Celery lowers cholesterol levels and arthritis pain, helps in weight loss, detoxifies the body, reduces high blood pressure, and promotes overall health in a vast number of ways. It is rich in vitamin C and hence is extremely beneficial for health.
What is Celery?
Celery is a plant of the Apiaceae family and is consumed as a vegetable. It can be found throughout the world and is an integral part of certain cuisines. 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 it is referenced 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.
Celery Nutrition Facts
Celery contains minerals such as calcium, sodium, copper, magnesium, iron, zinc, and potassium. It contains fatty acids and vitamins including vitamin A, K, C, E, D, and the B vitamins (thiamin, riboflavin, folic acid, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12). It also contains fiber.
Health Benefits of Celery
The health benefits of celery include the following:
Lowers Cholesterol Level
Eating celery every day may reduce artery-clogging cholesterol (called LDL or “bad” cholesterol). The phthalides in this herb also stimulate the secretion of bile juices, which work 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 it also works to scrape the cholesterol out of the bloodstream and eliminate it from the body with regular bowel movements, further boosting cardiovascular health.
Detoxifies the Body
It acts as an antioxidant, and in truth, all parts of celery, including the seeds, roots, and leaves can be used. Eating this vegetable regularly helps to avoid diseases of the kidney, pancreas, liver, and gallbladder.
Reduces Blood Pressure
Celery contains phthalides, 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. It also contains potassium, which is a vasodilator and helps in reducing blood 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 stroke.
Prevents Urinary Tract Infections
Celery seeds help in the elimination of uric acid because it is commonly used for its diuretic properties, meaning that it stimulates urination. Therefore, it is good for people with bladder disorders, kidney problems, cystitis, and other similar conditions. The seeds also assist in preventing urinary tract infections in women.
Lowers Arthritis Pain
Celery is great for people suffering from arthritis, rheumatism, and gout. It has anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce swelling and pain around the joints. Its sticks also act as a diuretic, which helps remove uric acid crystals that build up around the body’s joints that can add to the pain and discomfort. It can also increase the regrowth of tissue in inflamed joints.
Celery contains phthalides, flavonoids, and polyacetylenes. These cancer-fighting components detoxify carcinogens. It 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 and neutralize them before they can cause conditions such as cancer.
Boosts Immune System
Rich in vitamin C and antioxidants, celery greatly boosts the immune system and makes it more active and efficient. Eating this vitamin C rich vegetable regularly can reduce your risk of catching a common cold, as well as protect you against a variety of other diseases.
Reduces Asthma Symptoms
Improves Heart Health
The notable presence of vitamin C, fiber, and other organic chemicals in the roots of celery promotes cardiovascular health.
Regulates Fluid Balance
Celery is rich in both sodium and potassium, and both of these minerals help regulate the fluid balance in the body.
The presence of coumarins in celery 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.
Celery extracts, which contain 85% 3-n-butylphthalide (3nB), are effective in treating arthritis and muscular pains.
Celery leaves are also eaten for treating various diabetic conditions. This is because of their high fiber content, which has been shown to help manage diabetic symptoms.
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 protect you against macular degeneration.
Celery contains high calcium and due to this, it is commonly used to calm the nerves.
Regular drinking of celery juice before meals may help reduce your weight. It is very low in calories and is also filling due to its high fiber content. Therefore, it can help reduce the tendency to overeat and help you keep the weight down without feeling hungry all the time!
Celery helps prevent many diseases and conditions that include neuritis, constipation, asthma, high blood pressure, catarrh, pyorrhea and dropsy, mental exhaustion, acidosis, anemia, obesity, and tuberculosis. It also helps in improving overall health and strength of teeth.
How to Select and Store?
It is easily available in markets all over the world. Choose the one which is green in color, has no discoloration, has fresh and crisp leaves. Store it in the refrigerator and use within 5-7 days. Make sure you do not freeze it.
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 sliced apples and 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. as per your choice.
Word of Caution
The seeds of this vegetable 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!