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Which is the first healthy vegetable that springs to your mind? Most likely kale, beet or spinach.
But would you say celery? Probably not.
The sad truth is that celery is often left forgotten at the back of the list. But it has a lot of health benefits that I’m sure you haven’t thought about at all. Do you want to know what they are?
Here, I’m going to present to you five super health benefits of celery. It would change the way you look at this leafy vegetable for sure
#1 Celery is nutrient rich vegetable
What’s so special about celery, you ask? Well, let’s first look at these celery nutrition facts. A cup of celery raw or diced (101 g) contains:
- Vitamin K – 25.59 mcg
- Folate- 36.36 mcg
- Potassium – 262.60 mcg
- Fiber – 1.40 g
- Manganese – 0.10 mg
- Vitamin B2 – 0.06 mg
- Vitamin A
- Copper – 0.04 mg
- Vitamin C – 3.13 mg
- Vitamin B6 -0.07 mg
- Calcium - 40.40 mg
- Phosphorus – 24.24 mg
- Calories – 16
To be exact, celery has 33 % of the needed vitamin K, 9% of the needed folate, 6 % of the recommended dose of fiber and 5 % of the daily manganese. It doesn’t contain any unhealthy fat, and it has an insignificant amount of calories. It also has a very low glycemic index in comparison to other vegetables and it practically has no effect on your blood sugar levels.
As a bonus, it’s rich in fiber which guarantees proper digestion. Thanks to the fiber, eating a cup of celery or adding it to your meal will make you feel full for a long time.
All this makes celery perfect for weight loss.
Celery is also known to regulate fat metabolism. We spend more calories chewing and digesting a stack of celery than we actually get from consuming it. So if you want to lose weight, celery is an excellent nutrient-rich vegetable to add to your diet.
#2 Celery is powerful anti-inflammatory food
In addition to all these necessary for our body vitamins and minerals, celery has other important components. They are called phytonutrients. These are chemicals that are found in plants and they act as protectors against various threats. Celery contains such potent phytonutrients as phenolic acids, flavonoids, and flavones.
Animal trials have proven that the phytonutrients in celery decrease the oxidative damage to blood vessel walls and body fats. They also have a positive effect on the digestive track and the blood vessels.
Celery also lowers the levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Cytokines play a role in cell signaling, and they promote systemic inflammation.
There are also other antioxidants and polysaccharides in celery. They scavenge free radicals and protect your cells from damage.
Celery is also found helpful for treating joint pain, kidney and liver infection, skin disorder and irritable bowel disease.
#3 Celery lower cholesterol levels
High levels of cholesterols are always bad news. They tremendously increase the risk of heart attack. So how can celery help us lower your cholesterol level?
There is a unique compound found in celery -3-n-butylphthalide. It has proven lipid lowering property. The research discovered that rats which were given celery extract as part of their high-fat diet had lower levels of lipids in their blood. The rats also had a low concentration of triglyceride in their blood.
3-n-butylphthalide also has a positive effect on blood pressure. It acts as a diuretic to reduce the volume of the fluids, and it relaxes the arteries. In this way, it reduces the resistance of the blood flow.
A phytonutrient called phthalides relaxes the smooth muscles around the blood vessels which also leads to low blood pressure.
Celery seeds also have proven blood pressure benefits. They contain extracts that improve circulation and lower inflammation. All this help for better control of your blood pressure.
#4 Celery prevents stomach ulcers
An ulcer forms when the lining of the stomach gets damaged by the stomach acids. Usually, the lining of the stomach is protected, but something this protection fails. One culprit responsible for this is Helicobacter pylori. It’s a type of bacteria that attacks the coating of the stomach and weakens it.
Celery may inhibit the growth of that bacterium due to the presence of flavonoids.
Also, the soluble fiber in the celery ferments in the large intestines. This leads to the productions of butyrate.
Butyrate is a short-chain-fatty-acid which is a potent anti-inflammatory agent. Studies also point out that butyrate protects the gastrointestinal barrier. This barrier keeps bacteria and pathogens out.
Celery also increases the amount of gastric mucus. This mucus is needed to protect the stomach lining so that no holes or openings would appear.
Eating celery could also be beneficial for your liver, according to some research.
So, for a healthy stomach, don’t forget to eat celery!
#5 Celery may be useful against cancer
As we said, celery is rich in flavonoids. Flavonoids have anti-inflammatory properties, and some of them are linked to cancer prevention.
Celery contains apigenin. It’s a flavonoid which has shown some anti-cancer effects. In laboratory trials it induces apoptosis.
It means that the cancer cells start to self-destruct. Apigenin has also shown some potential in treating breast cancer. Sounds, wonderfully, right?
Luteolin, another flavonoid, has shown the ability the slow the replication cycle of cancer cells. It also suppresses the inflammatory response and slows the productions of TNF-alpha.
However, human trials are still inconclusive, and more research is needed on the subject.
After a have read so much about the nutrient value of celery, you might be wondering: Should I eat the celery raw or can I cook it? Or how to store celery?
Well, research has found out that steaming the celery for 10 minutes doesn’t have a significant effect on its nutrition value. But boiling and blanching reduce the amount of antioxidant with up to 41 %!
As for storing, you can wrap it tightly in an aluminum foil and keep it in the refrigerator. However, remember that if you store celery in the fridge for weeks, you risk losing most of its nutrition value.
I’m sure that you understand now that celery is greatly underestimated. The healthy benefits of celery are numerous, and it should have its rightful place in your diet. Do you agree with that? Share your celery experience in the comments.
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