Celery is a vegetable commonly eaten worldwide. Its upper leafy part is usually eaten though the lower region is also consumed by some. Although common, it is a valuable source of various minerals and vitamins that invigorate the body and are essential to better health.
A member of the Apiaceae family, celery (Apium graveolens) has been an integral part of cuisines around the world. All its parts are used for cooking and consumption, and all have great health benefits. Throughout history, its seeds have been utilized as a spice and as a flavoring for various dishes. The stems and leaves of celery have corresponding places in some of the world’s tastiest cuisines. Even root extracts are utilized to form celery salts that are used as a food seasoning. Together with other vegetables, celery is a natural and healthy alternative to the processed food we commonly see today.
The health benefits of celery are numerous. From the vitamins and minerals it supplies, to various other compounds it contains, eating celery will surely improve one’s health. This leafy vegetable has a very low fat and calorie content, thus it is ideal for people who wants to lose weight. It is also a great source of dietary fiber and vitamin C. Thus, eating celery improves one’s digestion, while boosting the immune system.
Another great property of celery is that our body actually spends more calories digesting celery than the amount of calories it obtains from it. In other words, you lose calories by eating celery.
Celery contains essential elements like calcium and magnesium that help improve one’s bones and teeth. The presence of potassium and phosphorus adds to celery’s nutritive value. These two elements are natural diuretics.
Celery seeds have also been utilized as a treatment for arthritis. This debilitating disease can be relieved by consuming celery seeds which prevents inflammation of the joints. Because of this anti-inflammatory property, celery has been utilized as a pain reliever, even during ancient times.
Celery seeds are also able to cleanse a person’s blood, leaching out impurities. This property together with its diuretic properties is an asset for a person’s undergoing detoxification.
Celery can also help lower a person’s blood pressure. High blood pressure, caused by stress, obesity, and other factors can lead to serious diseases like strokes, diabetes and heart attack. People from Asia have long consumed celery to help alleviate and prevent high blood pressure. This was clinically proven using rats applied with a compound, 3-N-butyl-phthalide, commonly found in celery seeds. This compound allows the muscles around blood vessels to relax, effectively facilitating the flow of blood by allowing the vessels to expand.
Cancer has been a bane in today’s world. The number of cancer cases worldwide has been steadily increasing. Celery contains various compounds that help prevent the occurrence of cancer. Coumarins and acetylenics are known compounds which have anti-cancer properties. Celery also contains phenolic acids which prevent the growth of tumors or abnormal cells. These properties make celery an effective shield against cancer.
The number of compounds in celery mandates caution for pregnant women. Some compounds found in the oil of celery seeds may stimulate activity in the uterus, leading to premature contractions. Also, celery provokes severe allergic reactions in some individuals. Severe allergic reactions could lead to anaphylactic shock, which when untreated, may result in death.
The health benefits of celery are staggering. By simply consuming celery, you will not only improve your digestion but you will also lose weight and prevent cancer and high blood pressure.
- Ilott ,Charles (2010) The Book of Asparagus; With Sections Also on Celery, Salsify, Scorzonera and Seakale General Books LLC