Why Women On HRT Should Eat More Parsley and Celery

August 2, 2011 by  
Filed under Natural Medicine, Womens Health

A new study by the University of Missouri has found that a compound in parsley and other plant products can stop certain breast cancer tumor cells from multiplying and growing.

Why is this particularly relevant for women on HRT? Because of the well established research showing that certain synthetic hormones used in HRT (a progestin called medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA) can accelerate breast tumor development. When tumor cells develop in the breast in response to MPA, they encourage new blood vessels to form within tumors and the blood vessels then supply needed the nutrients needed for the tumors to grow and multiply.

This study was published recently in Cancer Prevention Research and highlights the work of Salman Hyder, Professor of biomedical sciences in the College of Veterinary Medicine and the Dalton Cardiovascular Research Center. This was not a human trial, but exposed rats with a certain type of breast cancer to apigenin, a common compound found in parsley and other plant products. The rats that were exposed to the apigenin developed fewer tumors and experienced significant delays in tumor formation compared to those rats that were not exposed to apigenin.

Hyder found that apigenin not only blocked new blood vessel formation, thereby delaying, and sometimes stopping, the development of the tumors but it also reduced the overall number of tumors. However, this is only an animal trial and while apigenin did delay tumor growth, it did not stop the initial formation of cancer cells within the breast.

If you want to be proactive around breast cancer risk, then there are some simple changes to your diet that can help.

So What Should You Eat?
Apigenin is most prevalent in parsley and celery, but can also be found in apples, oranges, nuts and other plant products. Because apigenin is not absorbed efficiently into the bloodstream at the present time scientists are unsure of how much can or should be taken as there are no specific dosage for humans yet. However, it appears that keeping a minimal level of apigenin in the bloodstream is important to delay the onset of breast cancer that progresses in response to progestins such as MPA so in which case crunch on some celery and start eating the parsley you have been decorating your dinner plates with!

5 Simple Ingredients That Boost Your Energy Levels and Your pH

The human internal ecosystem is stabilized by several different buffering systems that keep the body functioning at a high level for as long as possible. One of these buffering systems is pH and our blood stream should be slightly alkaline at 7.365 pH at all times for the body to be healthy.

The body maintains good pH levels through getting rid of excess acid through the lungs, skin, saliva and urine. The most common problem with pH balancing is keeping up with the excess metabolic acids. These are produced from a lack of oxygen, poor diet, environmental toxins, cellular inflammation and metabolic waste products.

Maintaining good pH levels is vital for good health and one of the biggest challenges is maintaining that all day and night. We are constantly encountering different stressors that drain our alkaline reserves and leave us in an acidic state but there are a few simple dietary measures that can help and you will gain energy, mental clarity, and emotional stability.
1 Celery: it is full of water and makes an excellent acid neutralizer. You can eat it at any time, as a snack or with a meal. It contains a perfect electrolyte balance that quenches thirst and reenergizes and alkalizes your body.

2 Aloe Vera Juice: loaded with electrolytes and highly alkalizing it is loaded with trace minerals, anti-oxidants, and polysaccharides. Pure aloe juice or gel gives one of the quickest alkaline boosts and the perfect way to drink it is before or after a large meal. Apple cider vinegar is another great alkaline booster that can be used either with aloe vera or on its own.

3 Fennel Seeds: contain a concentrated form of minerals like calcium, potassium, manganese, magnesium, selenium, zinc, copper, and iron and Is rich in powerful anti-oxidants. Fennel seeds neutralize acids, aid in digestion, and are a good breath freshener. If you don’t want to chew on the seeds, then fennel tea makes a good substitute and is an ideal drink after a meal to a digestion.

4 Lemon Bicarbonate Formula: maintaining the ideal alkaline environment during the night can pose a problem, but this drink will help if taken just before going to bed. To make it squeeze a whole lemon in a glass and begin adding baking soda bit by bit. The acid/base combination will immediately begin to fizz but just keep adding baking soda until the fizz stops and then fill the glass with water (8-16 oz).

