Celery is a common vegetable many people in the United States may overlook. However, this unassuming veggie is packed with nutrients and health benefits.
Celery is a good source of vitamins A, C, and K, as well as potassium, folate, and magnesium. It also contains antioxidants and other plant compounds that may help protect against disease.
Here are some of the specific health benefits of celery:
- May help lower blood pressure. Celery contains a compound called phthalide, which has been shown to relax blood vessels and lower blood pressure. A study in 120 people with high blood pressure found that those who took 120 milligrams of celery extract daily for 12 weeks had significantly lower blood pressure than those who took a placebo.
- May help reduce inflammation. Celery is a good source of antioxidants, which can help protect cells from damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are linked to inflammation, which is a factor in many chronic diseases. A study in mice found that celery extract reduced inflammation in the colon.
- May help boost the immune system. Celery contains vitamin C, which is an important nutrient for the immune system. Vitamin C assists the body with warding off contamination and infection. A study of 100 people found that those who took 1 gram of vitamin C daily for 12 weeks had significantly stronger immune systems than those who took a placebo.
- May help protect against cancer. Celery contains antioxidants and other plant compounds that may help protect against cancer. Some studies have shown that celery may help prevent colon cancer, prostate cancer, and breast cancer. A study in mice found that celery extract reduced the growth of colon cancer cells.
- May help improve heart health. Celery contains potassium, which is a mineral that helps regulate blood pressure. Potassium can also help lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease. A study of 1,200 people found that those who ate the most celery had a lower risk of heart disease.
- May help improve digestion. Celery is a good source of fiber, which is essential for digestive health. Fiber helps keep the digestive system moving along as planned and can help prevent blockage. A study of 100 people found that those who ate 100 grams of celery daily for 12 weeks had more regular bowel movements than those who did not eat celery.
Other research-backed benefits of celery:
- May help reduce the risk of kidney stones.
- May help improve sleep.
- May help reduce the risk of allergies.
- May help improve sexual function.
- May help protect against liver damage.
How to get the most out of celery:
- Buy celery that is crisp and free of bruises.
- Store celery in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.
- To juice celery, wash the stalks and remove the leaves. Juice the celery and enjoy immediately.
- Celery can also be eaten raw, cooked, or pickled.
Celery is a safe and healthy vegetable for most people to eat. In any case, a few people might encounter secondary effects, for example, bulging or gas; talk to your doctor.
Here are some additional tips for getting the most out of celery:
- Add celery to plates of mixed greens, soups, and sautés.
- Dip celery sticks in hummus or guacamole.
- Make celery juice by blending celery stems with water.
- Add celery to your number one smoothie recipe.
- Snack on celery sticks as a healthy alternative to chips or crackers.
Celery is a versatile and delicious vegetable that can be enjoyed in many different ways. It is a healthy and nutritious addition to your diet, and it may offer a number of health benefits. So, next time you are at the grocery store, be sure to pick up some celery!