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.
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