While you may think of celery as the boring part of a veggies-and-dip platter, this humble vegetable has a lot more to offer than meets the eye. While celery consists mostly of water, scientists have found that the compounds in the green stalks possess many beneficial properties, such as protecting cells from oxidative damage, lowering harmful cholesterol, balancing blood sugar, and preventing unhealthy blood clotting.
Here are some of the reasons you should make an effort to include celery in your daily diet.
Celery could improve your blood pressure
Celery contains phytochemicals called phthalides, which relax the tissues of artery walls to increase blood flow and reduce blood pressure. When you eat celery, you also get fiber, magnesium, and potassium to help regulate your blood pressure. Try eating four stalks of celery to get the most benefit – simply chop over a salad, mix into a tuna sandwich filling, or add to a stir fry.
Celery could help you lose weight
Eating more low-calorie, nutritious foods like celery could support your efforts to shed a few pounds. This fresh green food can help your body burn fat and lose weight by helping you feel full after you eat it – so you end up consuming less food overall. Celery also contains anti-inflammatory compounds such as a polysaccharide called apiuman, and lowering inflammation is known to cause weight loss.
Celery could boost your sex life
Now, celery may not be a classic aphrodisiac, but it could play a role in boosting your sex life. Celery contains androsterone, an odorless hormone released through perspiration and believed to increase sexual desire.
Celery could beautify your skin
When it comes to skin, hydration is key. Not only is celery a good source of antioxidants and other healthy, disease-fighting plant compounds like phytonutrients and flavonoids, it’s also high in electrolytes. Electrolytes are chemicals in water that are essential for bodily functions. They help with hydration, maintain healthy blood pressure, repair tissue damage, and make sure your muscles and nerves work correctly. Plus, with a high natural sodium content, celery promotes the production of stomach acid, which helps break down food – improving gut health and, in turn, brightening skin.
Celery could improve digestion & elimination
The high water content of celery – almost 95 percent – plus generous amounts of soluble and insoluble fiber act to support a healthy digestive tract and keep you regular. One cup of celery sticks has 5 grams of dietary fiber.
Celery could heal your gut
A pharmacological study found that celery extracts had anti-inflammatory benefits without causing the side effects of drugs like non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Not only did the celery extracts cause no harm, but they also helped heal gastric injury in disease-stressed rats with chronic inflammatory conditions such as arthritis.
Celery could prevent the development of cancer
Thanks to the high antioxidant content found in celery, eating a few extra green stalks a day could keep cancer at bay. Because chronic oxidative stress and excessive inflammation are key risk factors for the development of many cancer types, it’s not surprising to see scientists interested in the potential benefits of celery intake for cancer prevention. Research has so far hinted at celery benefits for stomach cancer, colon cancer, and bladder cancer.
Celery could fight the signs of aging
Eating more celery could leave your body looking and feeling younger. In addition to well-known antioxidants like vitamin C and flavonoids, scientists have now identified at least a dozen other types of antioxidant nutrients in celery. These antioxidants include dihydrostilbenoids like lunularin as well as furanocoumarins like bergapten and psoralen. The antioxidant support we get from celery is largely due to its phenolic nutrients that have been shown to help protect us against unwanted oxidative damage to our cells, blood vessels, and organ systems.
Celery could protect brain function
Celery could boost your brain health, too. A 2017 animal study found that celery extract appeared to improve cognitive function while increasing neuronal density in mice.
With so many powerful benefits, make celery a priority when shopping at the grocery store or planning your meals. Stuff celery with peanut butter and top with raisins, or fill celery sticks with homemade tuna or chicken salad as another way to make the vegetable more appetizing. Eat more celery and enjoy good health.