Celery is one of those things that is chopped into a ton of stuff but hardly noticed. It may be left to wilt on a veggie tray or be served to children in preschool, slathered with peanut butter. Celery has also long been a favorite of dieters because it is rumored to take more calories to digest than it contains. The reality of so-called “negative calorie” foods is still being hotly debated, but celery is certainly very low-calorie in any case.
But while most of us tend to think of celery as mostly stringiness and water, it actually contains quite a bit of nutrition. Eating it regularly can reduce your risk of several dangerous diseases, and help keep your digestion regular too. The act of chewing celery can even freshen your breath as it scrapes away bacteria. Think we are done singing celery’s praises? We’re just getting started! Read on for all the great things that could happen to your body if you eat celery every day.1. Weight Loss
As we mentioned, celery is a very low calorie food, and may even be considered a negative calorie snack. If you are on a diet and counting calories, you don’t have to bother tallying the celery at all. Chowing down on this veggie also delivers a nice amount of fiber, about 1.6 grams per cup, which can knock the edge off of cravings by keeping you feeling full longer. And finally, there is a lot of water in celery, which contributes to satiety and helps you stay hydrated.
2. Aids Digestion
Digestion is the process by which our bodies convert food into usable fuel. A sluggish digestive system not only hinders your ability to be nourished, it hurts as well. One of the driving factors in efficient digestion is fiber, which helps to push other food along through the process.
Celery has equal amounts of soluble and insoluble fiber to help you avoid constipation, as well as phytochemicals that contribute to your body’s absorption of available nutrients.
3. Lowers Cholesterol
There is a tongue-twisting compound in celery called 3-n-butylphthaline (3nb), which researchers from Chicago University have determined can lower bad LDL cholesterol levels.
The max reduction found was 7%, and you’ll have to eat four stalks per day to achieve it. But since the calories don’t count, why not? A reduction of 7% could get your LDL levels out of the danger zone.
4. Reduces Inflammation
Inflammation is both a driver and a symptom of most diseases. It causes discomfort and limits the function of vital bodily systems. Celery contains over a dozen different types of antioxidants that can reduce inflammation and quell pain for people suffering from things like arthritis, rheumatism, and gout.
The reason antioxidants can reduce inflammation is that they bind with and neutralize free radicals, which otherwise bounce around and irritate bodily tissues.
5. Replenishes Electrolytes
You may crave a sports drink after exercise, but they come with a lot of unnecessary sugar and artificial dyes. Instead, augment your regular water with a celery stalk.
Celery contains a good balance of potassium and sodium, which are critical components in the way your body uses and processes water. You can even juice celery into a restorative smoothie if you don’t care for its texture.
6. Treats Kidney Stones
Kidney stones are extremely painful and if you’ve had them, you know that hydration is a key part of treatment. There are several medications that the doc may prescribe to help you pass the stone, but a natural booster to medical treatment is to eat celery.
Not only does it contain a lot of water, but the juice is thought to help clear out toxins associated with kidney stone formation.
7. Treats Acne
Acne is a common skin problem, especially during those tumultuous teenage years. Most treatments for acne are topical, but there is benefit to treating the condition from the inside out, too. Drinking celery juice on a regular basis is thought to help control oily skin that can lead to pimples. The vitamin C content also boosts your production of collagen, the substance that keeps skin looking smooth and soft.
You don’t even necessarily have to drink it to get the benefits. Boil some chopped celery in water, let it cool, and store it in the fridge to use as a cleansing face rinse before bed each night.
8. Repels Mosquitoes
Mosquitoes are pesky, leave incredibly itchy bites, and can spread disease. However, many commercial repellants are nothing short of poison that reek terribly and aren’t fun to put on your skin. Enter celery. Some research indicates that application of a gel with 5-25% celery extract can ward off mosquitoes for about 4 ½ hours.
The addition of vanillin, eucalyptus oil, orange oil, and citronella oil to the celery extract seems to create a product that works just as well as those nasty DEET poisons.
9. Boosts Brain Power
Inflammation is a killer anywhere it appears in the body, including the brain. Celery contains flavonoids which have been shown to reduce inflammation. More specifically, celery contains a type of flavonoid called luteolin, which has been linked to a lower rate of aging-related memory loss in older mice.
The mice in the study were given pure luteolin, not celery, and human trials have yet to be done. But it’s fair to say to luteolin is a good thing to include in our diets. Other great sources of luteolin include carrots, parsley, oregano, rosemary, olive oil, peppermint, and chamomile tea.
If you’re intrigued by celery’s potential to improve your health inside and out, you have nothing to lose by eating some every day for a week to see the results for yourself. Because celery is a low-calorie food with plenty of fiber to aid digestion, you can eat as much as you want without bloating or gaining weight. (People with low blood pressure or kidney disease should as their doctor first.)
If you really don’t like the taste or texture, juice it and disguise it in a smoothie. But if nothing else, try celery juice topically to see if it soothes your skin. Any way you take it, celery is sure to do your body good.