Celery: Health Benefits, Nutrition Facts, Research
Apples walk away with most health accolades, and spinach leads the healthy veggie brigade. Compared to them, celery is somewhat unsung, but once you read its incredible–and nearly endless–list of health benefits, you will quickly join its growing list of lovers.
Exactly when people talk about superfoods, celery is frequently disregarded paying little mind to its dietary and therapeutic focal points. Celery is a plant that was created into a vegetable more than two thousand years back. The vegetable was sometimes used as a conspicuous prescription as a piece of old Egypt and Greece.
Celery, which has the scientific name Apium graveolens, is a vegetable in the plant family called Apiaceae. The benefits of celery begin with it being an excellent source of antioxidants and beneficial enzymes, in addition to vitamins and minerals such as vitamin K, vitamin C, potassium, folate and vitamin B6.
Celery is a solid vegetable that really creates on each and every inhabitable terrain and on various islands over the globe. In the present day time frame, independent examination considers have demonstrated that celery benefits the human body strongly.
Administered as an anti-hypertensive agent in folk medicine for centuries, celery continues to prove that there are many cardiovascular benefits. In recent pharmacological studies, celery demonstrates both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities that help improve blood pressure and cholesterol levels, as well as prevent heart disease.
Celery also provides dietary fiber – especially when you eat more than one cup at a time – that boosts digestion and weight loss. In addition, celery’s high percentage of water and electrolytes can prevent dehydration, and special compounds help celery to act as a diuretic and reduce bloating. As a supplier of antioxidant flavonoids and polyphenol phytonutrients, other significant benefits of celery include its ability to improve liver, skin, eye and cognitive health.
A dumbfounding fun reality about celery is that all parts of the vegetable has sustaining and therapeutic worth. Case in point, the seeds, roots, stalk and leaves of celery all contain properties that assistance with preventing diabetes, urinary tract pollutions, liver ailment, asthma, mental slowness, tuberculosis, dental conditions, strength, gallbladder bothers, cerebral pains and significantly more.
Various men and women will be sprightly to understand that celery is associated with extended virility, for celery contains androsterone and adrostenal. These chemicals are associated with the landing of successful pheromone hails that draw in women to men. Celery is moreover loaded down with supplements that preferred standpoint the prostate quality of men and their abundance.
Eating more celery can bring about many positive changes in your body. For instance, studies have shown that eating celery everyday can help to protect and strengthen your eyesight and even brighten your eyes, making them appear whiter and more clear. In effect, this also makes you look fresh faced and younger looking. Plus, the better your vision, the less you have to strain your eyes and squint.
See below a list of the top health benefits that celery has to offer us.
Celery contains a flavanoid called luteolin. Researchers believe that this particular flavonoid may posses anti-cancer properties.
A study published in Current Cancer Drug Targets said that “recent epidemiological studies have attributed a cancer prevention property to luteolin”. The authors of the study say that “luteolin sensitizes cancer cells to therapeutic-induced cytotoxicity through suppressing cell survival pathways.
Celery reduces inflammation
If you are suffering from joint pains, lung infections, asthma, or acne, eating more celery will bring much-needed relief.Celery contains particular non-starch types of polysaccharides which are believed to give it anti-inflammatory benefits. It also contains antioxidants which fight against free radical damage, which is a major contributing factor to inflammation and chronic diseases like cancer and arthritis. Furthermore, those who have ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, or other issues with inflammation in their digestive tracts can benefit greatly from eating celery because the antioxidants in it have been shown, and used, to effectively treat those conditions.
Celery seeds help in the elimination of uric acid because it is commonly used for its diuretic properties, meaning that it stimulates urination. Therefore, celery is good for people with bladder disorders, kidney problems, cystitis, and other similar conditions. Celery seeds also assist in preventing urinary tract infections in women.
Digestive Tract Support
In addition to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrients that help protect the digestive tract as a whole, celery contains pectin-based polysaccharides that can provide the stomach with special benefits. We’ve become accustomed to thinking about polysaccharides as starchy molecules that are used by cells as a way to store up simple sugars. But there are other types of polysaccharides in plants, including the non-starch, pectin-based polysaccharides found in celery. (Pectin is a sugar-related molecule that is largely formed from a substance called glucuronic acid.) The pectin-based polysaccharides found in celery —including apiuman—appear to have special importance in producing anti-inflammatory benefits. In animal studies, celery extracts containing apiuman have been shown to improve the integrity of the stomach lining, decrease risk of stomach ulcer (gastric ulcer), and better control the levels of stomach secretions. We look forward to future research that may confirm these stomach support benefits in humans based on dietary intake of celery in its whole food form.
