There are a wealth of health benefits of celery that many people are not aware of, including the fact that celery is rich in vitamin C, it lowers cholesterol, prevents cancer, manages pain from arthritis, helps weight loss attempts, detoxifies the body, reduces high blood pressure, and promotes overall health in a vast number of ways.
Celery is a plant of the Apiaceae family, and is a plant, consumed as a vegetable, that can be found throughout the world, and as an integral part of certain culture’s cuisine. Its origins most likely trace back to the Mediterranean and North African areas, since what is believed to be a rudimentary variety of species of celery was found in King Tut’s tomb, and a plant closely resembling celery is reference multiple times in Mediterranean myth and history. The plant is now cultivated globally, and is a part of every cuisine from America and Ireland to Japan and Australia.
For culinary use, it is most commonly found in soups and salads, or as a garnish to certain dishes. Also, it is commonly eaten as a snack, since it is quite filling, but not fattening.
Nutritional Value of Celery
Celery contains minerals such as calcium, sodium, copper, magnesium, iron, zinc, potassium. It contains fatty acids and vitamins including vitamin A, C, E, D, B6, B12 and vitamin K. It also contains thiamin, riboflavin, folic acid and fiber.
Health Benefits of Celery
The health benefits of celery include the following:
Reduced blood pressure: Celery contains pthalides, which are organic chemical compounds that can lower the level of stress hormones in your blood. This allows your blood vessels to expand, giving your blood more room to move, thereby reducing pressure. When blood pressure is reduced, it puts less stress on the entire cardiovascular system, and reduces the chances of developing atherosclerosis, or suffering from a heart attack or a stroke.
Reduced cholesterol: Eating celery every day may reduce artery-clogging cholesterol (called LDL or “bad” cholesterol). The pthalides in celery also stimulates the secretion of bile juices, which works to reduce cholesterol levels. Less cholesterol means less plaque on the artery walls and a general improvement in heart health. The fiber that is found in celery also works to scrape the cholesterol out of the bloodstream and eliminate it from the body with regular bowel movements, further boosting cardiovascular health.
Antiseptic: 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.
Healthy joints: 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.
Prevents cancer: Celery contains phthalides, flavonoids, and polyacetylenes. These cancer-fighting components detoxify carcinogens. Celery also contains coumarins that enhance the activity of certain white blood cells, which can effectively stave off cancer as well. These antioxidant components seek out free radicals floating in the body and damaging organs and neutralize them before they can result in the development of serious conditions like cancer.
Improved immune system: Celery is rich in vitamin C, which greatly boosts the strength of the immune system. Stimulated by the activity of other antioxidants in celery, it becomes more active and efficient. Because of the high content of vitamin C in celery, eating it regularly can reduce your risk of catching the common cold, as well as protecting you against a variety of other diseases.
Reduces Asthma Symptoms: Vitamin-C prevents free radical damage and it also has anti-inflammatory properties that lessen the severity of inflammatory conditions like asthma.
Cardiovascular health: The notable presence of vitamin C, fiber, and other organic chemicals in the roots of celery promotes cardiovascular health.
Diuretic activity: Celery is rich in both sodium and potassium, and both of these minerals help to regulate the fluid balance in the body. Potassium also acts as a vasodilator, reducing blood pressure.
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.
Treats rheumatism: Celery extracts, which contain 85% 3nB, are effective for treating arthritis and muscular pains.
Diabetes Health: Celery leaves are also eaten for treating diabetic conditions, particularly because they are high in fiber, which has been shown to help manage diabetic symptoms.
Relief from ophthalmological diseases: Dripping celery tea drops on eyelids is good for certain ophthalmological conditions, and can improve your eye health, reduce your chances of developing cataracts, and protects you against macular degeneration.
Nerve calming properties: Celery contains high calcium and due to this it is commonly used to calm the nerves.
Weight loss: Health benefits of celery include weight management. Regular drinking of celery juice before meals may help you to reduce your weight. This is because celery is very low in calories, but it is very filling because of the fiber content. Therefore, it can help reduce the tendency to overeat and help you keep the weight down without feeling hungry all the time!
Other benefits: Celery acts as an antioxidant as well, and in truth, all parts of celery including the seeds, roots and leaves can be used. Eating celery regularly helps to avoid diseases of the kidney, pancreas, liver and gallbladder; neuritis, constipation, asthma, high blood pressure, catarrh, pyorrhea and dropsy, mental exhaustion, acidosis, anemia, obesity and tuberculosis. It also helps in the overall health and strength of teeth.
Celery: How to select and store?
Celery is easily available in markets all over the world. Choose the celery which is green in color, has no discoloration, has fresh and crisp leaves. Store it in refrigerator and use in 5-7 days. Make sure you do not freeze it.
Celery: Quick serving ideas
Salad: Add chopped celery leaves to vegetables or meat of your choice. Add salt and crushed pepper to the salad. For dressing, drizzle lime juice and olive oil.
Fruit salad: Mix a sliced apples, nuts such as peanuts raisins etc with chopped celery leaves in a bowl. Mix orange juice with mayonnaise and drizzle it over the mixture.
Soups: Add celery stalks and leaves to soups, gravies etc.
Word of caution: Celery seeds contain volatile oils, flavonoids, coumarins and linoleic acid and are therefore not good for pregnant women because they may cause contractions in the uterus. Other than that, eat as many of those crunchy, green, and healthy stalks as you can!