Parsley is a pretty little Mediterranean herb that lends a sprinkling of color to your plate. But let’s not think of it as just a garnish—after all, parsley has been around for more than 2000 years, and boasts some time-tested benefits that you should know about. A surprisingly small amount of parsley is packed with vitamins. Just two tablespoons provides two percent of your daily calcium, iron and folate; 12 percent of your vitamin A; over 150 percent of your vitamin K; and 16 percent of your vitamin C. Not too shabby for a humble herb! Check out these parsley health benefits and ways to get more parsley into your day-to-day. Nutrition Booster The vitamin K in parsley aids in bone health, while the wealth of vitamin C makes it a great immune booster. Parsley is an excellent source of beta carotene, an antioxidant that can help protect the body against free-radical damage and fight the effects of aging. Kidney Stone Preventer There is some evidence that parsley can support healthy kidney function. While the herb contains oxalates, which can cause problems for those with existing kidney problems, a study published in Urology Journal found that ingesting parsley leaf and roots reduced the number of calcium oxalate deposits in animals. The researchers found that ingesting parsley helped break down kidney stones in animals. Joint Pain Alleviator Use parsley daily, and you’ll feel relief from joint pain. That’s because the herb has anti-inflammatory properties. Fatigue Fighter Because it’s high in iron, parsley is recommended for patients with anemia. Two tablespoons of parsley provides two percent of your daily iron, so a sprinkling of parsley gives any food a little iron boost. Anticancer Powerhouse Parsley is rich in cancer-fighting compounds. Early studies suggest that compounds in parsley may even inhibit tumor growth! A recent study in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture found that parsley has potent anticancer properties. It actually fights cancer in 4 different ways: It acts as an antioxidant that destroys free radicals before they damage cells, protects DNA from damage that can lead to cancer or other diseases, and inhibits the proliferation and migration of cancer cells in the body. Diabetes Prevention and Treatment Research published in the Journal of Nutrition found that eating foods high in a naturally occurring nutrient known as myricetin can decrease the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 26 percent. Parsley is one of the best sources of myricetin, containing about 8 milligrams per 100 grams of parsley. The study, known as the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (Epic), was conducted in 26 study centers in 8 European countries over several years. A subsequent study of 12,403 people with type 2 diabetes showed a strong link between consumption of flavonol (a natural compound found in parsley) and a significantly reduced incidence of the disease. Overall Health Booster Parsley tea relaxes stiff muscles and encourages digestion. It has been used traditionally for an array of other health issues, as well.