They are very similar when it comes to nutritional profiles.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Nutrient Database, a 100 gram of chopped parsley consists of:
Moreover, a 100 gram of parsley also contains:
While a 100 gram of fresh Basil consists of:
Moreover, a 100 grams also contains:
As seen above, parsley contains more nutrition than basil. Adding these leafy herbs into your diet not only improves presentation and flavor to dishes but also your nutrition.
Both herbs are great sources of vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin K. Further data have also shown that they are also the perfect source of antioxidants that can help regulate oxidation in the body, thus prevents high sugar levels and prevents insulin resistance.
Parsley and basil have advantages in the human body that greatly affects health.
Parsley has a high amount of vitamin K, which makes it perfect for improving bone health by increasing calcium absorption and reducing the urine's calcium excretion. Ten sprigs of parsley are already enough to meet the recommended daily intake of vitamin K.
Parsley has shown that it has a high amount of myricetin, which is essential in preventing skin cancer. Myricetin is a flavonoid usually found in green leafy vegetables, particularly in parsley. Also, parsley has Apigenin - a natural chemical that is proven to decrease tumor size in an aggressive form of breast cancer.
Again, myricetin found in parsley can also be a good source in preventing and treating diabetes. Myricetin can lower blood sugar levels and decrease insulin resistance and at the same time, removes excess fat from the blood and provides anti-inflammatory effects.
The phytochemicals found in basil can help the human body protect against some types of cancer such as skin cancer, lung cancer, oral cancer, and liver cancer.
The eugenol content in basil can block calcium channels that result in lowering blood pressure. Basil also has a high content of magnesium, which is a great source of improving blood flow by allowing the blood vessels and muscles to relax.
The high amount of antioxidants such as limonene, eugenol, anthocyanins, and beta-carotene have the ability to fight free radicals in the body that cause cell damage and increase the risks of diabetes, arthritis, cancer, and heart diseases.
Holy basil is a special type of basil that has become very famous for its supposed medicinal purposes.
I would not recommend using this variety for cooking as it has quite a peppery taste with an after taste of anise and clove. Some people also interpret the taste as somewhat metallic taste - like biting on foil.
Basil is most famous as the star ingredient in the recipe for pesto. It's also commonly employed in Caprese salads. And of course, you can not forget the flavor it brings to pasta recipes and sauces, both tomato-based and creamy.
Curly leaf parsley is the most common variety, which is usually dried and used in soups and stews. The flat leaf parsley has more flavor and is used in soups, salads, stews, and sauces. While the Hamburg parsley comes from the parsley's turnip-like root and is usually chopped, fried, or roasted to mix in stews or soups.
The aroma from basil is usually the first distinctive feature noticed. Both herbs come from different botanical families and vary in the aroma. Parsley is herbaceous and grassy without any sweet or minty aroma, unlike basil that has an intense aromatic smell, which is similar to mint or thyme.
Parsley look like a serrated, broad, green leafy herb that varies in shape - curled or flat-leaf.
Basil's leaves are smaller and elongated that has similarities with mint. Its color ranges from green to purple but generally has purple stems.
Yes. Leafy herbs like basil and pasta can certainly add more flavor to the pasta. Either pasta or basil can be added as a garnish to add extra presentation more than the flavor itself.
No. While both are green leafy herbs, they come from a different family. Parsley comes from the Apiaceae family and basil comes from the mint family. Also, they are different in taste and nutritional profile as mentioned above.
You can use both basil and parsley for a garnish - both look nice, but not for cooking the flavor profile is very different for each herb. So in some situations - Can you use basil in place of parsley and vice versa? Yes. Using a dried herb like dried parsley will also be similar.
See our article on herbs where we cover
Plus many more hardy herbs
If you have read above, both fresh herbs have a difference in their origin, uses, taste, nutritional profile, and benefits but both are considered to be significant in various cultures and in the culinary industry.
When comparing parsley and basil, remember that the most obvious differences are the looks and taste. Parsley looks like a broad leafy herb with a subtle taste while basil looks like a smaller leaf with a minty and more flavorful taste.
More than the differences, make sure that whether you eat parsley or basil, it should suit well to your diet. And most importantly, before eating one, it is best to have guidance from health professionals to have the best result.