There are a lot of varieties of parsley and mitsuba is one of them. Mitsuba is also well known as Japanese Parsley. Just like any parsley you know, Mitsuba is considered as herbs and used in cuisine as seasoning though sometimes as medicine as well. However, in Japan, Mitsuba is best known as vegetables because the leaves and the roots are cooked as vegetables while the sprouts are used as mix to vegetable salad.
What is Mitsuba?
Mitsuba has scientific name Cryptotaenia japonica from family Apiaceae, so it comes from the same family as carrot. That’s why, instead of as herbs, most Japanese consider mitsuba as vegetables. The name mitsuba is Japanese for three leaves, just like the appearance of the leaves. All parts of mitsuba is edible and the flowers are widely used as part of Ikebana, the traditional Japanese flower arranging. For the flavor, mitsuba has unique and different flavor from parsley you know, though you still could taste the parsley flavor but with some additions flavor likes celery while the smell will remind you of coriander leaves. Indeed, here are health benefits of mitsuba herbal plant:
Nutritional Value of Mitsuba
Serving Size: 75 g
|Dietary Fiber||1.88 g|
|Vitamin A||45.75 µg|
|Vitamin E||0.53 mg|
|Vitamin K||47.25 µg|
|Vitamin B1||0.02 mg|
|Vitamin B2||0.07 mg|
|Vitamin B6||0.03 mg|
|Panthothenic Acid||0.22 mg|
|Vitamin C||6 mg|
In Japan, mitsuba is widely used as cooking seasoning but it is also used as tonic as part of traditional herbs used as medicines. It is because mitsuba is packed with some nutrients like vitamins and minerals that are beneficial to human health.
- Natural Immunity Booster
Immune system is part of human metabolism which required some essential nutrient to keep them working properly and optimally. Certain nutrients like vitamin C and E are essential to boost immunity system, while antioxidants are great to keep the harmful effects caused by external factor away for the body. Mitsuba is rich of those nutrients and consume it regularly could act as natural immunity booster.
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- Rich of Antioxidants
Antioxidants are essential compound for human body. It is a common knowledge that antioxidants are strongly required to fight free radicals that could be the main root of some dangerous diseases like cancer and tumor. Some powerful antioxidants were found in mitsuba, just like in any other varieties of parsley. Since body cannot fulfill the daily intake of antioxidants, consuming foods rich of them is highly recommended.
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- Prevents the Development of Cancerous Cells
Cancerous cells occur with reasons, unhealthy habit, free radicals and unhealthy diet are the main root of the problem. Consuming foods that are rich of antioxidants could help preventing the development of cancerous cells while vitamin C will make sure to provide one layer of protection to the immune system. As mentioned in point number one and two, mitsuba is an excellent source of vitamin C and antioxidants.
- Promotes Healthy Blood Flow
Healthy blood flow means, your red blood cells are flowing normally and properly. There is no such thing like blood clot in the artery and veins or bad cholesterol in the vessel walls that could disturb the blood flow. When blood is flowing optimally, nutrients and oxygen will be distributed excellently as well, while heart is not forced to work too hard because nothing in between that could cause that.
- Helps Controlling Blood Pressure Level
From the nutritional value displayed above, you could see that, just like any other varieties of parsley, mitsuba is so rich of potassium while the amount of sodium is very low. One of the factor that could cause the spike of blood pressure is when your blood is getting too much sodium for your kidney to process and the only way to get rid of them is by consuming foods rich of potassium.
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- Great for Heart Health
If you want to have healthy heart, you should make sure that your heart is not forced to work too hard. The accumulation of unnecessary blood clot in your veins and arteries are the reasons why sometimes your heart is struggling just to provide enough red blood cells to the whole part of your body. Mitsuba has some compounds that will make sure the optimal function of heart.
- Contains Calming Effect to Soothe Nerve System
Nerve system is one of the most complicated systems in human body with brain as the source. Mitsuba is one of the varieties of parsley which contain some properties that are giving the calming effect. Anxiety and stress could occurs anytime and consuming mitsuba at least to help you reliving the symptoms.
- Relax Tensed Muscles
What’s next health benefits of mitsuba?Not only your nerve system could be soothed by just consuming mitsuba or inhale its aroma, tensed muscles are also able to be soothed as well. That’s why, you could add mitsuba to your diet after an intensive workout in the gym, to help you relaxing your tensed muscle from the inside.
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- Promotes Healthy Bones
When it comes to healthy bones, people are only focusing to consume foods that are rich of calcium. Well, actually there is one more nutrient that is essentially required by bones, vitamin K. Well, mitsuba is containing quite high amount of vitamin K, per 75 gram mitsuba could fulfill 100% daily intake of vitamin K, so in other words it is excellent food to promote healthy bones.
- Fights Osteoporosis
There is no easy way to deal with osteoporosis. Most people are only finding a way to deal with the pain but not kill the source or find the main factor that causes it. It means, they only deal with temporarily. However, mitsuba contains some compounds that is not only able to relieve the pain but also deal with it to the main root. Though the result is not instant but put mitsuba to your diet daily might help to cure the condition.
- Prevent Bone Fracture
Vitamin K is essential to promote strong bones and bone fracture is one of the conditions caused by aging. It is true that getting older is something you cannot avoid and the older you are the lower amount of calcium will be absorbed until reach the peak when your body is no longer absorbing any calcium. So, your body will rely only the stock available in your bones. Consuming food rich of vitamin K and calcium when you’re still younger is the only solution to prevent bone fracture in older age.
- Herbs to Relieve Cold
Surely you have known that all kinds of parsley varieties are great to be used as cold relief. You could made herbal tea made from mitsuba though perhaps the taste is not going to be great. So, for the optimal benefits of mitsuba you could add it to the hot chicken soup but you have to make sure to not overcook it because heat is going to change the original flavor of mitsuba and reduce the nutrients contained.
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- Natural Remedy to Sore Throat
Expectorant is one of the properties you mostly found as the main ingredient of cough medicine. Well, mitsuba contains relatively high amount of expectorant that you could use to deal with your sore throat. The anti-bacterial effect will make sure there is no further infection by improving your immunity system.
- Natural Stress Relief
There are so many factors that could cause stress, from what you have faced in the office, personal problems and many more. However, don’t let your stress stressed you up, instead you should let your stress away from you. As mentioned above, mitsuba has some properties with calming effect. Just add some pinch of mitsuba to your dinner will help you relieving your stress.
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Cautions of Mitsuba
Generally, there are many health benefits of mitsuba than the cautions because just like parsley, mitsuba is mostly consumed in small amount as part of cuisine seasoning. However, some cautions below should be your concern as well.
- Some researchers have shown that mitsuba could be toxic if it is consumed in large amount, though it is likely to happen, but still each person has its own level endurance toward something.
- Allergic reactions caused by direct contact with the leaves have been reported, so if you are allergic to herbs like celery or parsley, you should avoid mitsuba at all cost as well.
- Organic mitsuba is the best option in this matter especially when you are going to consume it raw. You have to make sure that there is no dangerous chemical compound remains on the leaves caused by inorganic cultivation process. That’s why, to be in the safe side, you should consume organic mitsuba only.
If it is very difficult for you to find out from where your mitsuba is coming from, perhaps growing them yourself is the best solution in this matter. However, as native to Japan, mitsuba is not really good in places with tropical climates but you could trick it by growing them under the shady area to protect them from direct exposure of sun light. Good drainage is important to grow mitsuba because though it will grow vigorously in damp area but not really in wet area. They grow from seeds, so it required thinning like what you do with carrot.
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