Top Three Vegetables that Help Fight Cancer
Cancer is a killer, which is why it stands to reason we should be embracing every possible way to beat it. Millions of people die from cancer and cancer-related diseases every year; many more spend years fighting it.
But the good news is that some vegetables can help you fight cancer and protect yourself from its potential onslaught. Three of the best are parsley, celery and artichokes.
Prevention and Treatment of Cancer
According to research, the key is something called apigenin, a common plant flavone (a colourless crystalline compound) found in lots of fruit and veg.
In a study undertaken by scientists in Cleveland, Ohio, USA in 2007, it was reported that, “Apigenin has been shown to possess remarkable anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-carcinogenic properties”. They found that cancer rates are strongly influenced by environmental factors, including one’s diet, a factor that is “largely preventable”.
Cancer prevention, as well as steps taken to reverse the initial phases of carcinogenesis and/or action aimed at stopping cancer from progressing further, commonly includes a number of different strategies. This particular study examined chemoprevention and cancer prevention through diet, and found that fruits and vegetables containing apigenin were in themselves “promising chemopreventives”.
It has been known for some time that apigenin possesses remarkable antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-carcinogenic properties, but it is only relatively recently that scientists have begun to study the biological effects of this flavone at cellular molecular levels.
In addition to artichokes, celery and parsley, the Ohio researchers found that onions, oranges, chamomile, tea, wheat sprouts and some seasonings contain a high concentration of apigenin.
Other studies have found that apples, grapes (and wine), as well as a number of herbs including tarragon, spearmint, basil, cilantro (or coriander), and oregano also contain apigenin.
But parsley, celery and artichokes remain top of the list because in addition to apigenin, some studies indicate they also produce paclitaxel, a powerful component of drugs that are used to treat breast cancer.
Eating Celery, Artichokes and Parsley
Celery is delicious raw and cooked. Parsley adds flavour to dishes and is a brilliant garnish. Artichokes are considered by some people to be an acquired taste, but delicious nonetheless. Here’s a recipe to inspire your tastebuds using all three.
Artichoke, Celery and Parsley Salad
You will need about six artichokes, steamed, outer leaves and hairy choke removed. Alternatively you can use a couple of tins of artichoke hearts (though fresh is better). Leave to cool while you slice two red onions, about four stalks of celery, and about a cup of parsley (ideally fresh out of your garden). For an extra bite you can add a heaped tablespoon of capers, coarsely chopped.
Mix together about 60 ml of extra-virgin olive oil, juice of two lemons and add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. If you want a bit of heat, add a dash of pepper sauce (Tabasco is good). Splash over the veggies and leave to stand for about 10 to 15 minutes before serving.