Celery is one of the most nutritious vegetables. It is rich in anti-inflammatory, antioxidant agents, and is an excellent source of nutrients like Vitamins A, B, C, K, magnesium, and potassium. Since a stalk of celery has just 10 calories, it also makes for a great low-calorie diet food. Here are four health benefits of eating celery regularly.
1. Lower cholesterol
Since the fiber provided by celery can pick up excess cholesterol compounds in the human gut and push them out, it can help in lowering cholesterol levels. In addition, it appears that consuming celery seed extract can be beneficial. One study published in the Natural Medicine Journal looked at how celery seed could help patients affected by cholesterol. After six weeks of consuming celery seed extract, patients displayed decreased blood pressure.
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The extract, a compound called 3nb, is known to act as a vasodilator as well as a diuretic in animals. “3nB has also been shown to lower blood cholesterol levels and reduce the formation of arterial plaque in preclinical studies (animal and in vitro studies). This effect may increase the elasticity of the blood vessels and also lead to lower blood pressure readings. 3nB also appears to promote some effects on areas and systems of the brain that control vascular resistance,” according to Natural Medicine Journal.
2. Lower cancer risk
Flavonoids, phytonutrients, and antioxidants found in celery can be crucial in reducing cancer risk in people. Luteolin and apigenin, the two flavonoids present in celery, have shown positive results against pancreatic cancer cells. Apigenin might also help deal with breast cancer cells. Another study found apigenin to have a protective quality when dealing with pancreatic tumors.
3. Aid digestion
Fiber provided by celery will keep the bowel moving smoothly, ensuring that it is clean and thereby reducing constipation. Just a cup of celery is enough to meet 6 percent of the daily fiber needs of the average person. The antioxidants in celery can help improve the stomach lining and make sure that the risk of gastric ulcers is kept to a minimum. The flavonoids in celery can be useful in inhibiting the growth of unwanted gut bacteria responsible for inflammation.
An experiment on rats discovered that those who consumed celery had fewer ulcers. The rats were given an ethanol extract of celery at dosages of 250 and 500 mg/kg in body weight. “The phytochemical screening showed the presence of various chemical constituents such as flavonoids, tannins, volatile oils, alkaloids, sterols, and/or triterpenes. Acute toxicity test revealed no deleterious or toxic symptoms or mortality over a period of 14 days,” according to an abstract of the study.
4. Relieve heartburn
As celery has low acidity, it can be used to remedy the problems of heartburn. One study recommended celery to patients who were suffering from acid reflux. The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) actually endorsed celery to deal with such issues.
Now, just because celery offers all these health benefits doesn’t mean that you should eat it in large quantities. Such consumption will contribute to the risk of developing goiter since uncooked celery can interfere with the iodine functioning in the thyroid. Plus, it is advisable that you do not expose yourself to the sun if you have celery juice on your skin as it can result in a rash that can last for up to five days.