By Abbey Ryan
Stringy, watery, flavorless, crunchy, and green. Celery is one of those vegetables we can only seem to eat if it’s covered in a pile of dip or after it’s been cooked until it’s no longer recognizable. You probably have heard that you burn more calories digesting a stalk of celery than you calorically ingest. Somehow, for all you calorie counters, celery still hasn’t turned it into a desirable food item. Even though celery lowers cholesterol levels and arthritis pain, aids in weight loss, detoxifies the body, and reduces blood pressure, it is an incredibly unpopular, even dreaded, vegetable (1). Maybe some more information about it will encourage you to add it to your diet!
What even is celery?
Part of the Apiaceae family, celery can be found all throughout the world as an integral part of certain cuisines (1). Its origins can be traced back to the Mediterranean and North Africa but is now cultivated globally. It is marketed and consumed to at least a small extent in practically every cuisine, from American to Japanese to Australian to Indian and more. The vegetable has made many historical appearances as well. It is referenced many times in ancient Mediterranean documents including King Tut’s tomb (1).
Why is celery good for me?
This vegetable is packed full of vitamins your body needs (A, B, C, and K), as well as calcium, magnesium, and potassium. It’s most magnificent attribute, however, is its phytonutrients (2). These are plant chemicals that are used to ward of insects and damaging sun rays, but their influence on people after consumption is dramatically more impressive (2).
Phytonutrients have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits (2). Even though it can initially be hard to get used to the texture of celery, it enhances the immune system and intracellular communication (2). Phytonutrients have also been known to repair toxic damage to DNA and to have had measurable results in combating cancer and heart disease (2).
What can celery do in a week?
While all the previous results are huge in the long term, we should also notate what influence celery can have on your body in the short term. The following is a brief list of results people have seen after adding a portion of celery to their daily diet:
- Weight loss: Celery is low in calories and high in fiber, which means it curbs hunger without having to eat much.
- Better hydration: Celery is 95% water, so eating more of it will understandably prevent dehydration.
- Reduces inflammation: If you are at any risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, or other means of chronic inflammation, celery can help reduce your likelihood of contracting these illnesses.
- Prevents/stops heartburn and acid reflux: Celery is low in acidity, so it is often recommended for these issues. While its exact results on these problems hasn’t yet been confirmed, many people have reported improved results after eating celery.
- Improves cholesterol: Studies show celery reduces cholesterol by 7%.
- Lowers blood pressure: Studies show celery reduces blood pressure by 18%.
- Improves digestion: Thanks to celery’s fiber content, it can help keep your bowel movements regular and intestines healthy.
- Helps maintain healthy eyes: Thanks to celery’s vitamin A content, it helps protect your cornea and helps treat dry eyes.
- Mosquito repellent: Studies have shown that celery oil extract is a mosquito repellent, so rub some on your skin to be itch-free this summer!.
These are only a few of celery’s bountiful benefits. So while it might not be the tastiest thing on earth, and you maybe much rather eat a whole bag of potato chips, try eating celery for a week and track your results! You might be surprised by how much better you feel.