Celery is often thought of as diet food but there are more celery health benefits than aiding in weight loss. Celery is a great source of some essential vitamins and minerals and also contains some powerful phytochemicals that have been shown to fight heart disease and cancer. So lets take a deeper look at celery nutritional information!
A Diet food
Celery, a famous diet food, really does aid in weight loss. One stalk of celery provides just 6 calories, so if we ate 5 stalks of celery we would only consume 30 calories! Celery is also a ‘negative calorie food’, this effectively means that the body actually uses more than 6 calories just to chew and digest one stalk of celery. Clearly this is a great benefit for trying to shift the extra pounds!
Celery is an excellent source vitamins C and K with one cup providing 14% and 44% of the RDA (recommended daily value) respectively. Vitamin C is an essential member of the immune system that contributes to the production of more than half of the antibodies in our blood. These antibodies are especially potent at fighting off viruses such as colds, flu, ear infections and other kinds of infections. Vitamin K is needed for blood coagulation which helps to stop bleeding and aid in the healing of wounds.
Celery nutrition also provides a fair source of beta-carotene (pro-vitamin A) with one cup delivering about 3% of the RDA of this nutrient. Vitamin A is essential for the creation of skin cells and even a slight deficiency can result in dry flaky skin. Vitamin A is also a potent antioxidant that has been shown to help prevent us from developing lung cancer by protecting us from free radicals that we breathe in from pollution. One study found that smokers with the highest dietary intake of vitamin A are less likely to succumb to lung cancer than their counterparts who consume the least vitamin A.
Potassium, calcium and magnesium are three minerals that are found in good supply and add to the nutritional value of celery. Celery is therefore a good source of calcium for vegetarians and vegans. Additionally vitamin K also aids in the absorption of calcium into the bloodstream and celery being a great source of vitamin K increases the bio-availability of the calcium in celery.
Building Stronger Bones
Helping to build stronger bones is one of the health benefits of celery. Celery contains 2 nutrients that have been shown to improve the density and strength of bones and reduce our risk of developing osteoporosis – they are calcium and vitamin K. Calcium is an essential component of our bone structure and is of course famous for its role in bone health. Vitamin K is a less known contributor to building stronger bones but there is evidence for it. A 1998 Nurses Health Study discovered that women who eat lettuce (also a great source of vitamin K) every day are considerably less likely to fracture their hips than those who eat lettuce just once or less per week
Celery Health Benefits for the Heart
Celery contains a handful of nutrients that all help to lower blood pressure, a condition that is a risk factor for heart disease. Celery contains a unique phytochemical called phthalide that promotes the relaxing of the muscles that surround the arteries. This helps the arteries to expand more, allowing more blood flow and therefore reducing blood pressure. There is also more to phthalide, it also helps to reduce the production of stress hormones that can cause arteries to constrict and increase blood pressure. So that is two great ways that the phthalides help heal hypertension.
The other nutrients found in celery that help protect us from heart health are the minerals potassium, calcium and magnesium. These three vitamin are all associated with aiding in the proper functioning of the muscle in the heart and the muscles of the arteries and therefore promoting health blood pressure levels.
Best wishes in your health and well-being.
Darren and Veronica Haynes