Celery, that crunchy and watery stick vegetable we only seem to be able to eat with dips, might just be the most underrated food at the supermarket. You’re probably under the false impression that this vegetable is just water and some fiber without any nutritional value. Well, we’re about to change that notion.
This vegetable is actually loaded with significant amounts of vitamins (A, B, C, K), calcium, magnesium, and potassium. But if celery were to have an elevator pitch, the hook would be its phytonutrients. These chemicals are used by plants to keep insects and damaging sun rays away, but the effects on humans are far more impressive.
Phytonutrients have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits, they can enhance the immune system and intracellular communication, and they can repair DNA damage that results from toxins. According to the US Department of Agriculture, consuming phytonutrients on a regular basis has had measurable results as an effective strategy in combating cancer and heart disease.
These long-term health benefits are impressive. But are there any short-term benefits that come with eating celery? Some people have experienced the following benefits after including a portion of celery in their daily diets for only a week!
Weight loss. Celery is low in calories (one stack is only 10-15 calories) and its fiber content of 1.6 grams per cup can put a stop to unhealthy cravings.
Higher levels of hydration. Because celery is 95 percent water, it’s a great way to prevent dehydration when you make it a frequent snack throughout the day.
Anti-inflammatory. If you’re at risk for cardiovascular disease and cancer, adding celery to your diet can help you prevent chronic inflammation (which is a condition that’s closely related to those diseases).
It can stop heartburn and acid reflux. Celery has been recommended as a solution for these conditions because of its low acidity. While more studies need to be done to confirm the effects of celery on heartburn and acid reflux, some people who tried it have reported positive results in the past.
It improves cholesterol and blood pressure levels. A study by the University of Chicago found that a chemical found in celery called phthalide reduced cholesterol levels by 7 percent and blood pressure by 18 percent.
It improves digestion. People who suffer from stomach problems and constipation know the importance of including fiber in their diet. Celery’s fiber content can help keep your bowel movements healthy, among other things.
It can reduce the risk of diseases related to the stomach lining. Studies have found that the antioxidants in celery can reduce gastric ulcers and the risk of gastritis.
It might be an aphrodisiac. Celery contains a high level of the male pheromones, androstenone, and androstenol. Some people believe that eating celery can increase the perceived level of attractiveness of the men who consume it.
It can keep your eyes healthy. Vitamin A, one of the main vitamins found in celery, is known as a vitamin capable of protecting the cornea. This vitamin is also effective in treating dry eyes.
It has a soothing effect. The magnesium in celery is known to have a relaxing effect in the nervous system. In fact, Hippocrates, the father of medicine, once wrote that celery should be used to calm the nerves and for falling asleep. It’s also been historically used to treat disorders related to the nervous system.
It can regulate the alkaline balance of your body. Because of its low acidity, celery can help you stabilize the PH levels in your body and stop acidic buildup.
Mosquito repellant. You’ve probably heard your own grandmother preach about celery as a mosquito repellant. Studies have now shown that celery oil extract rubbed on the skin works effectively as a mosquito repellant.
UTI treatment. In some places around the world, celery is a common and effective way to treat UTIs. Celery has a diuretic effect, so it helps you expel water without losing too much potassium.
It can boost male fertility. In combination with Vitamin E, celery has been found to increase a man’s sperm count. Aldosterone, the male hormone we discussed earlier as having aphrodisiac properties, also creates a healthy environment for sperm to mature.