Celery (Apiumgraveolens) is a low-calorie food known for its high water content. This green veggie is high in nutrients, can be found around the world, and has several health benefits. It contains useful antioxidants, phytonutrients, vitamins, and minerals that help in treating many ailments. The addition of this crispy and crunchy vegetable to a regular diet may help reduce the risk of cancer, lower inflammation, improve cardiovascular health, and aid in digestion.
Help Reduce Cancer Risk
Celery is rich in antioxidants that help fight against cancer-promoting free radicals. It contains two bioactive flavonoids – apigenin and luteolin – that may kill cancer cells in the body. Apigenin is a chemopreventive agent, and its anti-carcinogenic properties destroy free radicals in the body to promote cancer cell death. It also promotes autophagy, a process through which the body removes dysfunctional cells that helps prevent disease. The anticancer property of luteolin inhibits the cell proliferation process. These flavonoids in celery have the potential to treat pancreatic and breast cancers. Celery is also said to possess bioactive polyacetylenes. These chemo-protective compounds have the potential to prevent numerous cancer formations.
Celery is replete with phytonutrient antioxidants that possess anti-inflammatory properties. A study conducted by Harbin Medical University (China) found that this vegetable is also an important source of flavonols. Another study conducted by Ohio State University found that celery juice or celery extracts also reduce the activity of certain proteins that are linked to inflammation. Celery seed extracts are said to possess anti-inflammatory properties. Celery also contains a compound called luteolin that can prevent inflammation in the brain cells. A study conducted by King Saud University (Riyadh) on rats suggested that celery can inhibit the growth of Helicobacter pylori, a bacteria that causes gastritis (inflammation of the stomach lining).
Lower Blood Pressure Levels
Celery has been found to contain a phytochemical called phthalides, which relaxes the artery walls and increases blood flow. It also expands the smooth muscles in the blood vessels and helps lower blood pressure. An Iranian study conducted on rats attributed the antihypertensive properties of celery to the same phytochemical. Celery is also rich in nitrates that may help lower blood pressure. Other reviews of the phytochemical profile of celery seed extracts also indicate that it may lower blood pressure levels. In traditional Chinese medicine, celery was often termed as a “cool” food that could lower blood pressure. Another study found that fresh celery juice mixed with vinegar is given to pregnant women in South Africa to lower their high blood pressure.
Improve Cardiovascular Health
Celery is usually administered as an anti-hypertensive agent in traditional medicine. It could help maintain cardiovascular health. A study conducted in Iran found that celery leaf extract can improve numerous cardiovascular parameters like cholesterol, triglycerides, and LDL (bad cholesterol). Celery is high in polyphenols that have anti-inflammatory and cardiovascular benefits. However, more research is required to understand this benefit of celery in humans.
Promote Neurogenesis And Prevent Memory Loss
Celery may reduce the risk of memory loss. A study conducted at the JiNan University (China) found that there is a link between luteolin (a flavonoid found in celery) and lower rates of age-related memory loss. Luteolin calms brain inflammation and may help in the treatment of neuroinflammatory disorders. Thus, it may also help reduce the risk of neurodegeneration. Apigenin, a bioactive flavonoid found in celery, is believed to aid in neurogenesis (growth and development of nerve cells). However, this factor is yet to be proven in humans. Apigenin may also contribute to the health of neurons. However, research is unclear in this regard.
Again, research is limited in this regard. However, anecdotal evidence suggests that celery may promote digestive health. The natural fiber found in celery makes it an important food for the digestive system. The soluble fiber in celery is fermented by the bacteria in the large intestine. This fermentation process produces short-chain fatty acids, one of which (butyrate) promotes gastrointestinal health. Celery also contains insoluble fiber and may promote bowel movement.
Improve Sex Life
Celery contains androstenone and androstenol, male hormones that are believed to stimulate sexual arousal in women. They have the potential to boost arousal by emitting scents that can make you more desirable. A study conducted on male rats found that celery extracts enhance sexual performance. The dosage was found to increase sperm count in rats. It can even increase the secretion of testosterone. However, more research is required to verify this effect of celery in humans.
Aid Weight Loss
Celery is low in calories and contains fiber that makes you feel full for longer periods. The insoluble fiber content of celery can increase satiety and aid weight loss. Celery’s high water content may also aid weight loss. It also regulates lipid metabolism. It can also be consumed with other vegetables that have a higher energy density. Anecdotal evidence suggests that celery, being water-rich, may lower the energy density of other ingredients that it is paired with. This may promote weight loss.
Help Treat Asthma
There is limited research here. Celery seeds are said to possess antifungal and antibacterial properties that could be useful in the treatment of asthma. However, more research is required to further understand this mechanism of celery.
Aid Diabetes Treatment
Research is limited in this regard. Celery contains antioxidants called flavones, which have been studied for their role in lowering blood sugar levels. Some experts believe that vitamin K in celery may have anti-diabetic properties. It may reduce inflammation and the associated insulin sensitivity, which may lead to improved glucose metabolism. However, there is no scientific evidence of the same.
Celery contains vitamin C. This nutrient may boost immunity. The antioxidants in celery could also play a role in improving your immunity. It has been found that numerous cells of the immune system depend on vitamin C for optimal functioning and disease prevention. Vitamin C supplementation has also been found to increase the concentration of immunoglobulins in the blood, which are key compounds of the immune system. However, more research is required to understand this benefit of celery.