With its mild flavor, its exquisite, pale color, and its reputation as a food with its little nutritional value. The reality is that this underestimated vegetable is a nutritional superhero that is just starting to get its due.
Not only celery is packed with important vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber, but researchers are impressively crediting it with power to prevent and even treat cancer. This article will explain how eating celery can help destroy cancer cells.
Celery Properties Target Cancer Cells at Molecular Level
Although celery is rich in many beneficial compounds, its main component against cancer is an antioxidant flavonoid called apigenin, which has impressed researchers with its potent chemoprevention effects. Time and again, in both cell and animal studies, apigenin has been found to impede initiation, advancement and metastasis of tumors.
Apigenin fights cancer at every stage with multiple mechanisms of action. This versatility is essential because it can help overcome natural genetic variations that make other patients incapable to benefit from a single chemopreventive compound.
Apigenin prevents, suppresses and even reverses cancer in several different ways
Angiogenesis – the growth of new blood vessels to nourish tumors – is an essential process in the proliferation of cancer. It has been found to inhibit angiogenesis, thereby depriving tumors of blood, oxygen and nutrients they need to survive.
In a cell study, apigenin helped to “starve” human pancreatic cancer cells by depriving them of glucose, which is needed to fuel cancer’s rampant growth.
Apigenin also interferes with molecular signaling, decreasing the production of chemicals needed by cancer cells. In a 2008 study published in Carcinogenesis, apigenin inhibited the expression of focal adhesion kinase (FAK), a protein essential to cancer’s ability to break down and invade healthy tissue, thereby inhibiting the metastasis of Human ovarian cancer.
In a different study, researchers found that pancreatic protected apigenin damaged inflammatory cells and cancer-causing induced by the NF-kappaB cytokine. Finally, apigenin promotes apoptosis – the programmed death of cancer cells. Researchers have found that the ability of apigenin to induce apoptosis lower the incidence of early lesions in laboratory rats with induced colon cancer.
New research review confirms anti-cancer effects
In a thorough and recent review of animal and cell studies on apigenin published in 2016 in the Journal of Protection Against Cancer, the authors attributed the flavonoid in celery with various and potent chemopreventive qualities and effects.
These include restraining the advancement of prostate cancer, which causes a marked reduction in carcinomas, slowing down the proliferation of cancer cells, thereby reducing the levels of pro-inflammatory molecules that can trigger cancer, the promotion of apoptosis and reducing blood vessel development to tumors.
It is concluded that apigenin is beneficial in the prevention and treatment of many cancers, the authors of the study asked for more clinical studies. Naturally, research into the anti-cancer effects of apigenin is underway.
Low-calorie celery is a nutritional powerhouse
Celery is often thought to be a “negative calorie” food – which means the act of eating and digesting that burns more calories than the food gives. It's wrong but it's true that only 6 calories per stalk, celery is a real low-calorie food. But it is undoubtedly this false belief that has led to the impression of celery as a food without nutritional value.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
Scientifically, celery is known as Apium graveolens, is rich in vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin C, vitamin K and folic acid – and the minerals calcium, copper, iron, potassium and zinc. In addition, it contains powerful antioxidants, including caffeic acid, ferulic acid and quercetin, as well as amounts of healthy dietary fiber.
And, apigenin is not the only component of celery chemoprevention. Like their close relatives carrots, parsley and fennel, celery contains anti-cancer compounds called polyacetylenes. Celery is also rich in water and rich in nutrients, which means it can help prevent dehydration.
Celery is Obviously worthy to be used as more than just a decorative garnish in a glass of tomato juice. Aside from using salad extensively and serving with sauce or hummus, you can braise the celery and serve as a side vegetable.
Therefore, do not be fooled: Despite its “light” nutritional reputation, celery can be a powerful weapon in your arsenal of natural foods to fight cancer.