Parsley, Not Just for Looks Anymore?

Years ago, while enjoying a bite of lunch with a friend of mine and her daughter, I grabbed the ignored parsley off her daughter’s otherwise empty plate and with some degree of relish stuffed it in my mouth. I would like to tell you this was done with grace and aplomb but I suspect I just put the entire thing in my mouth like some jaw gaping plecostomus, chewed it up and swallowed it.

My friend’s daughter watched me eat this purloined green substance with her eyes widening and her face nakedly imploring her mother to explain to her what weirdness had taken over HER friend THIS time. (Yes, I admit, with some chagrin, that those who know me well will tell you that I often illicit this kind of reaction from those around me.) However I can now tell you that in the case of parsley I was spot on, it is ripe for the eating. That frilly green plate decoration is actually good for something more than plate decoration; it can help fight cancer.

I just had to share this little nugget of news that I gleaned from the articles I read this week. Deep within a Tweet (can things actually be deep within a Tweet?) there was hidden a short blurb about a plant derived compound called “apigenin”. It seems that recently a Missouri researcher made an astounding discovery about apigenin. This miraculous compound, which is hidden in some fruits and vegetables, can essentially stop certain kinds of breast-cancer cells (specifically those produced by a synthetic hormone called medroxyprogesterone acetate, MPA) in their tumor producing tracks. It quite literally blocked the new blood vessels from forming in these specific MPA induced tumors, effectively cutting off the tumor’s supply of food. “Without the continuous flow of nutrients, the growth of the tumors was stunted… and in some cases even stopped altogether.”

I will spare you further scientific data (if you are interested you can click on the link to the study in the previous paragraph, “astounding discovery”) but I am really impressed that a phytonutrient found in fruits and vegetables has these powerful properties. Maybe The Big C doesn’t scare you or cause you to take possible preventive measures but since I like the oft quoted “Do no harm” I find it fabulous news that eating certain fruits and vegetables might actually give you a fighting chance when the Big C tries to take up residence.

Figuratively speaking,you can be like the house owner who comes home to find a burglar currently ransacking your residence. Do you run or fight? With apigenin you stay and fight. You, the person housed in your body, have the ability to sneak up behind this life steeling bugger, club it over the head and take back your life. How? Simply by by eating a few fruits and lots of veggies.

How you eat them is far less important than the eating of these garden treats, so grab an apple or a stalk of celery for your afternoon snack. Make a parsley pesto or have some garlic dusted tomato sauce on your pasta. Put endive in a salad and a few beans on your dinner plate. Keep a bowl of cherries in the kitchen. Next time you are looking for a vegetable for supper try steamed leeks that have been cleaned and sliced. Chop some sweet onion in to your salsa or just serve garden fresh tomatoes drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. If you need a sweet after a meal grab a handful of grapes and last but not least, enjoy a glass of ruby red wine all in the name of your good health.

Ain’t life grand? Who would have believed that you can imbibe in some of the best food on our planet and fight The Big C all at once. I suppose next they will tell us dark chocolate is good for what ails us. Oh, that’s right they already have. My bad.

See you next week,

Kris

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