Celery is a polarizing vegetable. You either love it or you hate it.
It seems our bodies are pretty fond of it, even for those of us whose taste buds don’t find it so agreeable.
It turns out that just about every part of the celery plant, from the leaves to the seeds to the most familiar and delicious part, the long, crispy, fibrous stalk, have benefits for your health.
Celery is a marshland plant native to the marshes of the Mediterranean.
It grows wild in most of the wetter parts of Europe.
To grow the long, juicy celery stalks you find in your local grocery store, celery requires a ton of moisture.
Since it’s mostly water, you might wonder how celery manages to do anything in your body at all.
Let’s find out.
How Celery Is More Supplement Than Food
Celery is often highlighted as a potential example of a “negative calorie” food.
The idea here is that it takes your body more energy to process celery than it gets out of the deal.
So, hypothetically, if you looked at the nutritional facts on some celery, you might see a negative value for the number of calories.
It’s not entirely clear if this is true, but it is certain that there are next to no calories in celery.
Despite that, the high fiber and water content can help satiate your appetite. This has made celery immensely popular as a diet food.
For people who aren’t looking to lose weight, you might be wondering what the point of eating celery is at all.
Unless you’re fond of the taste, why eat something that isn’t going to provide you any calories?
To be fair to celery, it does have a modest dose of important nutrients like vitamins and minerals. It’s also a great source of fiber.
But what celery really has going for it is a whole bunch of useful compounds and properties that can benefit your health.
Let’s look at four of them.
1. Celery Is Great For Your Digestive Health
As the source of all your body’s energy, it’s vital to keep your digestion running smoothly and efficiently extracting nutrition from your food.
Celery can help.
Celery is composed mostly of indigestible fiber. This stuff is great for your guts! It moves quickly through the gastrointestinal tract, helping to keep you regular.
The high water content in celery is also beneficial to the health and regularity of your bowels.
Not only that, several compounds such as apiuman which are found in celery have been associated with decreased incidence of stomach ulcers.
Celery can actually help repair and improve the lining of the stomach and assists the body’s natural regulation of stomach secretions.
2. Celery Is Full Of Flavonoids
It just so happens that celery is an exceptional source of a class of compounds known as flavonoids.
These act as essential (but lesser-known) nutrients and perform a huge array of functions in the body.
Celery is loaded with flavonoids such as beta-carotene, zeaxanthin, and lutein.
The health benefits of any one of these compounds warrants an article of its own!
Just to give you a brief run down, flavonoids have been associated with reducing inflammation, reducing the risk of chronic diseases, improving vision, enhancing immune system function, inhibiting the growth of cancer cells, and acting as powerful antixoidants.
3. Celery Can Help Reduce Inflammation And Fight Rheumatoid Arthritis
Flavonoids and polyphenol compounds, of which celery is a potent source, have been identified for their ability to fight inflammation throughout the body.
Inflammation is associated with a number of chronic diseases.
An immediate effect of reducing inflammation is easing pain, especially joint pain.
For this reason, celery has been studied as an aid in managing the day-to-day symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.
4. Don’t Forget The Seeds Or The Leaves
So far, we’ve mostly been focused on celery proper, in the culinary sense. That is, the stalks of the plant.
We need to do the seeds and the leaves justice, as well. They have their own helpful properties.
Celery’s leaves are a potent source of nutrients like vitamin C, potassium, and calcium.
They also have a bunch of interesting chemistry, serving as a home for a class of compounds known as volatile oils.
These oils have been associated with positive health benefits like lowering blood pressure and reducing cholesterol.
Meanwhile, celery seeds are boasting a bunch of benefits of their own.
Celery seeds are sometimes ground up and used as a spice, but to really get their health benefits, celery seed supplements are the way to go.
Here’s just a few of their benefits:
- Helps relieve and prevent urinary tract infection (UTI)
- Reduces muscle spasms
- Acts as a mild anti-inflammatory
- Helps regulate the blood pressure
Add Some To Your Diet
There are a million ways to get a bit of celery in your diet.
Now that you know how beneficial it can be, you have no reason not to!