As a member of the parsley family, these stalks contain compounds that may help lower blood pressure and perhaps help prevent cancer. Celery is also a good source of insoluble fiber as well as some essential nutrients, like potassium, vitamin C and calcium. |
Lower bad cholesterol Laboratory tests with animals shows the ability to lower cholesterol. In a study conducted at the National University of Singapore, laboratory animals were fed a high-fat diet,plumping them up for 8 weeks and raising their cholesterol. Then they gave some of the animals celery juice. The animals that drank the celery juice had significantly lower total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol than the animals that didn’t received any celery juice.
Lower Blood Pressure Celery has been used in Asia as a remedy for people with high blood pressure. In the United States, a man named Mr. Le with mild high blood pressure and persistence persuaded researchers at the University of Chicago Medical Center. Rather than cutting back on salt as his doctor advised, he began eating four stalks of celery per day. Within a week, his blood pressure had dropped from 158/96 to 118/82.
An assistant professor of medicine and pharmacological and physiological science at the University of Chicago, W. J. Elliott, MD, PhD, decided to put celery at the test. Test animals were injected with a small amount of 3-n-phthalide, a chemical compound celery that is found in celery. Within a week, the blood pressure of the animals dropped an average of 12 to 14 percent.
“Phthalide was found to relax the muscles of the arteries that regulate blood pressure, allowing the vessels to dilate.” according to Dr. Elliott. In addition, the chemical reduced the number of “stress hormones” called catecholamines in the blood. This may be helpful because stress hormones typically raise blood pressure by causing blood vessels to constrict.
If you have high blood pressure and would like to give celery a try, use this strategy recommended by Asian practisioners. Eat four to five stalks of celery every day for a week, then stop for three weeks. Then start over and eat celery for another week. But don’t overdo it and eat celery by the pound, warns Dr. Elliott. Each celery stalk contains 35 milligrams of sodium, and for some people, this can cause blood pressure to go up instead of going down. “Eating a ton of celery can be dangerous if you have salt-sensitive hypertension.” says Dr. Elliott.
Preventing Cancer Celery contains compounds that may help prevent cancer, according to research. Firstly, celery contains compounds called acetylenics, which proved to stop the growth of tumor cells. Secondly, celery contains compounds called phenolic acids, which block the action of hormone like substances called prostaglandins. Some prostaglandins are thought to encourage the growth of tumor cells. Thirdly, celery contains compounds called coumarins, which help prevent free radicals from damaging cells. That gives celery a one-two-three punch against cancer.
A Skin Stalker As celery is such a sweet, succulent stalk, it has to produce its own pesticides to protect it from hungry fungi. These compounds protect the celery, however, they could do humans some harm. For some people, getting these compounds in the diet, or even through the skin, can make their skin very sensitive to sunlight. So much so that they can get sunburns after they have spent even a short period of time in the sun.
If you begin having skin problems after eating celery, stop eating it. You have to wash celery thoroughly before you eat it . That way you remove any fungi that may have formed on the plant, which sometimes causes the production of those compounds.
Protect the Flavonoids Don’t be tempted to cut up celery to eat later. It’s best to eat the celery soon after you cut it. After only 24 hours in the fridge, the flavonoids are consider ably decreased, according to researchers in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Save the leaves While celery stalks are certainly a healthy snack, however, the leaves contain the most potassium, vitamin C and calcium.
Eat it the way you like it. While many foods lose nutrients during cooking, most of the compounds in celery are staying on during cooking. Eating a cup of celery raw or cooked, provides about 9 milligrams of vitamin C, which is 15% of the Daily Value; 426 milligrams of potassium of 12% of the Daily Value, and 60 milligrams of calcium, or 6% of the Daily Value.
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