Protects and Repairs Damage at the Cellular Level
Celery contains over a dozen different types of antioxidants including flavonoids, vitamin K, and lunularin. These antioxidant nutrients help to naturally relieve oxidative stress and aid our bodies in removing damage causing free radicals, thus providing protection for our cells, blood vessels, and organs against them.
Celery reduces “bad” cholesterol
There is a component in celery called butylphthalide, which gives the vegetable its flavor and scent. But that’s not all it does — the compound also reduces bad cholesterol. A Chicago University study profiled by the New York Times shows that the butylphthalide found in just four stalks of celery a day can reduce bad cholesterol (LDL) by up to 7 percent!
Lowering blood pressure
There is no strong evidence to suggest that celery seeds may help lower blood pressure among humans. However, a study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food assessed the effect that celery (Apium graveolens) seed extracts have on blood pressure (BP) in normotensive and deoxycorticosterone acetate-induced hypertensive rats.
The authors of the study concluded that “celery seed extracts have antihypertensive properties, which appears to be attributable to the actions of its active hydrophobic constitutes such as NBP and can be considered as an antihypertensive agent in chronic treatment of elevated BP.”
One stalk of celery contains only about 10 calories, while a cup of chopped celery contains about 16. It also contains dietary fiber (1.6 grams per cup), which helps curb cravings because it absorbs water in the digestive tract, making you feel fuller longer. A recent study published in Annals of Internal Medicine suggests that simply adding more fiber to one’s diet can be a critical component of weight loss.
Unfortunately, it’s not true that eating celery counts as “negative calories.” In fact, Ware explained, “although celery contains a minuscule amount of calories, the number of calories spent digesting it is probably even smaller.”
Helps Prevent Ulcers
Here’s one of the benefits of celery you may not have known about: It can help prevent or reduce the formation of painful ulcers. A 2010 study published in the Journal of Pharmaceutical Biology found that celery contains a special type of ethanol extract that is useful in protecting the lining of the digestive tract from ulcers. Celery extract has the ability to significantly replenish depleted levels of gastric mucus that is needed in the stomach lining to prevent tiny holes and openings from forming.
Researchers believe celery nourishes the stomach, colon and intestines due to the presence of chemical constituents such as flavonoids, tannins, volatile oils and alkaloids that control the level of gastric acid released while also improving the level of protective mucus.
Helps Prevent Urinary Tract Infections
Celery is like cranberries in this respect because it stimulates urine production while also helping to reduce uric acid levels. This makes it an excellent aid for helping to prevent and fight against UTIs and other bacterial infections in the reproductive and/or digestive tracts.
Celery is great for people suffering from arthritis, rheumatism and gout. It had anti-inflammatory properties that help to reduce swelling and pain around the joints. Celery sticks also act as a diuretic, which helps to remove uric acid crystals that build up around the body’s joints that can add to the pain and discomfort of frequent joint use. It can also increase the regrowth of tissue in inflamed joints.
According to Ware, celery is about 95 percent water. This can make it a good way to keep necessary fluid levels up. “Because of its high water content, celery is a great snack to have on hand during the hot summer months to prevent dehydration,” said Ware.
Protects Liver Health
When researchers from the Department of Nutrition and Food Science at Helwan University in Egypt fed rats celery (along with chicory and barley), these rats experienced a reduction in the amount of dangerous fat buildup within the liver.
Precisely, when researchers supplemented the high-cholesterol diets of rats with celery, chicory and barley powder, they observed an improvement in liver enzyme function and blood lipid levels. The more celery, chicory and barley the rats were given, the more their liver health improved. This suggests that a diet high in celery, as well as chicory and barley, can be beneficial for people suffering from liver disease.
Relief from migraines
The presence of coumarins can provide relief from migraines. The exact mechanism isn’t completely understood, but research points to a suppression of Nitric Oxide release in the brain which can cause headaches and migraines.
Contains Anti-Microbial Properties That Fight Infections
Celery seeds have actually been used for centuries as an herbal medicine with reported antibacterial effects. A 2009 report published in the Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology shows that celery contains special anti-microbial components found in the seeds of the celery plant.
When extract was taken from celery seeds and combined with harmful bacteria compounds that cause infection in humans, the celery extract was able to significantly purify and reduce the bacteria’s growth, suggesting celery can be used to naturally boost immunity and fight bacterial infections.
