Celery – best known as a diet muncher, a cleanser and a hydrator – but there's much more to each skinny stick than you think.
Here, Will Thompson, celery-lover and investigator, reveals 7 health benefits that you might not know ...
Don’t believe the hype: celery is not a negative-calorie food.
Many people, myself included, have wrongly thought that the process of digestion burns off more calories than celery contains – unfortunately this is not the case.
If, like me, this revelation makes you feel the urge to riot in the streets, don’t worry. Celery contains far more benefits than just simple weight-loss; it may not be a burner, but it does have an extremely low calorie content (just 16 calories per 100g).
So before you renounce celery forever, here are 7 proven facts to hopefully help rebuild your trust in the crunchy green stalk.
#1 – great for lowering your blood pressure
Celery contains phthalides, a compound that is proven to aid with the lowering of blood pressure, enlarging your blood vessels and allowing blood to pass more freely throughout your body.
Eating just two or three small stalks of celery every day has been scientifically proven to lower blood pressure considerably. Celery, therefore, does help you to relax – a benefit advocated by The Great Gatsby author F. Scott Fitzgerald:
Never miss a party.
They’re good for the nerves, like celery.
#2 – Helps your body with digestion
Celery has an exceptionally high water content – 75% – and the rest is composed of fibre. Fibre is essential for maintaining a healthy digestive system and relieving constipation.
Constipation is caused when your stool moves slowly through your intestine, meaning that there is more time for it to dry out. Celery (and other foods high in fibre) retain water throughout your digestive system, which will ultimately help to battle the constipation.
#3 – It's anti-carcinogenic
It is thought that celery protects against several forms of cancer, including pancreatic, ovarian, lung and breast cancer. In fact, Chinese scientists have discovered that eating just six medium-sized stalks a week reduces the risk of getting lung cancer by a staggering 60%.
Moreover, celery contains apigenin which actively works to reduce a woman’s chance of getting breast cancer by 19%.
#4 – balances your body’s Acid/alkaline levels
Celery has been recommended by several sources as one of the top 10 best alkaline-forming foods as the antioxidants in the celery boost your internal pH.
#5 – a great post-workout snack
Many athletes are encouraged to eat celery after exercising. Due to celery’s high water content, it not only rehydrates, but also replaces electrolytes and is a great source for minerals.
Some choose to combine celery with a spread of peanut butter to increase the protein intake, whilst others will juice it or simply have it raw.
#6 – Used in a large range of medicines
Celery, along with its seeds, is often pressed into oils to use for many medicinal purposes.
The list of possible treatments is vast, but some common problems that celery can be used to treat include hysteria, joint pains and gout.
#7 – Can improve your sex life
As if all of this wasn’t enough, here’s one for the men: celery contains androstenone and androstenol, increasing pheromone production that will, in theory, increase your appeal to your partner.
Alan Hirsch, author of Scentsational Sex, states “[celery] causes your body to send off scents and signals that make you more desirable for women”.
So whenever you’re next on date, consider opting for a Bloody Mary!
So there you go – seven reasons to increase your weekly celery intake. Including celery in your diet is a simple task with huge benefits, so whether it be in your juice, as a snack, or in a salad, make sure you are eating the recommended 3-4 stalks a week.