There are all sorts of natural cures and remedies that people look to when combatting lung cancer. One crucial component in the fight against cancer – along with moderate exercise and meditation – is maintaining a healthy and balanced diet that’s rich in colorful fruits and vegetables such as berries, tomatoes, and leafy greens. Often thought of as the side-dish that’s paired on game day with chicken wings and blue cheese, celery is not a veggie that most people consider (unlike some of the foods mentioned above) a vital necessity.
A new study shows, though, that celery is good for so much more than just munching on while watching Sunday football. About 75% water, one celery stick is said to burn more calories during digestion than the amount of calories that were actually consumed while eating it. We also now know that in addition to being an antioxidant and great source of fiber, celery has incredible cancer-fighting benefits.
Best when purchased organic (as non-organic celery has one of the highest pesticide rates of any vegetable), celery – a known superfood, rich in vitamins and nutrients – can be found in almost any grocery store during every season. As reported by One Green Planet, celery is one of the finest foods for lowering blood pressure, aiding in digestion, alkalizing the body, and providing Vitamins A, C, and K for good vision, a healthy immune system, growth and repair of tissues, and healthy blood flow. These greens also contain a compound called apigenin that, in recent years, has proven to kill up to 86% of cancer cells in the lungs.
This is great news for mesothelioma patients, and patients with any sort of lung cancer – as well as ovarian, pancreatic, prostate, and breast cancers – and of course, prevention is key. “If you eat a lot of fruits and vegetables throughout your life, you’ll have chronic exposure to these bioactive flavonoids, which would certainly help to reduce the risk of cancer,” said Elvira de Mejia, a professor of food chemistry and food toxicology at the University of Illinois.
Apigenin, the nutrient that’s found not only in celery but also artichokes, oregano, parsley, chamomile tea, wine, coffee and more fruits, veggies, and herbs, is present in many foods that are part of the Mediterranean Diet. This compound, according to research done at The Ohio State University’s Comprehensive Cancer Center, fights inflammation by taking cancer cells and turning them into normal cells that eventually die, allowing for the growth of healthy cells instead. Researchers found that apigenin, all on its own, caused existing cancer cells to die, but was also effective in pre-treating cancer cells and could work side-by-side with chemotherapy treatments.
According to research mentioned on the Healthy Food Blog, eating 2 medium celery stalks just 2-3 times a week can reduce the risk of lung cancer by 60%, and cancer prevention is a fantastic reason to make a conscious effort to nosh on this veggie more frequently. So how can you include this superfood as part of your daily diet? There are many delicious and healthy (not to mention inexpensive!) variations and ways to enjoy celery, including:
- As an ingredient in your morning smoothie or green juice
- As a protein-rich snack smothered in almond (or peanut) butter or fat-free cottage cheese
- As a garnish on salads, meats, and soups
- Diced or sautéed and cooked into a veggie stir fry dish
- For lunch and/or dinner with apples in a tuna sandwich
Kickstart your cancer-prevention diet by incorporating this crunchy green and sneaky superfood into your daily meals. There are countless ways to enjoy organic celery, and just think of the health benefits this delicious veggie has to offer. Try new celery recipes and share them with your friends. Before you know it, every day will be (a happier, healthier version of) game day.