5 I promised you a refreshing lemonade drink and as well as containing some of the most powerful anti-oxidant rich herbs and alkalizing elements it can also be used by people who crave soft drinks and other sweetened drinks and are looking to retrain their palate .

Best made fresh in a large glass jug and kept in the fridge: ingredients are 4 -6 lemons,1 tsp each of ground turmeric and cinnamon, pinch of pink Himalayan salt, 1/2 tsp of liquid stevia (or to taste) and 1 tsp ground/fresh ginger (optional). Combine all the ingredients in the jug and top up with water to your personal taste.

Research Proves High Blood Pressure Reduced With Celery

March 17, 2010 by  
Filed under featured, Health


Simple self-help measures go a long way to reducing blood pressure and if you have already undertaken daily walking and stress reduction then it might be an idea to adding celery to your diet.

The health-giving benefits of celery are not new: the original Father of Medicine was Hippocrates who prescribed drinking celery juice to patients suffering from nervous tension and Chinese medicine has long recognized celery juice as able to reduce high blood pressure. However, now science has got in on the act to ‘prove’ whether it works, and I am happy to report that all those millions of people who have tried it over the centuries were absolutely right.

Blood pressure is the force exerted by blood pushing against the walls of the arteries and if the pressure rises significantly and remains there for an extended period of time, it can cause serious damage to the body. A blood pressure reading is measured by two numbers. The systolic (higher) number is the measure of pressure the blood exerts while the heart is beating and the diastolic (lower) number is the measure of pressure the blood exerts while the heart is relaxed. The ‘norm’ if there is such a thing is to aim for an optimal blood pressure of 120/80.

The University of Chicago Medical Center (UCMC) is credited with carrying out one of the first scientific studies of celery’s effects on blood pressure. In one of the reported results, the father of a scientist at UCMC experienced a drop in his blood pressure from 158/96 to 118/82 after just one week of eating about four stalks of celery a day. It has this effect because it contains active compounds named phthalides which naturally relax the muscles in and around the walls of the arteries. This causes those vessels to dilate, creating more space inside the arteries that permits the blood to flow at a lower pressure.

Phthalides also have been reported to lower blood pressure and promote a healthy circulatory system by reducing the level of stress hormones in the body by their high content of the minerals magnesium, potassium, and calcium. These all have calming effects on the nervous system, and that naturally helps balance stress levels.

If you want to try it then please juice or eat around four sticks a day – wonderful though baked celery in cheese sauce is, it just won’t give you the same benefits.

Top 4 Foods To Eat To Suppress Your Appetite

December 7, 2009 by  
Filed under Food & Nutrition, Health


If you love food, as I certainly do, then to stay healthy it can help to balance your appetite naturally. I am not in favour of stringent diets or some of the wilder claims for fat-busting supplements, but there are some natural foods that will help you maintain a good, healthy, weight by helping suppress your appetite.

They can be very useful if you are trying to lose some weight and the basic principle is to choose foods are filling, but low in calories. Also, be adventurous in your food choices as one of the problems people have in sticking to a diet – sensible or otherwise – is that they get bored. Add in these healthy foods to your menus and you will help keep the weight off:

This crunchy vegetable was a major feature of my childhood with the stalks washed and placed in a glass jug on the dining table whenever we had salad. My mother had no idea how healthy it was but she knew it helped fill us up as it has a low energy density and, according to research conducted by the Mayo Clinic, that can help control hunger. Celery contains few calories, only 16 for a cup, and its bulk and slight saltiness can be very satisfying when you are hungry. Add it to the snack list.

