You may think parsley is a throwaway garnish (it's packed with goodness), celery is a snack that delivers fewer calories than it takes to digest (a myth!), and artichokes - well, as Steve Martin's romantically challenged Inspector Jacques Clouseau says in the 2006 remake of "Pink Panther": "A woman is like an artichoke, you must work hard to get to her heart." (Worth the effort - artichokes are packed with health benefits.)
But the real facts: The aforementioned three veggies, essentials of the Mediterranean Diet, are loaded with apigenin, an inflammation fighter that kills cancer cells. These foods can boost cancer treatments (some studies show it makes paclitaxel, used to treat certain breast cancers, more effective) or prevent cancer (breast, colon, skin, thyroid and leukemia) in the first place.
There are 50 to 75 TRILLION cells in the body, and inevitably some of them will become cancerous. But when your immune system can KO them, you'll never know or care that they were there.
Your diet is an important component of the ammunition you need for that battle, and apigenin is emerging as the toughest cancer fighter in the produce aisle. In addition to parsley, celery and artichokes, you'll find it in apples, cherries, grapes, chamomile tea and wine, and in herbs such as tarragon, cilantro, licorice, spearmint, basil and oregano.
Extra tip: Add physical exercise to be a true cancer warrior: One recent study found that among the most active men, longevity increases, the risk of prostate cancer decreases, and lung and colorectal cancer rates drop by 68 percent and 38 percent respectively.
© King Features Syndicate