Finding an effective way to treat your gout can be very difficult and extremely time-consuming, but help may be nearer at hand than you think. Often, just making a few dietary changes can provide relief from your gout. There are some herbs, for example, that can be quite helpful for people suffering from gout.
Parsley is one such herb. The more that you know about parsley and gout, the better able you’ll be to decide whether or not to increase your consumption of this popular herb to help combat your condition…
Parsley has been eaten for more than 20 centuries and is native to the Mediterranean region. In fact, it was first used as a medicinal herb before it was used for food. It’s related to carrots and is most commonly found as one of two varieties; the more common curly parsley and the flat-leafed parsley.
Here’s Wikipedia’s more detailed description:
“Parsley or garden parsley (Petroselinum crispum) is a species of Petroselinum in the family Apiaceae, native to the central Mediterranean region (southern Italy, Algeria, and Tunisia), naturalized elsewhere in Europe, and widely cultivated as a herb, a spice, and a vegetable.
Where it grows as a biennial, in the first year, it forms a rosette of tripinnate leaves 10–25 cm (3.9–9.8 in) long with numerous 1–3 cm (0.4–1.2 in) leaflets, and a taproot used as a food store over the winter.
Parsley is widely used in Middle Eastern, European, and American cooking. Curly leaf parsley is often used as a garnish. In central and eastern Europe and in western Asia, many dishes are served with fresh green chopped parsley sprinkled on top. Root parsley is very common in central and eastern European cuisines, where it is used as a snack or a vegetable in many soups, stews, and casseroles.”
Health Benefits of Parsley
While you may have mostly eaten parsley as a garnish at home and in restaurants, it also offers a wide range of health benefits, especially for those who are trying to cope with gout. The herb is relatively low in purine and is a fat-free food: there are only three calories in every two tablespoons.
In addition, the herb is quite low in sodium, so it is a good choice for anyone who is dealing with heart disease or hypertension. Parsley also contains many vital nutrients, including vitamins A, B12, C, and K, and minerals such as potassium, iron, magnesium, and folic acid.
Eating parsley can therefore be beneficial for your health in a number of ways: It can help to boost your immune system, strengthen your bones, repair damage to your nerves, improve your eyesight, and encourage rapid blood clotting. You might even find that it makes your breath smell better!
Benefits of Parsley for Gout
For those who are dealing with gout, parsley can have more specific benefits…
The high level of chlorophyll in parsley, as well as the presence of minerals such as zinc, calcium, potassium, and magnesium, helps to ensure that your blood and body tissue pH does not get too far out of balance, i.e. too acidic.
Note: Your body needs to be slightly alkaline for general health. And this is even more important for gout sufferers because it’s more difficult for uric acid to crystallize in an alkaline environment.
Parsley is also a natural diuretic that can help your body to excrete any excess uric acid that has built up in your bloodstream, more effectively. This helps to promote kidney health and keeps your uric acid levels in check.
Eating parsley also reduces the likelihood of developing kidney stones and makes it easier to pass any that have started to grow: The diuretic effect of parsley helps to keep things flowing through your urinary tract so that kidney stones are excreted before they become too large.
Substances called apigenin and luteolin, which are found in parsley, have been shown to inhibit xanthine oxidase, which is an enzyme that helps to produce uric acid from purines. These also work as anti-inflammatories.
As you can see, the beneficial connection between parsley and gout potentially is a strong one. Add this herb to your diet to enjoy all the benefits. You can also get it as dried flakes, tea bags, and dietary supplements.
But don’t go overboard…
When consumed in large amounts parsley may cause anemia, liver, kidney and other problems such as high blood pressure and low blood sugar.
So if you are pregnant or breast-feeding, have kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, or about to undergo surgery, consult with your doctor before taking this.
And, because parsley is a diuretic, you’ll be excreting more fluid than normal, so that you could become dehydrated. You’ll need to drink lots of water to prevent this happening since dehydration actually helps uric acid crystal formation.