As a rule, leafy celery does not attract much attention due to its humble appearance. It lies quietly on the shelves of city shops and markets, being in demand only by lovers of an unusual taste of this plant and supporters of a healthy lifestyle. And they have a good reason for that! Its popularity in cooking and healthy food has been breaking records in recent decades.
Celery – Nutrition facts
Celery has low energy value, and a small protein and fat content. Not a big amount of carbs and small sugar, low fibre and low glycemic index which is good for blood sugar levels. Celery has medium vitamin K content, small potassium and low calcium.
Celery – Some good news
If you are a health-conscious eater, you probably already have celery in your diet. If not, it is time to fix it.
1Can support heart health
Although celery has a high water content, it contains many vitamins and minerals, including potassium and calcium, which are important for heart health.
It also contains folate and vitamin K, which are essential for the formation of red blood cells and effective blood clotting. Celery is also a good source of protective plant compounds called flavonoids, which have anti-inflammatory and protective effects on the cardiovascular system.
Diets high in fibrous foods, such as celery, are associated with a lower risk of heart disease.
Studies report that a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and coronary heart disease by 9% was observed with every additional 7g/day of total fibre intake.
2May help reduce cancer risk
Celery is rich in antioxidants that help fight free radicals that contribute to cancer development. It contains two bioactive flavonoids, apigenin and luteolin, which can kill cancer cells in the body. Apigenin is chemopreventive; its anti-carcinogenic properties destroy free radicals in the body, contributing to the death of cancer cells. It also promotes autophagy the process by which the body removes dysfunctional cells, which helps to prevent disease.
3Might help in the treatment of diabetes
Celery contains antioxidants called flavones (belonging to the flavonoid group), which have been studied for their role in lowering blood sugar levels.
One study conducted in 2018 observed two groups of elderly people with prediabetes. One group received celery and the other a placebo. The study reported blood glucose levels fell by 19.5% after treatment in the celery group.
4Can reduce hypertension
One study found that fresh celery juice mixed with equal amounts of honey reduced hypertension in 14 of 16 patients. About 8 ounces of honey and celery juice mix was taken orally three times each day for up to one week. It has been reported to reduce systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
5Supports digestive function
Celery is a source of both soluble and insoluble fibre, which is important for digestive function. In 2010 an animal study showed that celery extract’s phytonutrient content may help prevent gastric ulcers by reducing mucosal damage in the digestive tract.
6Can be anti-inflammatory
Rich in plant compounds with anti-inflammatory properties, celery can be a useful inclusion for those suffering from chronic inflammatory conditions such as arthritis.
A study conducted by Harbin Medical University (China) found that this vegetable is also an important source of flavonols (plant food ingredients that reduce inflammation).
A study by Ohio State University found that celery juice or celery extracts reduce the activity of certain proteins associated with inflammation.
7May relieve acne symptoms
Celery juice is low in sugar and is a good substitute for sugary drinks, such as soda, coffee drinks and energy drinks. Studies have linked high-sugar diets to an increase in acne and low-glycemic diets to a decrease in acne.
Another study shows that a diet with a low glycaemic load has a positive effect on acne. Histopathological examination of skin samples revealed several characteristics, including a reduction in the size of sebaceous glands and reduced inflammation. In other words, it can be stated that a reduction in the glycemic load of the diet for 10 weeks resulted in an improvement in acne.
Celery – Is it safe for everyone?
Celery is generally safe for people but some individuals should still refrain from consuming it.
Celery can cause allergic reactions in people who are sensitive to certain other plants and spices, including wild carrots, mugwort, birch, and dandelion. This is called ‘celery-carrot-mugwort-spice’ syndrome.
Pregnant women should avoid large doses of celery and celery seed as they contain volatile oils, flavonoids, coumarins, and linoleic acid, which can cause uterine contractions. However, occasional consumption as part of a well-balanced diet is not an issue.
Fun & curious facts about celery
Eating celery stalks helps to clean your teeth and mouth after a meal.
Celery was used as an ancient ‘bouquet of flowers,’ to reward winners of athletic games in ancient Greece.
Celery in the Blue Zones
Native to the Mediterranean, celery was used as a flavouring by the ancient Greeks. Celery has survived to the present day and is used extensively in dishes by the long-livers of the Blue Zone in Ikaria, Greece. Ikarians use celery in chickpea and chicken stew.
Celery is also used by Italian long-livers in Sardinia. They add it to a dish with beans in tomato sauce.
Let’s sum celery up
By making celery a part of your diet you will provide your body with the ability to protect against cancer and other inflammatory processes in your body, make your heart and digestion healthier, reduce high blood pressure and blood sugar, and may relieve acne symptoms. Also, pregnant women and people with allergies should avoid celery.
Not enough? Here is more
Here is a video of Dr. Eric Berg who specializes in Healthy Ketosis and Intermittent Fasting. He is the director of Dr. Berg’s Nutritionals and a best-selling amazon.com author. In this video, Dr. Berg will tell you about the benefits of celery and why you should eat it.
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