To be honest, I am not that keen on psyllium as my experience of it is rather akin to swallowing wallpaper paste or even worse, frog spawn. No, I haven’t actually eaten either of those but this gives you some idea of the texture! Psyllium is a soluble plant fibre which adds bulk to the diet and gives you a feeling of fullness and is also a great colon cleanser and so helps eliminate waste and this can lose you a few extra pounds in no time. Psyllium, in my view is best taken as capsules with plenty of cold water but if you are made of sterner stuff and want to try the powder then I would suggest mixing it with lemon juice and a tiny amount of apple cordial in a large glass of cold water. Mix thoroughly and the trick is to drink it immediately before it starts to solidify..

My absolute staple for soup making, lentils again are a great source of soluble fibre that helps your blood sugar to stabilize. This means you don’t get those peaks and troughs that can send you hurtling towards the biscuit barrel – oh no, that’s me again – and they also are a good source of protein, folic acid, iron, and magnesium. If you are a fan of the Atkins Diet you will already know that protein can suppress hunger by its slower rate of travel through the digestive system.

Like celery, this is another low density, high fibre, food that can help suppress hunger and a cup of it has only 20 calories. If you are already a fan, then try a new way of using it by making it a replacement for pasta in one of your meals. Using a food processor, or mandolin, cut the courgettes into very thin noodle-like strands and serve with a tomato sauce hot, or with a low calorie salad dressing for a light lunch.

I suppose for maximum appetite suppression you should make a tomato, celery and lentil sauce with courgette noodles to get the maximum flavour, fewest calories and virtually no cholesterol. If you do, let me know what it tastes like!
Health Bite on Xmas Drinks

Usually when trying to lose weight alcohol is the first thing to be cut down on, but how do you celebrate Xmas without the odd sherry or glass of wine? Well, if you are toasting the festive season you might like to remember that the moderate drinking actually can reduce your risk of heart disease. And, as heart disease will kill more women over the age of 65 than all cancers combined, this might seem like good news except that moderate drinking also increases the risk of breast cancer in some women. What to do? Well you could try adding in some vitamin B complex to your regime as that can lower the added risk of getting breast cancer if you drink and always try to have at least one glass of water for every glass of alcohol you have as that will lessen the hangover!

Celery juice lowers blood pressure

October 2, 2009 by  
Filed under Food & Nutrition


As someone who much prefers juicing vegetables to actually eating them, I am always on the lookout for news of a new benefit, and here is one for you.

If you want to lower your blood pressure then get some organic celery and put the juicer on standby. Celery is very high in potassium and magnesium as well as containing 3-n-butyl-phthalide, a compound that relaxes the smooth muscle cells in the arterial walls. This allows the arteries to dilate and lowers blood pressure.

The recommended ‘dose’ is to juice one head of celery a day for about a month and test your blood pressure at the start and end. Oh, and as celery on its own can be bitter, I would split the head and juice each one for morning and evening drinking. I would also add an apple and carrot to the mix for some sweetness and flavour – and you get more vitamins as well!

If you don’t have a juicer, then look for cartons of Low-Sodium V8 Juice as it has a high dose of potassium to help keep blood pressure in check and it is an effective blood thinner, which further contributes to its antihypertensive effects. Must be the low-sodium version though, not the regular one, and you would drink about 12 ounces a day.

Celery and the brain

Researchers at the University of Illinois report that a plant compound found in abundance in celery and green peppers can disrupt a key component of the inflammatory response in the brain. This could be important news for the research on ageing, and on diseases such as Alzheimer’s and multiple sclerosis.

Inflammation plays a key role in many neurodegenerative diseases and also is implicated in the memory and behaviour problems that can arise as we get older. Inflammation is not always a bad thing; it is a critical part of the body’s immune response that in normal circumstances reduces injury and promotes healing, but when it goes wrong then it can lead to serious physical and mental problems.

