Unbeknownst to a large majority of the population, celery is actually a nutritional powerhouse! It isn’t just water and fibre (although that does constitute a large part of it). The health benefits of celery range from cancer prevention to blood pressure lowering abilities and more. It even acts as its own natural toothbrush!
Celery is an excellent source of vitamin K, C, A, B6 and B2, and is high in minerals like molybdenum, folate, potassium, manganese, calcium, copper, phosphorous and magnesium. It acts as a great snack, and a great filler for freshly-pressed juices and smoothies.
After reading this, you will never look at celery the same way again!
10 Health Benefits of Celery
1. Strengthens the immune system
Who knew that celery was so high in vitamin C? This amazing vegetable contains over 2 mg of vitamin C per stalk, making it a great way to increase vitamin C intake, especially when juiced. Vitamin C is important for a strong, healthy immune system, and acts as an antioxidant, helping to eradicate free radicals and prevent mutated DNA (which can eventually lead to cancer).
2. Helps lower blood pressure
Traditional Chinese Medicine has shown daily celery consumption to lower blood pressure by 14%! How? Phthalides in celery help relax muscles around the arteries and allows vessels to dilate. Not only that, but the chemical compound in celery called catecholamine reduces the secretion of stress hormones, a major contributor of high blood pressure. Celery is also rich in blood pressure regulating minerals like calcium, magnesium and potassium.
3. Keeps cholesterol levels healthy
LDL Cholesterol is something we all want to keep low, and celery can help you do just that! The phthalides in celery help lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol by increasing bile acid secretion in the liver. An increased secretion of bile acids produces higher bile flow, promoting digestion and absorption of dietary fat and cholesterol.
4. Cancer fighter
Celery contains at least 8 anti-cancer compounds that help fight against many forms of cancer. Acetylenics and phenolic acids, two major anti-cancer compounds in celery help terminate cancer cell growth. Another compound called “coumarin,” in celery also helps decrease mutations in normal cells, which would normally cause certain cells to become cancerous.
5. All-natural diuretic
The perfect balance of potassium and sodium in celery makes it an excellent natural diuretic. Whenever I make juices with celery, they always make me rush to the bathroom. This is great for the kidneys, because it helps flush out excess toxins and fluid from the body, meaning clearer skin, and less excess water weight.
With more than 20 anti-inflammatory compounds, celery is quite the vegetable to help fight chronic aches and pains. The most powerful of these compounds, apigenin, helps lower oxidative stress and prevents the expression of several inflammatory factors like COX-2 inhibitors. Luteolin in celery also helps prevent excess production of TNF-α, which normally promotes inflammation and tissue destruction in rheumatic/immune mediated diseases.
7. Weight loss aid
As a diuretic, celery works by immediately relieving excess water weight from the body (helping you look slim and trim). It is also great for those suffering from edema (excess fluid build-up). In fact, a large majority of the population suffers from some form of water retention due to high sodium intake. You can hold up to 10-15 pounds of excess water weight (crazy, right?). Celery is also naturally high in fibre and helps prevent you from over-eating bad foods.
8. Natural toothbrush
Did you know that celery acts as a natural toothbrush? It is a great weapon against any bad bacteria in your mouth that contribute to gum disease, cavities, and plaque build-up. Celery also takes a longer time to chew, which means more natural saliva production to help keep cavities away.
9. Prevents calcium deposits
Those suffering from aortic stenosis or people with high acidity (due to calcification and degenerative bones and joints) will largely benefit from the calcium-deposit dissolving abilities of celery. Celery works by eliminating calcium deposits before they even begin to accumulate.
Find out more about calcium deposits, and what’s causing them at The Modern Hippie!
10. Aids digestion
The high water and insoluble fibre content in celery makes it a great way to aid in the production of healthy bowel movements. Celery is also a natural prebiotic, which helps promote the growth and proliferation of beneficial bacteria in your gut, keeping bloating at bay.