10 Health Benefits of Celery

By albert
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Celery is an important vegetable that is used in a variety of ways. But besides its use as a vegetable, celery has many health benefits. For this reason, it has been used in traditional medicine to treat high blood pressure and other conditions for centuries. Its health benefits can be attributed to the rich nutritive and non-nutritive variety of compounds in it.

These compounds give celery powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Celery is low in calories but rich in micronutrients like vitamins C, K, E, folate, riboflavin, niacin, and pantothenic acid, and minerals like magnesium, calcium, manganese, phosphorus, selenium, and zinc.

If you have been wondering why you should include this vegetable on your plate, below are 10 health benefits of celery.


Health Benefit #1: Reduces Inflammation

Inflammation is the result of the body’s reaction to injury or irritation. Inflammation signals that the body’s defence system is working to fight off attack and repair any damage. To this extent, inflammation is a good thing. However, if inflammation goes on for a long time, it can cause harm and lead to chronic diseases like high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, arthritis, and even cancer.

The celery plant and its seeds contain powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds that protect the body from chronic inflammation. These compounds work by neutralizing free radicals, which would otherwise cause oxidative stress and inflammation. The beneficial non-nutrient compounds in celery include quercetin, and phenolic acids like ferulic acid and caffeic acid.


Health Benefit #2: Improves Digestion

Celery contains large amounts of water besides soluble and insoluble fiber. It is, in fact, 95 percent water, while one cup of celery stalks contains 5 grams of fiber. It is no wonder that adding celery to your diet can have a significant positive effect on your digestive health. Water and fiber help to carry waste through the digestive system and to regularize bowel movements.

Additionally, the anti-inflammatory compounds in celery also protect the gut from chronic inflammation. Another compound in celery called apiuman has been found to protect the lining of the stomach against developing ulcers. If you suffer from digestive issues like constipation, you should probably make celery a regular addition to your diet.


Health Benefit #3: Helps to Lower Blood Pressure

Celery contains some compounds called phthalides, which help to lower stress hormone levels in the bloodstream. By reducing stress hormone levels, blood vessels can relax which allows them to dilate so that blood flows easily. This reduces blood pressure. It is worth to note that celery also contains potassium, which counters the negative effects of excess sodium and thereby helps maintain lower blood pressure.

Assuming that you include celery in your diet on a regular basis, you can benefit by getting healthier blood pressure. By lowering otherwise high blood pressure, celery supports the overall cardiovascular system, including reducing your risk of developing heart disease, heart attack, and stroke.


Health Benefit #4: Lowers High Cholesterol Levels

There are two types of cholesterol in the body: good cholesterol, abbreviated as HDL, and bad cholesterol, abbreviated as LDL. And while your body needs cholesterol for various functions such as production of hormones, high levels of LDL cholesterol exposes you to circulatory and cardiovascular issues like high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. It is, therefore, necessary to consume foods that help to maintain healthy cholesterol levels in your body.

According to some research studies, consuming celery regularly reduces your bad cholesterol levels. This property is associated to the compounds called phthalides present in celery. Phthalides promote the production of bile juices whose activities include controlling cholesterol levels.


Health Benefit #5: Detoxifies the Body

The modern diet and the environment contain a wide variety of toxins including heavy metals, pesticides, and herbicides. These toxins get into the body, exposing you to oxidative stress and chronic inflammation. These adverse effects are some of the causes of the high incidences of chronic noncommunicable diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, macular degeneration, cataracts, and premature aging.

Celery is one of the plant sources of powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds. Celery also contains significant amounts of soluble and insoluble fiber. This combination makes celery an effective detoxifying vegetable. Detoxing reduces the risks of developing diseases of the liver, kidneys, gall bladder, pancreas, and the eyes.


Health Benefit #6: Protects against Ulcers

As discussed elsewhere, celery improves the digestion process. This boosts the overall health of the digestive tract. But there is more to this. Recent studies have established that some of the compounds in celery stimulate production of gastric mucus, which protects the stomach walls from the damaging effects of excess stomach acid.

Depletion of gastric mucus can lead to tiny holes developing within the stomach walls. If these holes continue developing in size, they become painful stomach ulcers that can make life very difficult. But including a regular helping of celery in your diet gives your gut protection against these ulcers.


Health Benefit #7: Improves Liver Health

The typical American diet is high in carbohydrates, fats, and sugar. This kind of diet can have a serious effect on overall health. It can also lead to fat build up in the liver, which adversely affects liver function. But adding celery to your regular diet can offer some protection against a dangerous fatty liver condition.

Research carried out on rats found that while an ordinary diet leads to fat buildup in the liver, supplementing with celery besides chicory and barley improved liver function including enzyme production. This reduces fat buildup in the liver and improves the overall health of the liver.


Health Benefit #8: Help to Fight Infections Including UTIs

Celery seeds have been used for centuries to treat various health conditions including UTIs and other infections. Recent studies have established that, in fact, celery seeds have significant medicinal properties. A 2009 research study found that celery seeds contain powerful antimicrobial compounds that inhibit survival or growth of various microbes, including harmful bacteria.

During the research, celery seed extract was mixed with a medium containing known infection-causing bacteria. At the end of the study period, it was found that most of the harmful bacteria had been destroyed. The findings suggest that including celery seeds in your diet on a regular basis can help prevent or treat infection.


Health Benefit #9: Can Protect against Cancer

Studies have shown that phytonutrients, compounds found in some plants, protect the body from oxidative stress and chronic inflammation. These compounds, known collectively as phytonutrients, are present in vegetables and herbs like parsley, carrots, fennel, ginger, turmeric, parsnips, and celery, among others. Some phytonutrients such as polyacetylenes, which are present in celery, have anticarcinogenic properties.

According to some studies, polyacetylenes boost the immune function. They also have antitumor properties such that they inhibit multiplication of cancer cells. Another compound in celery called apigenin induces cancer cell death. These findings suggest that including celery in your diet regularly can significantly lower your risk of developing cancer. It can also help in the fight against cancer.


Health Benefit #10: Helps to Lose Weight

Being overweight or obese has become a serious pandemic in many parts of the world. It is no wonder that weight loss is now a multibillion dollar industry. If you have been trying to lose weight without success, it’s probably time you tried something different.

Celery contains significant amounts of fiber and water and it is very low in calories. One cup of raw celery contains 1.6 grams of fiber, and a mere 16.2 calories. Besides, celery is 95 percent water. One way to use celery to help you lose weight is to juice it and take it before a meal. Celery is filling, so that taking it reduces the amount of food that you eat. Doing this regularly helps reduce your body weight.


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