National Fresh Celery Month | Natural Health Blog
Stalking Good Nutrition
If you are always looking for ways to improve your diet and make it more nutritious, you might want to give celery some serious consideration. April is National Fresh Celery Month, and we think this is a very worthwhile celebration. After all, celery is low in calories, full of nutrients, and offers a satisfying crunch!
Until recently, many people believed that celery didn’t have many dietary benefits beyond the fact that it only contains a few calories. It was even rumored that you expended more energy chewing celery than you took in by consuming it. However, we now know that celery actually packs a punch nutritionally and is a very healthy food to eat frequently.
For example, a 2010 study published in Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters found that several synthetic variations of NDGA act as inhibitors against human liver cancer.83 The results of this study were reinforced by a 2014 study published in ChemMedChem journal that found that eight methylated versions of NDGA were protective against liver cancer.84 And a 2012 study published in Breast Cancer Research and Treatment shows that it's equally protective against breast cancer.85 A 2008 study published in the journal Prostate concludes that it might be just as effective in dealing with prostate cancer.86 And finally, when it comes to cancer, chaparral is an effective counter to radiation-induced free-radical damage.
Celery is actually an ancient crop that may have been first cultivated as long as 3,000 years ago in the Mediterranean. Among the ancient Romans, celery was considered an aphrodisiac. In later eras, it was touted for medicinal abilities and used to treat toothaches, anxiety, arthritis, and insomnia.
Now, we know more about why regular celery consumption is so healthy. Read on for five of its benefits.
Celery Helps Reduce Inflammation
Celery’s narrow green stalks are great sources of phytonutrients such as phenolic acids, luteolin, and quercetin. These antioxidants work within the body to inhibit inflammation and provide protection from serious conditions related to inflammation like some forms of cancer and arthritis. And a 2018 study at Mashhad University of Medical Sciences in Iran found that celery extract has an inhibitory effect on xanthine oxidase and serum uric acid levels, which can contribute to inflammation.1
Use Raspberries And Coconut Oil For Brighter Lips. In a small saucepan on low heat, warm 1 Tablespoon coconut oil until it liquefies. Remove from heat and add 4 fresh or frozen red raspberries. Mash berries and blend until smooth. Place in a small glass container and refrigerate until firm. Use clean fingers or a lipgloss brush to smooth over lips. Make this fresh every few days.
Celery Promotes Better Digestion
High in both soluble and insoluble fiber, celery is a good choice for keeping your digestive tract running smoothly. Getting adequate fiber is important because it can prevent constipation and keep bowel movements regular. Celery also has a very high water content, which supports the digestive system as well. And celery was shown in a 2010 study at King Saud University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia to benefit the lining of the stomach and reduce the occurrence of stomach ulcers.2
Celery is Linked to Cancer Protection
Certain flavonoids present in celery may be powerful cancer fighters. Two in particular, apigenin and luteolin, have been shown in several investigations to provide some protection from one of the most-deadly forms of this disease, pancreatic cancer. A 2013 study at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign found that when exposed to apigenin, the flavonoid killed pancreatic cancer cells by inhibiting a particular enzyme, glycogen synthase kinase-3 beta, which, if left uninhibited, helps make cancer cells immortal.3
Challenge yourself. It may sound completely absurd, but try brushing your teeth with your opposite hand. Doing so will force you to think with a different part of your brain, helping to foster creative thinking. Within days, you’ll notice a cascade of new ideas that may just have you trying tofu next week, kickboxing next month or a half marathon by the end of the year!
Celery Provides Cardiovascular Support
Many of the benefits of celery to the heart are likely due in part to its anti-inflammatory properties that we mentioned earlier. But another heart-healthy aspect of celery comes from phthalides, which are phenolic substances in this vegetable. The phthalides in celery help relax the smooth muscles around blood vessels. As the blood vessels can expand further, blood pressure is lowered.
Celery Reduces the Risk of Hyperlipidemia
Hyperlipidemia, or high cholesterol, is characterized by an overabundance of fats or lipids in the blood. This often asymptomatic condition is dangerous because it can make us more susceptible to heart disease and stroke. But a 2015 study at Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences in Iran found that celery extract lowered cholesterol and triglyceride levels effectively.4
When shopping for your celery, find the sturdiest stalks. If they are really fresh, they won’t have much bend. Look for leaves that are crisp and green, without yellow or brown discolorations. As for preparation, don’t cut it up too far in advance or your celery will lose many of its nutrients. You can, however, steam celery without losing too many nutrients. Just make sure you consume it within about five days of your purchase so it is at the peak of its freshness and quality.
Need some ideas for upping your celery intake? This vegetable goes very well in many soups, makes a great crunchy addition to salads, and is an excellent snack dipped in hummus or peanut butter.
Use Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Extra virgin olive oil is the healthiest fat on the planet. It is loaded with heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and powerful antioxidants that can fight inflammation. Extra virgin olive oil leads to many beneficial effects on heart health, and people who consume olive oil have a much lower risk of dying from heart attacks and strokes.
- 1. Dolati, Karim; et al. "Inhibitory Effects of Apium graveolens on Xanthine Oxidase Activity and Serum Uric Acid Levels in Hyperuricemic Mice." Preventive Nutrition and Food Science. 30 June 2018. Accessed 13 March 2019. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6047868/.
- 2. Al-Howiriny, T.; et al. "Gastric antiulcer, antisecretory and cytoprotective properties of celery (Apium graveolens) in rats." Pharmaceutical Biology. July 2010. Accessed 13 March 2019. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20645778.
- 3. Johnson, Jodee L. and Gonzalez de Mejia, Elvira. "Flavonoid apigenin modified gene expression associated with inflammation and cancer and induced apoptosis in human pancreatic cancer cells through inhibition of GSK-3B/NF-kB signaling cascade." Molecular Nutrition and Food Research. 14 August 2013. Accessed 14 March 2019. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1002/mnfr.201300307.
- 4. Dianat, Mahin; et al. "The effect of hydro-alcoholic celery (Apiumgraveolens) leaf extract on cardiovascular parameters and lipid profile in animal model of hypertension induced by fructose." Avicenna Journal of Phytomedicine. May-June 2015. Accessed 14 March 2019. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4469955/.
They're downstream effects of this disturbance in the metabolism that Warburg originally defined back in the 1920s and '30s." How the Metabolic View Alters Cancer Treatment As Seyfried notes, the problem today is not that scientists and doctors cannot understand the science; it's that they cannot accept that this could be the truth behind the nature of the disease, because it changes how you approach treatment.