids important for protecting vision. Often used as a garnish, parsley deserves center stage.


Leo Galland, MD, author of The Fat Resistance Diet, sang the praises of this versatile herb in a recent conversation on why you should include fresh herbs in your diet. “Fresh vegetables and herbs maximize both nutrition and flavor, factors that I believe are critically important when making the switch to a healthier diet,” he told me, adding that new research focused on the benefits of parsley, in particular, is compelling. “Researchers are continuing to discover the remarkable health benefits of parsley, which is rich in anti-inflammatory phytonutrients.” Inflammation-fighting foods, such as parsley, can help make fat-burning hormones work, according to Dr. Galland’s “fat resistance” diet plan.

In fact, parsley outstrips most vegetables in its ability to raise the levels of antioxidant enzymes in your blood. The carotenoid content is also high. Since apigenin, a flavonoid, is stored in the body, it is less important to eat lots of parsley than to eat it often. A study done in Denmark in 1999 found that eating about a tablespoon of parsley daily raises the levels of important antioxidant enzymes in blood cells.

“Parsley’s high nutrient density, with lots of nutrition for a limited number of calories, makes it a perfect example of the type of food we should eat, since increasing nutritional quality is the key to both losing weight and nurturing health,” Dr. Galland notes.


Chefs often sprinkle fresh parsley onto dishes as an easy and tasty way to add vitality and color. Simply tear the leaves into pieces, then toss them into your favorite dishes such as omelets, soups, salads, pizzas, pastas — the ways to enjoy parsley are endless. Parsley is the major component of tabbouleh, a delicious Moroccan salad that also includes tomatoes and onions. Many people don’t think about cooking parsley, but you can actually sauté it (stems and all), serving them alongside broiled or grilled meats or fish. Dr. Galland says he tries to eat about one tablespoon of fresh parsley every day.

Fresh parsley is generally available year-round in most supermarkets and natural food stores, as well as at farm stands during the summer and fall. Choose parsley in bunches with perky, bright green leaves and avoid those that are wilted or waterlogged. (However, wilted leaves can be freshened by trimming ends and placing in cold water.) As always, organic is best.

At home you can store parsley in a bag in the refrigerator, but first, make sure the leaves are dry so they stay crisp.


If you want to exercise your green thumb, growing parsley at home is fun and easy, even for novice gardeners. Grow it on your deck or right in your kitchen where it’s pretty and you will remember to use it often. You — and everyone you cook for — will be glad you did.

Get a free one-day meal plan with delicious recipes at Dr. Galland’s Web site,

Related Articles