The humble celery is often used to provide a base flavor in sauces, soups and stews – it’s a workaday vegetable that most people would probably not associate with trendy superfoods. But celery has a surprising number of health benefits.
Celery, like black coffee and a handful of other foods, has a negative number of calories when consumed. This is because the energy that is used to process celery through your body is actually greater than the energy gained from doing so. Celery is therefore a great choice to tuck into if you’re on a diet. Although you’d have to eat vast quantities to actually burn significant amounts of energy through celery consumption alone, it will make you feel full with little or no gain in weight. If celery by itself is a little too austere, then try it with tzitziki or any other other dip that can be based on low-fat yogurt.
Celery is a diurectic – in other words, it encourages your body to produce a lot of urine. This can be used if you have a problem with fluid retention, which are caused by pre-menstrual tension or some drugs which alter your body’s natural hormones. This property of celery can also be utilised when detoxing, as it encourages your body to flush itself of toxins. Celery also reduces the likelihood of developing kidney stones, urinary tract infections and other common problems associated with the urinary system.
Like many vegetables, the consumption of celery is said to reduce the risk of certain types of cancers developing within the body. Celery has high levels of vitamins and minerals, which lower cholesterol and guarg against various cancers, particularly those affecting the bowl and gut. If you are concerned about developing cancer, then ask your doctor for more advice.
If you suffer from constipation, then it will be useful to know that celery is packed with fibre, which encourages food and waste to be processed through your body. This adds to its effect in guarding against cancers of the bowel and other parts of the digestive system
Celery is full of naturally-occurring chemicals called ‘coumarin compounds’. Their main role in the body is to regulate blood pressure – so celery may be useful in reducing high blood pressure. It also may be useful it reducing the likelihood and severity of migraines. Scientific research in this area is limited, however, but it may be worth checking the health benefits of celery with your doctor if you have problems with either of these conditions.
Celery is also rich in natural sodium. Although it will not cause any health risks for those who have to stick to a low-sodium diet, this property of celery give the vegetable its distinctive taste. Celery can therefore be added to dishes to impart flavor, and thus reduce the amount of additional salt that needs to be included.
If you want to up your vitamin C consumption, then celery has plenty of the stuff. Vitamin C is considered essential to boosting the immune system and reducing the likelihood of catching colds and other common infections and illnesses.
Celery can be found in almost any supermarket or greengrocer. Although its usually cooked before consumption, it can also be consumed raw or juiced as part of a smoothie. Eating it without cooking it is said to retain much more of the vitamins contained in the vegetable than including it in soups or stews.