The benefits of celery

The benefits of celery

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Celery has many medicinal properties and there are no contraindications. This is one of the most healthy vegetables among others.

Celery is an excellent source of antioxidants and beneficial enzymes, in addition to vitamins and minerals such as vitamin K, vitamin C, potassium, folate and vitamin B6.

For centuries, celery, used as an antihypertensive drug in folk medicine of the world, continues to prove that it has a lot of benefits for heart health. In pharmacological studies, celery exhibits both antioxidant nutrients and anti-inflammatory properties that help improve blood pressure and cholesterol, as well as prevent heart disease.

Celery also contains fiber, especially when you eat more than one cup at a time, which helps digestion and weight loss. In addition, a high percentage of water and electrolytes in celery can prevent dehydration, and special compounds help celery act as a diuretic and reduce bloating. As a supplier of antioxidant flavonoids and phytonutrients to polyphenols, such as phthalides, other significant benefits of celery include its ability to improve liver, skin, eye, and cognitive health.

In the article we will consider – from which nutrient nutrients celery, its medicinal properties and contraindications for consumption.

Nutrition Facts of Celery

Most people prefer to eat a stalk of celery, but celery leaves and seeds are also edible and healthy. For example, celery leaves are a great addition to french fries and soups, so do not rule out their use in your kitchen.

Celery seeds, which can be found either as whole seeds, or as extracts, or in powdered form, themselves have impressive health benefits, as they help reduce inflammation and fight bacterial infections. In some parts of the world, celery is grown mainly because of its healthy seeds, which are actually a very small kind of fruit. Celery seeds are usually used as a spice for grinding and contain a special oily compound called apiol, which is used as a flavoring and for its many medicinal uses.

Fresh celery benefits nutrition thanks to all the huge vitamins and minerals it contains. One cup of chopped raw celery (100 grams) contains approximately: ( 1 )

  • Calorie content – 16.2 kcal
  • Carbohydrates – 3.5 g.
  • Proteins – 0.7 g.
  • Fats – 0.2 gr.
  • Fiber – 1.6 g.
  • Vitamin K – 29.6 mcg (37%)
  • Folate – 36.5 mcg (9%)
  • Potassium – 263 mg (8%)
  • Vitamin C – 3.1 mg (5%)
  • Manganese – 0.1 mg (5%)
  • Vitamin B6 – 0.1 mg (4%)
  • Calcium – 40.4 mg (4%)
  • Riboflavin – 0.1 mg (3%)
  • Magnesium – 11.1 mg (3%)

Celery also contains vitamin E, niacin, pantothenic acid, iron, phosphorus, zinc and selenium.

Celery stalk

 

Top 10 healing properties of celery for health

  1. Helps Lower High Cholesterol
  2. Reduces inflammation
  3. Prevents or treats high blood pressure
  4. Helps prevent ulcers
  5. Protects liver health
  6. Helps to lose weight
  7. Increases digestion and reduces bloating
  8. Contains antimicrobial properties that fight infections
  9. Helps prevent urinary tract infections
  10. Can help protect against cancer

Note that the medicinal properties of celery are not limited to this, while there are practically no contraindications for its use. That is, celery is truly the richest vegetable for the human body.

So, we will consider each of these properties in more detail.

1. Helps lower high cholesterol

Celery’s benefits include its ability to lower cholesterol, which makes it useful for improving or maintaining heart health. Celery contains a unique compound called  3-n-butylphthalide  (BuPh), which, as previously reported, has a lipid-lowering effect. But researchers believe that there are many other beneficial compounds in celery that are still being studied.

In a study conducted by the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Singapore, when rats received a high-fat diet for eight weeks, rats given celery extract showed significantly lower lipid levels in their blood compared to the control group ( 2 ).

In the group receiving celery extract, there was a favorable decrease in the concentration of total cholesterol (TS) in serum, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-X) and triglycerides (TG).

2. Reduces inflammation

Celery contains antioxidants and polysaccharides, which are known to act as anti-inflammatory drugs, especially the antioxidants of flavonoids and polyphenols. They maintain overall health, especially as they age, by fighting free radicals (or oxidative stress) that can lead to inflammation. Inflammation is often the cause of chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease, arthritis, and many others ( 3 ).

