Health

What are the health benefits of eating celery?

What are the health benefits of eating celery?

Celery, also known as Apium graveolens, is a popular vegetable that belongs to the Apiaceae family. It is widely used in cooking and is a staple in many cuisines around the world. However, celery is not just a tasty addition to meals, it also offers numerous health benefits. In this article, we will explore the various ways in which eating celery can improve your overall health and well-being.

Celery Rich in Nutrients

Celery is a low-calorie vegetable that is packed with essential nutrients. One cup of chopped celery (101 grams) contains:

  • Calories: 16
  • Carbohydrates: 3 grams
  • Fiber: 1.6 grams
  • Protein: 0.7 grams
  • Fat: 0.2 grams
  • Vitamin K: 37% of the RDI (Recommended Daily Intake)
  • Vitamin A: 9% of the RDI
  • Potassium: 5% of the RDI
  • Folate: 5% of the RDI
  • Vitamin C: 3% of the RDI

Celery also contains small amounts of other vitamins and minerals, including calcium, magnesium, and vitamin B6. It is also a good source of antioxidants, such as flavonoids and phenolic acids, which help protect the body against free radical damage.

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May Help Lower Blood Pressure

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a common health problem that affects millions of people worldwide. If left untreated, it can increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, and other serious health conditions. Fortunately, celery may help lower blood pressure due to its high potassium content.

Potassium is an essential mineral that plays a crucial role in regulating blood pressure. It helps relax the blood vessels, allowing blood to flow more freely and reducing the strain on the heart. According to a study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food, consuming celery extract for six weeks significantly reduced both systolic and diastolic blood pressure in participants with mild to moderate hypertension.

May Improve Digestive Health

Celery is an excellent source of dietary fiber, with one cup of chopped celery providing 1.6 grams of fiber. Fiber is essential for maintaining a healthy digestive system as it helps keep the bowels regular and prevents constipation. It also feeds the beneficial bacteria in the gut, promoting a healthy balance of gut flora.

In addition to fiber, celery also contains a compound called apiuman, which has been shown to have a protective effect on the digestive tract. A study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food found that apiuman helped protect the stomach lining from damage caused by nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

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May Aid in Weight Loss

Celery is a popular choice for those trying to lose weight due to its low calorie and high fiber content. The high water content of celery also makes it a filling and hydrating snack. Eating celery can help you feel full and satisfied, reducing the likelihood of overeating or snacking on unhealthy foods.

Furthermore, celery is a negative calorie food, meaning that it takes more calories to digest than it provides. This can help boost your metabolism and aid in weight loss. A study published in the journal Nutrition and Metabolism found that consuming negative calorie foods, such as celery, can lead to a significant reduction in body weight and body fat.

May Have Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Inflammation is a natural response of the body to injury or infection. However, chronic inflammation can lead to various health problems, including heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Celery contains several compounds, such as apigenin and luteolin, that have been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects.

A study published in the Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine found that celery extract reduced inflammation in rats with arthritis. Another study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that celery extract reduced inflammation in human cells.

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May Help Protect Against Cancer

Celery contains several compounds that have been shown to have anti-cancer properties. These include apigenin, luteolin, and polyacetylenes. These compounds have been found to inhibit the growth of cancer cells and induce cell death in various types of cancer, including breast, colon, and pancreatic cancer.

A study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that celery extract inhibited the growth of breast cancer cells in mice. Another study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food found that celery extract induced cell death in colon cancer cells.

May Help Improve Heart Health

Heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide. Fortunately, eating celery may help improve heart health and reduce the risk of heart disease. Celery contains compounds that have been shown to have a positive effect on heart health, including reducing inflammation, lowering blood pressure, and improving cholesterol levels.

A study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that consuming celery extract reduced cholesterol levels in rats with high cholesterol. Another study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that celery extract reduced the risk of heart disease in rats by reducing inflammation and improving cholesterol levels.

May Help Improve Skin Health

Celery is a rich source of antioxidants, which can help protect the skin from damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that can damage cells and contribute to aging and various skin problems, such as wrinkles and age spots.

In addition to its antioxidant content, celery also contains compounds that have been shown to have anti-aging effects. A study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology found that celery extract reduced the appearance of wrinkles and improved skin elasticity in participants after eight weeks of use.

How to Incorporate Celery into Your Diet

Now that you know about the numerous health benefits of celery, you may be wondering how to incorporate it into your diet. Here are a few ideas:

  • Add chopped celery to salads for a crunchy and nutritious addition.
  • Use celery as a base for soups and stews.
  • Make a healthy snack by spreading peanut butter on celery sticks.
  • Blend celery into smoothies for an extra boost of nutrients.
  • Use celery as a low-calorie substitute for chips or crackers when dipping into hummus or other dips.

Conclusion:

Celery is not just a tasty vegetable, it is also a nutritional powerhouse that offers numerous health benefits. From improving heart health to aiding in weight loss, celery has a lot to offer. So, next time you are at the grocery store, be sure to pick up some celery and incorporate it into your meals for a healthier and happier you.

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