This is part 1 of 3 in a 3-part mini-series about the many healthy benefits of celery. You’ll be amazed by the multitude of ways that this classic crispy vegetable can boost your overall well-being and the variety of ways to consume it. The next part of this series will cover the effects that celery can have on your cardiovascular health – can it really reduce your risk of heart attacks?
When asked to name the healthiest vegetable in their fridge, most people would say beets or kale, but the less fashionable celery stalk (that most think of as an afterthought on veggie platters) might just be your new go-to when it comes to building a healthy you!
It’s time to start giving celery credit for more than just its weight loss benefits.
Celery has long been known as a great ingredient for weight loss diets and is commonly misconceived as burning more calories than it contains. It’s true that it does provide a great balance of dietary fiber and water as a low-calorie option, but more importantly it contains key elements to support a healthy digestive tract.
Here are 3 ways that celery has proven a great benefit to the digestive tract and an important contribution to a healthy stomach:
1. Contains the Good Fiber:
Unlike most nutrient rich vegetables, celery contains both soluble and insoluble fiber. When compared to kale, celery has as much soluble fiber in a serving as cooked kale has in a 1/2 cup serving.
Nutritionists recommend that of your daily fiber intake, 30 percent should include soluble fibers. Soluble fiber in celery consists of pectin, gum, and mucilage compounds which when digested, absorb water to form a thick protective barrier along the digestive tract.
This barrier can aid in the prevention of serious disorders such as gastritis – an inflammation or erosion of the lining of the stomach. If left untreated it can lead to severe loss of blood, stomach ulcers and increased risk of stomach cancer. Sounds pretty important, right?
2. Calms the Gastrointestinal Tract:
As well as protective, soluble fiber, celery contains antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agents which are proven to decrease the risk of oxidative damage to essential body fats and blood vessel walls.
The phytochemicals in celery also prevent swelling and tissue inflammation, a primary source of pain in older adults. These healthy chemicals also rev up the body’s natural defenses by ramping up white blood cells which fight malicious bacteria – including carcinogens.
3. Prevents constipation and painful blockages:
As mentioned above, raw celery aids in constipation and can substantially influence a healthy digestive routine. It is important to make sure you are staying hydrated as the fibers in celery are aided by the absorption of water.
As a great detoxifying agent, celery can help clear the colon of any excess or toxic buildup which often causes painful gas, diarrhea and even ulcers.
It is important to keep celery crisp and avoid eating it wilted. As in most vegetables, its nutrients are best eaten raw, but don’t worry if you want to steam it. Up to 99% of the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties are retained after 10 minutes of steaming that nice watery stalk. Up next, do you know what celery can do for your heart health, or what kinds of disease fighting properties it possesses?