Celery is known as diet food, and why not when it is rich with nutrients and low on calories. It is crunchy when eaten raw and has a mild, earthy, slightly peppery and herby taste. It is loaded with essential minerals and vitamins such as potassium, folate, vitamin B6, vitamin C, and vitamin K. But do you know celery is much more than just a diet food, as it has much more to offer? There are numerous health benefits of celery. Let’s benefit from all the amazing things mother nature has to offer so richly and abundantly.
Nutritional benefits of celery:
Health benefits of celery
Reduces inflammation: Chronic inflammation is linked to many diseases including heart diseases, arthritis, and osteoporosis. Celery contains apigenin, a plant compound that is an anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiviral, and antioxidant agent. Celery, being anti-inflammatory, contains approximately 25 anti-inflammatory compounds that offer protection against inflammation in the body.
Lowers cholesterol level: Celery is loaded with fiber and contains less number of calories, and this can be the ultimate reason to introduce celery in your low-cholesterol diet. A unique compound present in it, 3-n-butylphthalide, has a lipid-lowering effect. It reduces lipoprotein cholesterol, total cholesterol, and triglyceride concentration. However, extreme low cholesterol can create a sense of confusion and agitation.
Supports digestion: The natural fiber and water content in it makes it best for the digestive system. It contains apiuman, a compound that is known for improving the lining of the stomach, preventing your body from stomach ulcers and constipation.
Reduces blood pressure: It contains a phytochemical called phthalides, which relaxe artery walls and increase blood flow. It is also rich in nitrates, potassium, and calcium, which are found to lower blood pressure. Celery extracts are used in Chinese medicines to lower blood pressure.
Prevents urinary tract infections: Being anti-bacterial in nature,celery inhibits the growth of bacteria like E. Coli (that causes urinary tract and intestinal infections) thus protecting against Urinary tract infections. According to research, celery also reduces the symptoms of UTI in men.
May help fight cancer: It contains polyacetylenes (compounds) that prevent the formation of numerous types of cancerous cells. Apigenin and luteolin, the bioactive flavonoids in it, kill cancer cells in the body. Thus celery keeps cancer at bay, especially intestinal cancer, breast cancer, and leukemia.
Lowers arthritis pain: People suffering from arthritis, rheumatism, and gout may benefit from celery as it has anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce swelling and pain around the joints. The increase in uric acid is one of the major reasons for joint pains. Celery being a diuretic helps in the excretion of uric acid.
Boosts immune system: It is rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, and antioxidants thus it boosts up the immune system and makes it more active and efficient. It fights off infections and inhibits bacterial growth.
Reduces asthma symptoms: As known, it is rich in vitamin C and has anti-inflammatory properties, celery can lessen the severity of inflammatory conditions like asthma. Journal of the American Medical Association suggests that vitamin C may have “a protective effect on the airways of patients with exercise-induced asthma.”
Relieves migraines: Tinctures of celery seeds can help relieve headaches. It can also help eliminate the after-effects of lack of sleep: sunken eyeball and headache. As dehydration can aggravate migraines, celery comes as a rescue as it is high on water content and magnesium.
Celery helps in controlling other diseases and health conditions too:
- Liver disease
- Common cold
- Rheumatic disorders
- Skin disorders
How to include celery in your diet:
There are several ways in which you can introduce celery in your diet. You can either eat it raw or cooked. Here are a few recommendations.
As soup: You can blend celery with other veggies like onions and garlic, and you have yourself a healthy soup. You can drink it before going to bed and let it do its beneficial magic.
As salad: As celery is a vegetable, it can be introduced into several types of salad. Mix it in a bowl with your favorite salad ingredients (onions, tomatoes, carrots, etc.) layer on some dressing and voila! A tasty, next-level salad.
Dipped into hummus: Celery pairs well with cheese, dips (such as hummus), and peanut butter.
Health risks of eating celery:
Although celery is really good for various health reasons, Some people can develop an allergic reaction to celery. Consumption of the vegetable or the juice may cause allergic contact dermatitis (eczema), acute urticaria (hives), swelling of the face, irritation and rashes, upset stomach, and dizziness. In extreme cases, the symptoms can include lightheadedness, a drop in blood pressure levels, and difficulty breathing.