As one of the most nutritious of vegetables, celery is one that doesn’t get the recognition it deserves.
Known for it’s popularity as a crunchy vessel for cheesy or peanut buttery-fillings or a tasty garnish, celery is more likely on the sidelines of your grocery list when it comes to planning healthy meals.
Believe it or not, but from allergies to indigestion, this skinny green veggie has been used as a natural remedy for a variety of ailments since ancient times. Abundant in a slew of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and powerful anti-oxidants, this practically calorie-free veggie is called a “superfood” for good reason.
LOWER BLOOD PRESSURE- Medical studies indicate that celery is shown to be an effective natural treatment for high blood pressure, with a significant decrease after 7 days of drinking celery juice each day. Numerous patients diagnosed with high blood pressure have also reported seeing a significant drop in their blood pressure levels, both systolic (top number) and diastolic (bottom number), after consuming celery on a daily basis.
In a study conducted at the University of Chicago, researchers found that blood pressure readings dropped by 12-14% in the animals given the celery compound. Scientists credit the phtalides, a compound found in celery, which helps improve blood flow by relaxing the muscles around the arteries and expanding the blood vessels.
REDUCE STRESS- One of the primary issues to address when it comes to reducing your blood pressure is to reduce the stress that your body is fighting in order to regulate the functioning of your circulatory system, particularly its key organ, your heart.
Under stress, your heart must work harder to get its job done, and your heart rate and blood pressure rises. By relieving that stress, your heart is better able to work efficiently, your blood vessels and arteries are more relaxed, and blood flows more freely through dilated (rather than constricted) blood vessels. When blood flows efficiently, your blood pressure then naturally decreases.
The phthalides, coumarin and apigenin are the active compounds found in celery that are the major components for reducing blood pressure.
When combined with the abundance of nutrients such as vitamins C, B6, and K, as well as the potassium, calcium and magnesium that celery contains, this veggie has the superpower to fight off the things that cause illness and disease, when included as a part of your daily diet.
It is said that celery seeds contain the most concentrated levels of essential oils, and may provide the most substantial effect when it comes to getting the most health benefits.
HERE ARE A FEW MORE OF CELERY’S BENEFITS THAT YOU MIGHT BE SURPRISED TO LEARN.
ANTI-INFLAMMATORY, ANTIOXIDANT, ANTI-CANCER- With its pH-balancing alkalinity, celery is a powerful fighter against inflammation.
Celery offers superior antioxidant protection with bioflavonoid called luteolin, which is shown to block the inflammatory signals to the brain. The coumarins, which boost immunity by activating the activity of your white blood cells, also work as an antioxidant in protecting your body from the free radicals that can cause cell damage (which is linked to heart disease, cancer, arthritis and other serious diseases).
A Rutgers University study established that acetylenics, among several other compounds found in celery, has been shown to inhibit growth in tumor cells, which may prevent the spread of cancer.
WEIGHT LOSS– Also known as a “negative calorie food”, celery is also effective in aiding your weight loss efforts. Because celery contains a lot of water, it helps you feel full faster, thereby reducing your cravings and lessening the chances of overeating at your next meal. metabolism
LOWER CHOLESTEROL– Phthalide may also play a role in reducing LDL cholesterol (the bad kind), in addition to it’s ability to increase the secretion of bile acid, which helps your body to eliminate cholesterol.
DIURETIC– The natural sodium content in celery is balanced by its abundance of potassium, which works to regulate and flush the excess fluid from your system. Celery is high in water content, and in combination with other important minerals, celery juice is great source for hydrating your body.
RELAXATION & SLEEP– The phthalides found in celery is also beneficial in reducing stress hormones. Cortisol and adrenaline (your stress hormones) begin a cycle of mass production when your body is under stress. When cortisol rises, your fat storing process kicks in, which over time will add unwanted pounds to your belly. The bioflavonoids coumarin and apigenin help to prevent your body from producing stress hormones in excess, which helps to calm your nervous system. Additionally, celery is also rich in magnesium, which promotes a calming effect, as well.
INCREASED SEX DRIVE– As if fighting cancer, lowering blood pressure and weight loss weren’t awesome enough, celery is also a natural aphrodisiac. Who knew? With its abundance of nutrients and its natural ability to support proper blood flow all throughout our bodies (and extremities), celery also has the power of attraction to those who eat it. According to research, androsterone and adrostenol, are two steroids found in celery. When eaten, celery is said to release these pheromones which are shown to increase arousal, as well as increase your attraction to the opposite sex.
GETTING THE MOST BENEFITS THAT CELERY HAS TO OFFER…
BUY ORGANIC– Celery is at the top of the list when it comes to veggies that are known to have the most pesticide residue.
Organic or not, always be sure to thoroughly wash all fruits and vegetables before consumption.
Chopping and preparing celery just prior to consuming is said to preserve the optimal amount of nutrients. However, fresh celery can be chopped and safely stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 5-7 days.
Celery seed is available in whole seeds or ground (which, like other herbs, has a stronger flavor when ground), and can be found at most retail and health food stores, as well as online. It can be used to season your healthy foods, salad dressings, and added to juices or smoothies, as well.
PLAIN JANE– Celery is perfect for a simple, healthy snack. Eating at least 2 stalks of raw celery per day is a great way to lower your blood pressure with a tasty crunch. Without any additional ingredients, a few celery sticks can also help curb your appetite between meals.
DRINK YOUR VEGGIES– One of the most efficient ways to get all of celery’s nutritional superpowers is to drink it.
By adding celery to a smoothie, or making a simple juice (such as the recipe included below), drinking your veggies is a quick and easy way to include this superfood in your daily diet.
It’s recommended to use dark leafy greens as the primary ingredient in your health drinks, and limit the amount of fruits and root veggies (such as carrot and beets), as they are often high in natural sugars, which is of importance if you’re trying to lose weight. Drinking one to two glasses daily has shown to be effective in reducing blood pressure.
Celery clearly offers natural alternatives for the medicinal treatment of many ailments, as well as providing prevention and treatment for many serious illnesses and diseases.
For anyone concerned with high blood pressure, losing weight, or who deal with the effects of inflammation, then adding celery to your daily diet may be a great way to gain the whole-body benefits that this super veggie has to offer.
***As with any type of dietary supplement or herbal remedy, it’s important to talk to your doctor for the appropriate recommendations according to your personal health plan. Please do not stop taking any prescribed medications without seeking your doctors advice.
SWEET & TANGY CELERY JUICE
Recipe yields ~ 22 fl. oz.; Serves 3
2 cups fresh organic spinach
1 cucumber, skin on
2-3 stalks celery
1 Granny Smith apple; cored, cut into chunks
~1 Tbsp. ground ginger
~1 1/2 Tbsp. of fresh lime or lemon juice
Directions: Carefully wash all fruits and veggies. Combine ingredients in juicer or blender.
Nutrition Values (per 6 oz. serving)
Calories 55 Total Fat 0g Sodium 53 mg Total Carbs 13g Protein 2g Calcium 58 mg Potassium 444mg Magnesium 39.1 mg
Michael Staib. Why Celery Lowers Blood Pressure. Blog Critics Magazine.May 12, 2009. August 7, 2013. http://blogcritics.org/why-celery-lowers-blood-pressure/