Scientist are starting to evaluate the most powerful of the healing factors of celery, a compound known as 3-n-butylphthalide or 3nB. 3nB is a compound unique to celery, responsible for the flavor and odor of celery. Have you ever been cutting up celery and the smell made you want to eat it before you put it in your recipe? Well now you should munch on it a little bit more in addition to adding it to your soups, stir fry, or juicing it.
Every part of the celery plant can be used, from the celery seeds to the leaves and the root. Celery has a high water content similar to cucumbers. This makes celery great for juicing and eating raw for the fiber. Scientists found 3nB while searching for the source of the medicinal effects of celery such as lowering blood pressure and relieving arthritis.
Celery will reduce high blood pressure and give the effect of calmness. Celery clears uric acid from painful joints and help the treatment of arthritis and other rheumatic problems. Celery helps the kidneys and acts as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. Celery is very low in calories because of its high water content. You can drink celery juice frequently to curb your cravings for sweets and rich food.
Celery is a member of the parsley and fennel family. The white parts of the celery are shaded from the sun, thus they contain less chlorophyll, compared to the greener outside stems. Celery is the perfect addition to soups and salads. Celery juice is a good mix with sweeter fruit juices because of its salty taste.
The nutritional benefits of celery leaves are many. Celery is high in Vitamin A. The stems are an excellent source of vitamins B1, B2, B6 and C with richness in potassium, calcium, folic acid, iron, phosphorus, sodium, magnesium and lots of amino acids. During juicing, nutrients in the fiber are released, aiding bowel movements. Yes, celery has a natural organic sodium content, but is very safe for consumption. Worried because you are salt-sensitive? No worries. It is unlike table salt, which is harmful for those with high blood pressure. Since celery is a whole food, all of the nutrients will be properly absorbed and utilized by your body.
Recent studies have shown that celery may also help to combat cancer. Celery is known to have at least eight families of anti-cancer compounds, which will stop the growth of tumor cells, block the action of prostaglandins that encourage the growth of tumor cells and coumarins which help prevent free radicals from damaging cells. Celery also helps balance the body’s blood pH, helping to neutralize acid (celery alkalizes the body).
Celery juice is the perfect drink for after your workout. It will replace lost electrolytes and rehydrate your body and has been shown to effectively and significantly lower total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol (often called bad cholesterol). Celery can also be used as a natural laxative, relieving constipation. Also use celery juice to help regulate body fluid and stimulate urine production, which is important to help rid the body of excess fluid.
The polyacetylene in celery has been shown to help reduce inflammation like rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, gout, asthma and bronchitis. 3nB has been shown to lower blood cholesterol levels and reduce the formation of arterial plaque in experimental studies. This will also increase the elasticity of blood vessels and lead to lowering blood pressure readings.
Celery is also a diuretic. Most diuretics have dangerous side effects that result from either too much potassium or sodium. Celery extract acts as a diuretic but does not alter the ratio of sodium to potassium in the blood. The research on this is preliminary and some people will respond to this treatment and others won’t. This is also typical with conventional drugs. Drugs will lower blood flow to the brain, leaving people feeling tired, depressed, and forgetful. Celery extract has been shown to not only help prevent strokes, but also improve blood flow as well.
Celery has also been shown to help normalize body temperature when it's dry and hot out. You can drink a glass of celery juice two or three times a day, between meals, It will help keep your blood flow and temperature normalized.
Celery roots, seeds, and leaves have been used medically to treat mild anxiety and agitation, loss of appetite, fatigue and cough. It seems like the benefits of celery are neverending!
The History of Celery
The celery that we know today was derived from wild celery. While thought to have its origins in the Mediterranean regions of northern Africa and southern Europe, it was also native to areas extending east to the Himalayas. Wild celery differed a bit from its modern day counterpart in that it featured less stalks and more leaves.
Celery has a long and prestigious history of use, first as a medicine and then later as a food. The initial mention of the medicinal properties of celery leaves dates back to the 9th century B.C., when celery made an appearance in the Odyssey, the famous epic by the Greek poet, Homer. The Ancient Greeks used the leaves as laurels to decorate their renowned athletes, while the ancient Romans used it as a seasoning, a tradition that has carried through the centuries.
It was not until the Middle Ages that celery's use expanded beyond medicine and seasoning into consideration as a food. And while today, for most people thoughts of celery conjure up images of dips and crudité platters, eating this delicious crunchy vegetable raw did not really become popular until the 18th century in Europe. Celery was introduced in the United States early in the 19th century.
How you can use celery
You can eat celery raw or grate it and place on swollen glands to help reduce swelling and inflammation.
You can help reduce high blood pressure by eating celery raw.
For those who are trying to reduce their weight, drink celery juice before meals. It will help to suppress the appetite and fill your body with celery's incredible nutrients.