For years many of us have used this food as a small thoughtless garnish on top of other foods, without realizing the pharmaceutical actions and magic that lay within its tasty cells? It’s difficult to believe that the lowly parsley holds such amazing benefits. Parsley is one of the highest food sources of an amazing flavonoid called apigenin. Celery and chamomile are also other common sources of apigenin, but parsley contains the highest amount of this compound.

Apigenin is turning out to be an easy to eat and inexpensive protector against cancer.

Here’s the back copy. One way that cancer cells can get the upper hand on an unassuming body is that cancer cells can block a typical cell process that causes cells to die on a regular cycle. This is called programmed cell death, and it is subject to strict encoding. By cancer cells being able to stop their own death, they can thus act dangerously ‘immortal’. In this manner cancer cells can defy the immune system of its victim.

Ohio State University researchers found that a compound found in every day parsley (as well as other plant-based foods such as celery and chamomile), can stop cancer cells from blocking their own death. This is yet another example of the power of food. This is the kind of knowledge that gives us power to take better care of our families and ourselves.

Apigenin was found to healthfully bind with approximately 160 proteins in the human body. Most drugs target only a single molecule. This multi-binding capacity of this natural compound suggests that other plant-based foods have similar far-reaching and positive effects. The spotlight is now shining brightly on diverse whole plant foods more than ever before. This translates into the salads, steamed veggies, green drinks and nuts and veggie nut pates that we are learning to make and enjoy.

Research is escalating around the genomics of apigenin and the larger family it belongs to called flavonoids. About 80% of cancer cells, in order to become ‘immortal’, cause abnormal splicing of specific genes that control cell growth (cellular birth and death). This cancer-enabled glitch is what gives cancer cells their immortal-like personality. To the rescue, apigenin, found in everyday foods and herbal teas, restores normal splicing behavior to several killing genes (cell programmed death genes).

This Ohio study was done on breast cancer cells. Apigenin, when applied to breast cancer cells, restored a programmed killing gene called the hnRNPA2 protein. After the parsley was added to the cancer cells, the breast cancer cells would then die, in essence, being cut off at their cancerous knees. Abnormal splicing activity was returned to normal by this parsley-flavonoid, causing the cancer cells to then die in a safe programmed manner.

By using a nutrient, as found in parsley, the researchers were able to activate the body’s innate cancer killing machinery!

When we consume green drinks, salads and raw foods, we are promoting more normal splicing of killer protective genes to form inside our cells. Eating wisely protects us from cancer cells. They long to run amok, but with enough green flowing through our veins, now they can’t. We win, they lose.

This research also revealed that apigenin has anti-inflammatory and hormone protecting actions. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 2013

Here is one of my favorite green drinks for you to enjoy a tasty bit of apigenin, which I have been recommending to patients for years.

PS parsley is also one of the highest foods in PQQ, a vitamin that clears cellular debris out cells, especially brain cells, and helps combat brain fog! So parsley is full of very protective powerful compounds and we should make sure we get generous amounts of parsley throughout the week.

In a vita-mixer: scoop of vanilla protein, handful of fresh parsley, handful of raw nuts (especially great with raw cashews or pistachios but can also use any nut butter), vanilla milk alternative, and the real trick is lots of ice, 6-7 ice cubes and blend till very smooth. Optional is to add some fruit like ½ banana, or a kiwi or a small handful of grapes. Enjoy!