The new study looked at luteolin, a plant flavonoid in celery and green peppers which is known to impede the inflammatory response in several types of cells outside the central nervous system. Herbalists have known about the cooling properties of celery for decades and prescribe it for arthritis and hot flushes, but now it seems scientists are also taking it seriously. Add celery and green peppers to your diet and you will whizzing through the crossword in record time. If you don’t like the taste of them – and I know some people who don’t – then if you have a juicer add it to your mix. I juice celery regularly with apples and carrot to boost my immune system and help with arthritis and even celery-haters love the taste of the juice.

Vital Veg – The dynamic duo

August 2, 2008 by  
Filed under Food & Nutrition, Natural Medicine, Wellness

Cabbage is not everyone’s favourite food – shades of school dinners and that terrible lingering smell as it boiled away all morning – and celery, too, can be an acquired taste you either love or loathe, but these two vegetables can immeasurably improve your health. Here are some of the really good reasons to include cabbage in your diet on a regular basis:

On a diet? An average portion is around 15 calories, so it can help you lose weight, while feeling full. It is also full of vitamin C which many believe helps your cells to burn fat.

It contains phytonutrients that help protect you from the free radicals (cancer causing agents) that can damage your cell walls.

Helps to clean and detox your liver of impurities by stimulating the production of the antioxidant glutathione.

The lactic acid in it can help disinfect your colon to inhibit growth of bacteria.

Promotes healthy, glowing skin because of the amounts of vitamin E it contains.

Keeps your eyes healthy with a good dose of vitamin A. All that applies to the white and green cabbage varieties, however if you add in some red cabbage you will be getting a bonus in the form of anthocyanin, an antioxidant which is responsible for its red colour. However it’s not there just to make it look good alongside your Lancashire hotpot, the traditional accompaniment to this winter dish. It has several vital roles to play in supporting your mental health as it helps protect your brain cells, and this is the reason many scientists now believe it could have a role in the fight against Alzheimer’s. Again, like it’s green cousins, it can also help if you are dieting as anthocyanins also have potential as ‘fat-fighters’, according to a Japanese study carried out in February 2008. They reported that the antioxidants in red cabbage could help tackle metabolic syndrome (MetS), which can cause obesity, hypertension, and insulin problems.

Enough about cabbage – what about celery? In my childhood it appeared in water in a cut glass jug to accompany Sunday tea and I avoided it like the plague. Now, I enjoy it on a daily basis – more later. So what is celery good for? Well more good news for dieters, as it can help suppress your appetite and that can help you slim. If you are an anxious type then celery can be useful as it has a calming effect on the central nervous system. Celery contains ‘pthalides’, compounds which can help relax your artery muscles, and have an effect on lowering your blood pressure – always a good idea if you are anxious, and those same compounds also reduce your levels of stress hormone, which help keep your blood vessels relaxed and open. It’s the leaves, rather than the stalks that contain the biggest concentration of the pthalides, so chop finely and add to salads, don’t just eat the crisp stem.


I promised an easy way to eat these two vital veg, and I will let you into a secret. I really don’t like eating vegetables at all. There are a favoured few, but mainly I count potatoes as my only ‘much-loved’ vegetable. But, I know how important it is to get those nutrients, so I juice my vegetables instead. The quickest way to get the benefits of cabbage is to drink 25-50 ml of fresh, raw cabbage juice each day. This is based on research done in the early 1950s by Dr Garnett Cheney who found that peptic ulcer patients who drank 4 glasses of raw cabbage juice daily quickened the healing process and relieved the pain. A quarter of an average cabbage will give you that amount, throw in some celery with the leaves and you have an amazing cocktail. If you want it a little sweeter pop in a carrot. You can juice pretty much anything and everything, and there are some great juice recipe books on the market – please try to use organic veg where possible and drink the juice the second you have made it – don’t let it stand or it will start to oxidise on contact with the air and it doesn’t look very pretty either. I start the day usually by juicing an apple, a carrot, couple sticks of celery, half a grapefruit and a piece of ginger. If you haven’t time for breakfast, then that will really set you up.