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Parsley vs Basil - Health impact and Nutrition Comparison

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Article author photo Elen Khachatrian by Elen Khachatrian | Last updated on May 29, 2022
Education: Nutrition & Microbiology at YSU
Parsley
vs
Basil

Summary

Basil has more manganese, copper, and Vitamin B6. It is also low in sugar, sodium, and saturated fat.

Parsley has more Vitamin K, Vitamin C, iron, folate, Vitamin A, potassium, and fiber. The glycemic index of parsley is lower than that of basil.

Introduction

In this article, you can find a detailed description of the differences between basil and parsley.

What's The Actual Difference?

Basil and parsley have different textures, tastes, and affiliations.

The main difference between basil and parsley is that parsley is a leafy herb and vegetable that belongs to the Petroselinum genus. At the same time, basil is a tender plant that belongs to the family of Lamiaceae.

Parsley has a clean and peppery taste, green color, and feather-like leaves. Its leaves are solid and oblong, with a point at the end. Basil has a fresh flavor, with a finish of black pepper and subtle anise.

However, both are used in culinary.

Nutrition

In this section, we will look into the differences between the nutrients of parsley and basil. Below you can find the nutrition infographics that visually show the differences between these two foods.

Calories

Both basil and parsley are low in calories. Basil contains 23 calories per 100g, whereas parsley contains 36 per 100g.

Fats

Both basil and parsley have fats of less than 1g. Basil contains 0.64g of fat, and parsley has 0.79g of fat.

Carbs

Both basil and parsley are low-carb foods; however, parsley has two times more carbs than basil: it contains 6.33g of carbs per 100g, whereas basil contains 2.65g of carbs per 100g. Parsley has 3.33g fiber and 3.02g net carbs. Basil also has 1.6g of and 1.05g of net carbs.

Cholesterol

Basil and parsley have no cholesterol.

Protein

Basil and parsley have tiny and equal amounts of protein.

Vitamins

The vitamin content of parsley is richer than that of basil.

Parsley contains six times more Vitamin C, two times more Vitamin K, and more Vitamin B3, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B1, Vitamin A, and folate.

Parsley falls in the range of the top 10% of foods as a source of Vitamin A and the range of the top 12% of foods as a source of Vitamin C.

On the other hand, basil contains more Vitamin B6.

Vitamin Comparison

Vitamin comparison score is based on the number of vitamins by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" chart below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food
:
2
Basil
Contains more Vitamin A +59.7%
Contains more Vitamin C +638.9%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +152.9%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +28.9%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +45.6%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +91.4%
Contains more Folate +123.5%
Contains more Vitamin K +295.4%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +72.2%
Equal in Vitamin E - 0.8
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Vitamin K 506% 15% 0% 444% 22% 23% 25% 24% 21% 114% 0% 4100%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Vitamin K 317% 16% 0% 60% 9% 18% 17% 13% 36% 51% 0% 1037%
Contains more Vitamin A +59.7%
Contains more Vitamin C +638.9%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +152.9%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +28.9%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +45.6%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +91.4%
Contains more Folate +123.5%
Contains more Vitamin K +295.4%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +72.2%
Equal in Vitamin E - 0.8

Minerals

Both parsley and basil are rich in minerals.

Basil contains calcium, magnesium, copper, and less sodium than parsley. In addition, basil falls in the range of the top 13% of foods as a source of calcium.

Parsley has more zinc, potassium, and zinc than basil. This herb falls in the range of the top 9% of foods as a source of iron.

Mineral Comparison

Mineral comparison score is based on the number of minerals by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" chart below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food
:
4
Basil
Contains more Iron +95.6%
Contains more Potassium +87.8%
Contains more Zinc +32.1%
Contains more Calcium +28.3%
Contains more Magnesium +28%
Contains less Sodium -92.9%
Contains more Copper +158.4%
Equal in Phosphorus - 56
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper 42% 233% 36% 25% 49% 8% 30% 50%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper 54% 119% 46% 24% 27% 1% 23% 129%
Contains more Iron +95.6%
Contains more Potassium +87.8%
Contains more Zinc +32.1%
Contains more Calcium +28.3%
Contains more Magnesium +28%
Contains less Sodium -92.9%
Contains more Copper +158.4%
Equal in Phosphorus - 56

Glycemic Index

Parsley is considered low glycemic index food, and basil is considered high glycemic index food. The GI of basil is 70, whereas the GI of parsley is equal to 32.

Health Impact

Cardiovascular Health

Diuretic properties of parsley work best in hypertensive individuals and may aid in removing excess water from the body. Parsley contains a high concentration of Vitamin K, which has anti-calcification properties in blood vessels, allowing for smooth blood flow and lowering the risk of plaque formation and atherosclerosis complications [1].

Basil contains eugenol, which has the potential to block calcium channels and lower blood pressure. According to one study [2], blood pressure returned to normal after a few minutes of using eugenol extract. Basil also contains essential oils that may aid in the reduction of cholesterol and triglycerides. Furthermore, this herb contains magnesium, which may improve blood flow by relaxing muscles and blood vessels.

Cancer

One study shows [3] that parsley contains antioxidant flavonoids, such as apigenin, which has anti-carcinogenic properties in almost all cancer cell lines.

Basil is high in antioxidants like lutein, beta-carotene, and beta-cryptoxanthin. These antioxidants have numerous health benefits, including the possibility of lowering the risk of several types of cancer, such as lung cancer, liver cancer, oral cancer, and skin cancer [4].

Diabetes

Vitamin A is abundant in parsley. According to a new study [5], Vitamin A improves insulin-producing-cell function. The researchers first discovered that insulin-producing beta-cells have a high Vitamin A cell surface receptors concentration.

