Celery is probably the biggest underdog of the vegetable kingdom. While more glamorous vegetables like broccoli and kale hog the limelight, poor celery gets completely ignored. Beautiful bell peppers and beet salads get Instagrammed, but who wants to see boring old celery? If you’ve been guilty of turning your nose up at celery in the past, you might want to change your opinion. This humble green stalk actually comes loaded with health benefits, which you’ll want to exploit immediately.
1. It’s Low In Calories
Celery is virtually calorie-free. One stalk of celery contains a mere 10 calories. If you’re trying to lose weight by closely monitoring your calorie intake, then you should take advantage of this. Use celery to bulk up your meals without increasing the calorie count. It’s incredibly versatile, so it can be added to almost every food you’re preparing, from juices and salads, to stir fries.
2. It Lowers Bad Cholesterol
Celery stalks contain a compound known as butylphthalide (try saying that four times), which gives the stalk its scent and color. Butylphthalide is also extremely effective at lowering your bad cholesterol. Good (HDL) cholesterol is essential for the proper functioning of your body, but bad (LDL) cholesterol is responsible for plaque buildup and heart disease. Just four stalks of celery can decrease the presence of LDL by almost 7%, helping your circulatory system function better.
3. It Contains Good Sodium
In the same way that not all cholesterol is bad cholesterol, not all sodium is bad sodium. The kind of sodium present in celery regulates fluid in our body, keeps us hydrated, sends nerve impulses and controls our muscle movement. Simply put, our bodies can’t survive without good sodium. Celery contains all of the good and none of the bad kind of sodium.
4. It Improves Digestion
Celery is mostly made up of water, which is important for a healthy digestive system. It also contains insoluble fibers, which regulate bowel movements. Insoluble fibers are thick gel-like substances which line the inner walls of your intestines. They ease the path of waste and help your body excrete it better.
5. It Has Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Almost every problem our bodies face can be traced back to inflammation. Suffering from acne? Inflammation. Joint pain got you down? Inflammation. Finding breathing difficult? You guessed right. Inflammation. Celery stalks have powerful compounds which can calm inflammation in your body. They work at the source, help you feel and look a lot better.
6. It’s Good For Your Eyes
Maybe you should replace carrots with celery if you want better eyesight. One celery stalk supplies 5% of your daily need for vitamin A, protecting not just your vision, but also preventing age-related muscular degeneration. Vitamin A is also essential for a healthy immune and reproductive system, so make sure you eat a lot of celery.
7. It Can Protect You From Cancer
Celery stalks might look ordinary, but their plain exterior conceals powerful cancer-fighting flavonoids. It inhibits cells from mutating in the first place and becoming cancerous. It is especially effective in delaying pancreatic and breast cancer. So include celery in your salads or your green smoothies to make a cancer-busting meal for yourself.
8. It Might Increase Arousal
How could something as un-sexy as celery boost your sex drive? Celery contains two pheromones known as androstenone and androstenol which increase your arousal levels. So don’t worry when your date looks confused about a romantic dinner centered around celery. They’ll probably be a lot more thankful later.
9. It Can Lower High Blood Pressure
Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in America and is usually caused due to high blood pressure. Celery stalks have been seen to be effective at lowering blood pressure levels in patients suffering from chronically high blood pressure. This could be because celery acts as a relaxant and increases the flow of calcium and potassium between blood cells.
10. It Can Fight Urinary Tract Infections
Celery can act as a diuretic and make you run to the restroom more frequently. This helps in flushing out all the toxins built up in your body and reducing your chances of developing kidney stones. It also reduces the amount of uric acid in our excretory organs, helping to fight off urinary infections, kidney problems and cysts.