Researchers have identified more than a dozen different types of antioxidants that are responsible for the benefits of celery. These include phenolic acids such as caffeic acid and ferulic acid, as well as flavols such as quercetin. This makes celery useful for treating a wide range of diseases that are aggravated by inflammation: joint pain (such as arthritis), gout, kidney and liver infections, skin diseases, irritable bowel syndrome, and urinary tract infections.

3. Lowers high blood pressure

This is perhaps the most famous healing property of celery. Celery seed extracts have antihypertensive properties that help lower high blood pressure, one of the important risk factors for developing coronary heart disease, which is the leading cause of death in industrialized countries.

The benefits of celery seed include potential help in controlling chronic high blood pressure. The benefits of celery in lowering blood pressure stem from its seeds, which contain hexane, methanol and water-ethanol extracts that improve blood circulation, reduce inflammation and help control blood pressure.

When rats were given celery seed extract for a seven-week period in a study published in the  Journal of Medicinal Food , they experienced significant improvements in blood pressure compared to rats fed the same diet but not receiving celery extract. Celery is believed to help lower high blood pressure by acting as a smooth muscle relaxant and improving the flow of calcium and potassium into and out of cells. Celery extract helps blood vessels to expand and contract, improve blood flow and promote overall heart health ( 4 ).

4. Helps prevent ulcers

Here is one of the healing properties of celery that you may not have known about. It can help prevent or reduce the formation of painful ulcers. A study in 2010, published in the  Journal of Pharmaceutical Biology ,  found that celery contains a special type of ethanol extract, which is useful for protecting the mucous membrane of the digestive tract ulcers. Celery extract has the ability to significantly replenish depleted levels of gastric mucus. They are needed in the mucous membrane of the stomach to prevent the formation of tiny holes and damage.

Researchers believe that celery nourishes the stomach and intestines due to the presence of chemical components, such as flavonoids, tannins, essential oils and alkaloids, which control the level of secreted stomach acid, and also improve the level of protective mucus ( 5 ).

5. Protects liver health

When researchers from the Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences at Helwan University in Egypt fed celery to rats (along with chicory and barley), these rats showed a decrease in the accumulation of dangerous fats in the liver.

The more rats gave celery, chicory, and barley, the more their liver improved. This suggests that a diet high in celery, as well as chicory and barley, can be useful for people suffering from liver diseases ( 6 ).

6. Benefits for losing weight

Celery is a low-calorie product and therefore can be valuable for weight loss. All thanks to its ability to provide vital nutrients and regulate lipid (fat) metabolism. One of the main benefits of celery is that it is extremely rich in nutrients. Celery contains antioxidants, electrolytes, vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, B vitamins and potassium. And all this with very few calories.

7. Improves digestion and reduces bloating

Celery seeds contain an odorless, oily compound known as NBP, which has a diuretic effect and helps detoxify the body. In a rat study given celery extract, the urine volume was significantly larger compared to the control group.

The healing properties of celery for digestion are partly due to its diuretic effect. It may also be one of the possible antihypertensive mechanisms of celery seeds that help lower blood pressure. Because it improves blood circulation in the intestines, it is also useful for improving digestion, helping to reduce bloating and swelling from water retention.

8. Contains antimicrobial properties that fight infections

Celery seeds have been used for centuries as a herbal medicine with antibacterial effect. Report 2009, published in  the journal Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology , show that celery seeds contain a special anti-microbial components ( 7 ).

Celery seed extract has been mixed with harmful bacteria. As a result, celery extract was able to significantly cleanse and reduce the growth of bacteria. This suggests that celery can be used to naturally enhance immunity and fight bacterial infections.

 

Drinks containing celery

 

9. Helps prevent urinary tract infections

Since celery helps reduce uric acid and stimulates the production of urine, it is useful for fighting bacterial infections in the digestive tract and reproductive organs. Like cranberries, which are known to fight urinary tract infections, celery can help prevent such infections, as well as diseases of the bladder, kidney problems, and possibly even cysts on the reproductive organs ( 8 ).