A basil extract was found to help reduce high blood sugar levels in one study. Sweet basil extract, in particular, may aid in the long-term treatment of high blood sugar [6].

According to one in vitro study [7], basil leaf extract helps manage the inhibition of a-glucosidase and pancreatic a-amylase enzymes, which may help treat type 2 diabetes.

Side Effects

Allergy

The allergy to basil is caused by our immune system mistaking basil for a dangerous invader. Basil allergy symptoms include tingling or itching in the mouth, a runny nose, itchy eyes, and, in rare cases, diarrhea [8].

Parsley can cause food allergy symptoms in people who are allergic to pollen, especially those with allergic rhinitis [9].

References

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4600246/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3210006/
  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32059077/
  4. https://hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/ncnu02/pdf/juliani.pdf
  5. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/06/170613111649.htm
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6542390/
  7. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0748233711403193
  8. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1081120611004686
  9. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27795547/
Article author photo Elen Khachatrian
Education: Nutrition & Microbiology at YSU
Last updated: May 29, 2022

Infographic

Parsley vs Basil infographic
Infographic link

Comparison summary table

Pay attention to the most right column. It shows the amounts side by side, making it easier to realize the amount of difference.
Parsley Basil
Lower in glycemic index ok
Lower in price ok
Rich in vitamins ok
Lower in Sugar ok
Lower in Sodium ok
Lower in Saturated Fat ok
Lower in Cholesterol Equal
Rich in minerals Equal

All nutrients comparison - raw data values

Nutrient Parsley Basil Opinion
Net carbs 3.03g 1.05g Parsley
Protein 2.97g 3.15g Basil
Fats 0.79g 0.64g Parsley
Carbs 6.33g 2.65g Parsley
Calories 36kcal 23kcal Parsley
Starch g g
Fructose g 0.02g Basil
Sugar 0.85g 0.3g Basil
Fiber 3.3g 1.6g Parsley
Calcium 138mg 177mg Basil
Iron 6.2mg 3.17mg Parsley
Magnesium 50mg 64mg Basil
Phosphorus 58mg 56mg Parsley
Potassium 554mg 295mg Parsley
Sodium 56mg 4mg Basil
Zinc 1.07mg 0.81mg Parsley
Copper 0.149mg 0.385mg Basil
Vitamin A 8424IU 5275IU Parsley
Vitamin E 0.75mg 0.8mg Basil
Vitamin D 0IU 0IU
Vitamin D 0µg 0µg
Vitamin C 133mg 18mg Parsley
Vitamin B1 0.086mg 0.034mg Parsley
Vitamin B2 0.098mg 0.076mg Parsley
Vitamin B3 1.313mg 0.902mg Parsley
Vitamin B5 0.4mg 0.209mg Parsley
Vitamin B6 0.09mg 0.155mg Basil
Folate 152µg 68µg Parsley
Vitamin B12 0µg 0µg
Vitamin K 1640µg 414.8µg Parsley
Tryptophan 0.045mg 0.039mg Parsley
Threonine 0.122mg 0.104mg Parsley
Isoleucine 0.118mg 0.104mg Parsley
Leucine 0.204mg 0.191mg Parsley
Lysine 0.181mg 0.11mg Parsley
Methionine 0.042mg 0.036mg Parsley
Phenylalanine 0.145mg 0.13mg Parsley
Valine 0.172mg 0.127mg Parsley
Histidine 0.061mg 0.051mg Parsley
Cholesterol 0mg 0mg
Trans Fat 0g 0g
Saturated Fat 0.132g 0.041g Basil
Monounsaturated Fat 0.295g 0.088g Parsley
Polyunsaturated fat 0.124g 0.389g Basil

Which food is preferable for your diet?

ok
ok
is better in case of low diet
Parsley Basil
Low Fats diet ok
Low Carbs diet ok
Low Calories diet ok
Low glycemic index diet ok

People also compare

Vitamin and Mineral Summary Scores

The summary score is calculated by summing up the daily values contained in 300 grams of the product. Obviously the more the food fulfills human daily needs, the more the summary score is.
Vitamin Summary Score
441
Parsley
131
Basil
Mineral Summary Score
59
Parsley
52
Basil

Macronutrients Comparison

Macronutrient comparison charts compare the amount of protein, total fats, and total carbohydrates in 300 grams of the food. The displayed values show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of food.
Protein
18%
Parsley
19%
Basil
Carbohydrates
6%
Parsley
3%
Basil
Fats
4%
Parsley
3%
Basil

Comparison summary

Which food is lower in glycemic index?
Parsley
Parsley is lower in glycemic index (difference - 38)
Which food is cheaper?
Parsley
Parsley is cheaper (difference - $2.5)
Which food is richer in vitamins?
Parsley
Parsley is relatively richer in vitamins
Which food is lower in Sugar?
Basil
Basil is lower in Sugar (difference - 0.55g)
Which food contains less Sodium?
Basil
Basil contains less Sodium (difference - 52mg)
Which food is lower in Saturated Fat?
Basil
Basil is lower in Saturated Fat (difference - 0.091g)
Which food contains less Cholesterol?
?
The foods are relatively equal in Cholesterol (0 mg)
Which food is richer in minerals?
?
It cannot be stated which food is richer in vitamins. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information.

References

The source of all the nutrient values on the page (excluding the main article the sources for which are presented separately if present) is the USDA's FoodCentral. The exact links to the foods presented on this page can be found below.

  1. Parsley - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/170416/nutrients
  2. Basil - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/172232/nutrients

All the Daily Values are presented for males aged 31-50, for 2000 calorie diets.

Data provided by FoodStruct.com should be considered and used as information only. Please consult your physician before beginning any diet.