In recent years, celery has gotten buzz for its purported arousing benefits. Celery contains high levels of androstenone and androstenol, which are male pheromones. According to Alan R. Hirsh, author of Scentsational Sex: The Secret to Using Aroma for Arousel, eating celery should increase men’s attractiveness, but the National Institutes of Health disagrees, noting, “It does not follow that simply because these compounds are found in body fluids or axillae that they communicate meaningful social information or influence reproductive processes in humans.” In fact, the Social Issues Research Centre of the United Kingdom reports that androstenol produced by male sweat is attractive to females, but that androstenone is not.
Choose celery with upright stalks that snap when bent. The leaves should be fresh and crisp. When selecting celery, remember this rule of thumb: The darker the color, the stronger the flavor.
Freshly chopped celery retains its nutrients much better than if you chop and store it even for a few hours.
Steamed celery not only retains its flavor, but also most of its nutrients–up to 99 percent of them, in fact!
Celery Nutrition Facts
One cup of chopped celery has:
(percentages based on the RDA for adult women)
1 gram of protein
5 grams of fiber
5 milligrams vitamin K (37%)
36 milligrams folate (9%)
22 milligrams vitamin A (9%)
263 milligrams potassium (8%)
1 milligrams vitamin C (5%)
40 milligrams calcium (4%)
0.08 milligrams vitamin B6 (4%)
How to Buy and Store Celery
Today, in North America, the type of celery most grown and eaten is called “pascal celery,” while in Europe “celeriac” celery is more popular. Celery is considered a long season crop and somewhat hard to grow, since it needs constant moisture and can’t withstand heat very well. It grows in cool, moist climates best and can be found most times of the year, especially during the fall through winter months.
Knowing that celery is one of the most chemical-sprayed vegetables there is, always look for organic celery whenever possible to get the most benefits of celery without consuming toxins and chemicals. The Environmental Working Group’s 2014 report shows that celery is usually sprayed with multiple types of pesticides and is on the list of the “Dirty Dozen” fruits and vegetables that contain the most pesticide-residues.
When picking out celery, make sure the stalks seem firm and aren’t too limber. If the stalks have their leaves attached still, look for brightly colored leaves that are not wilting.
Don’t wash celery right away after bringing it home because this can cause it go bad quicker. Store dry celery, wrapped in a paper towel if you’d like, inside the refrigerator for about 5–7 days at the most. After this time, celery tends to get limp and its nutrient content starts to decrease. It’s also not recommended to freeze celery because it easily wilts and will become mushy once defrosting it.
To clean and cut celery, discard the base that’s usually firm and white. You can save the leaves and use these in recipes, such as soups or a sauté. Celery leaves are a good source of vitamins and minerals just like the stalks, so don’t waste them! Rinse the celery stalks and leaves well to remove any dirt of lingering pesticide spray and then cut the stalks into pieces.
According to Love Celery, a British website that promotes celery:
- Dr. Brown’s Cel-Ray tonic (or soda), which gets its flavor from celery seed extract, has been sold in the United States since 1868.
- In the 1960s, Jell-O put out a celery-flavored gelatin mix (as well as other flavors, such as coffee, chocolate, cola, seasoned tomato, Italian salad and mixed vegetable).
- Celery has a reputation as an aphrodisiac, going back to the ancient Romans, who dedicated the plant to Pluto, god of sex and hell. Madame de Pompadour, official chief mistress of French King Louis XV, swore by celery and truffle soup washed down with hot chocolate.
- Hangover cure?: The Romans also believed that wearing wreaths of celery leaves was an antidote against the intoxicating effects of wine and the ensuing headache.
- The Bloody Mary cocktail was invented in the 1920s at Harry’s New York Bar in Paris. However, it wasn’t until the 1960s that celery was associated with the drink, when a guest at a Chicago hotel was given a Bloody Mary but nothing to stir it with. He improvised with a stick of celery from the buffet.
- Winners of athletic events in Ancient Greece were presented with bunches of celery, much as flowers are given today.
- For thousands of years, celery was valued more for medicinal purposes than for cooking. Wild celery was used in the Middle Ages to treat anxiety, insomnia, rheumatism, gout and arthritis.
- Celery was first used as a food in Italy during the 16th century, later spreading across Europe as a flavoring for soups, meats and stews.
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This article is not intended to take the place of a competent nutritionist or doctor. It is solely intended to educate people on the vital and perhaps underestimated importance of this nutritional element.
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