10.Can help protect against cancer

Another of the famous healing properties of celery. It belongs to the same plant family as cancer-protecting vegetables, such as carrots , fennel , parsley and parsnips. They contain chemical protective compounds called polyacetylenes. Early research showed that polyacetylenes help reduce toxicity and fight the formation of cancer cells, especially breast, intestinal, and blood cancers.

Polyacetylins have many immunostimulating effects, including the ability to fight tumors that prevent mutated cells from multiplying. According to the Department of Agricultural Sciences at Aarhus University of Denmark, polyacetylenes showed many interesting bioactivities, including anti-inflammatory, antiplatelet, aggregation, cytotoxic, antitumor activity, as well as activity against bacteria and mycoplasmas ( 9 ).

That is not all. Celery contains a flavonoid called apigenin, which has been shown to cause the death of cancer cells ( 10 ).

Celery Historical Facts

The celery, scientifically named  Apium graveolens  , is a vegetable from the Apiaceae plant family   .

This is an extremely old vegetable, with records showing that celery leaves were part of the remains found in the tomb of the pharaoh “King Tutankhamun”, who died in 1323 BC. In ancient Greece, celery leaves were used as garlands for the dead and for making wreaths or crowns that were awarded to battle winners. Celery is even mentioned in Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, as it is believed that horses eat wild celery, which grew throughout Troy.

In the past, celery was grown as a vegetable mainly during the winter and early spring months. People loved to eat celery. They believed that celery acts as a natural detox tonic that can prevent the disease. As you know, celery cleanses the body due to its moisturizing properties. Celery seeds have also been used to relieve pain, be it arthritis or another painful condition.

How to buy and store celery

Celery is considered a long-term harvest and is difficult to grow, because it needs constant moisture and does not tolerate heat. It grows best in cool, humid climates.

Knowing that celery is one of the most sprayed vegetables, always look for organic celery whenever possible in order to get the most from celery without consuming toxins and chemicals. Celery is usually sprayed with various types of pesticides.

When choosing celery, make sure that the stems seem hard and not too flexible. If leaves are fixed to the stems, look for bright leaves that do not fade.

Do not wash celery immediately after you bring it home, because this can lead to it deteriorating faster. Store dry celery wrapped in a paper towel, if you wish, in the refrigerator for no more than five to seven days. After this time, celery begins to go limp, and its content in nutrients begins to decrease. It is also not recommended to freeze celery, because it easily fades after thawing.

To peel and chop celery, discard a base that is usually solid and white. You can save the leaves and use them in recipes such as soups, stews or sautés. Celery leaves, like stalks, are a good source of vitamins and minerals, so don’t waste them! Rinse the stems and celery leaves well to remove dirt, and then cut the stems into pieces.

How to cook celery

Compared to cooking, frying, or blanching celery, steaming celery keeps more antioxidants safe and sound. Celery components, including its flavonoids and polyphenols, are delicate nutrients that can be lost when cooking celery. It’s best to eat raw celery or cook it lightly, for example steaming celery for several minutes to soften it.

Not sure what to do with celery after you bought it? Try adding to the salad, soup, juice, smoothie. It is very useful to make juice from celery and carrots.

Contraindications

The healing properties of celery are undeniable, but there are contraindications for its use.

Although allergies are not common, celery is part of a small group of foods that in some cases cause serious allergic reactions similar to peanut allergies. If you are allergic to celery, exposure to its oils can cause potentially fatal side effects. Celery seeds contain the highest levels of allergen, which does not break down during cooking. Therefore, celery is contraindicated to everyone who has an allergy to it.

Final thoughts

  • The healing properties of celery – not to mention celery seeds – begin with the fact that it is an excellent source of antioxidants and beneficial enzymes, in addition to vitamins and minerals such as vitamin K, vitamin C, potassium, folate and vitamin B6.
  • Celery has been proven to help lower high cholesterol, reduce inflammation, and prevent or treat high blood pressure. Also prevent ulcers, protect the liver, lose weight, improve digestion and reduce bloating. Celery helps against infections of the genitourinary system and potentially protects against cancer. Plus, celery contains antimicrobial properties that fight infections.

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