Celery isn’t exactly the most exciting food and in many ways, you could accuse it of being bland. To many people it’s not especially tasty, doesn’t look particularly interesting and normally most of us will avoid eating it unless we’ve first dipped it in something much tastier!
But they do say it’s the quiet ones you need to watch… and actually, celery is something of a superfood in a number of ways. Better yet, because celery is so low in calories and its taste is so innocuous, it’s something that you can easily add to your diet without even really noticing the change! In fact even the celery juice has amazing benefits.
In this post, we’ll take a look at why it’s time you rethought celery and why you need to start eating more of it. You'll love these celery and celery juice benefits!
Inflammation is more of a problem than many people realize. Chronic inflammation affects many of us and may be responsible for feelings of tiredness, brain fog and even depression. Then there are all those of us with conditions like arthritis, gout, osteoporosis, asthma or even just chronic joint pain.
Well, it turns out that celery is very effective at combating inflammation in all its many forms, which might be due to compounds called luteolin and polyacetylenes. First up is luteolin, this is a powerful antioxidant flavonoid which is very effective at combating inflammation. It appears to work by inhibiting a number of the enzymes responsible for inflammation. Meanwhile, polyacetylenes are able to lower inflammatory prostaglandins. This makes celery especially effective for those with arthritis, as is carrot juice which works in the same way.
Celery juice is especially high in antioxidants. For those who read this word a lot but don’t know what it means, an antioxidant is a compound that is able to combat ‘free radicals’ that roam the body. These react with cells causing damage and occasionally leading to mutations. The more antioxidants you have in your system, the less at risk you are from free radicals. The less at risk you are from free radicals, the better your general health will be and the lower your chances of developing cancer.
Particular antioxidants in celery have also been shown to be especially effective at combating cancer. These are the flavonoids apigenin and luteolin.
If you are an athlete, someone who goes to the gym a lot, or someone who just works hard, then it’s very important that you do whatever you can to avoid ‘burn out’. Burn out is the point at which you have exhausted your adrenal glands and your body is too spent for you to carry on. This can lead to depression, feelings of low energy, aching joints and brain fog – among other things.
The good news is that celery juice benefits can be the perfect tool to prevent this. One way it does this is through its selection of antioxidants. Another way it does it is by providing you with the equivalent of an isotonic drink: celery is able to rehydrate you and also replenish important electrolytes such as sodium and potassium. This helps to prevent cramping too and is ideal to chomp down on after a run or some circuit training.
Coumarins are also found in celery and these are known to reduce the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol is associated with stress and burnout and one of the best ways to tell if an athlete needs more time to recover is if their cortisol:testosterone ratio is high. By reducing cortisol, you can increase testosterone and anabolism and put the body into a recovery state.
We’ve met a lot of interesting sounding nutrients that exist in celery so far, now here’s another one: phthalide. This is a substance that is able to relax the smooth muscles that exist inside blood vessels, thereby helping to combat high blood pressure. This is also thought to improve heart health over the long term by reducing LDL cholesterol.
As mentioned, the coumarins in celery are also able to lower cortisol, which is another way in which it can lower hypertension. Then there’s the bioflavonoid apigenin, which is a potent anti-inflammatory that works specifically inside the cardiovascular system. This is also another reason that celery is so great for recovery.
Many of the things that make celery so good for improving recovery and blood pressure, also make it great for enhancing sleep. Likewise, because it’s able to restore hydration and electrolytes, it can also help you to sleep through the night without waking up thirsty or with cramps.
Among all those things, celery is also high in magnesium. This is massive because many of us are deficient in magnesium but it is absolutely essential for improving sleep. Magnesium is a muscle relaxant and is also able to put us in a dopey, groggy state ready for bed. It even improves neuroplasticity once we get to sleep, encouraging the formation of new neural connections and the birth of new nerve cells – helping us to consolidate memories as we rest.
Finally, celery is also great for your skin. Celery juice contains a wide range of nutrients that are known to be very beneficial for the skin and these include vitamin K, which is excellent for helping to improve skin firmness and elasticity. Likewise, it is also high in vitamin A and B, which improves skin tone, while vitamin C helps to prevent wrinkles over time (as do the other antioxidants). The hydrating aspects of celery juice are also important for good skin, as is the vasodilation which helps to prevent redness and blotchiness by giving you a much more even skin tone as your circulation is improved.
As you can see then, celery juice benefits are vast and can do a great deal for your health. It’s low calorie but packed with nutrients, flavanols, antioxidants and more. If you want to sleep better, look better and feel better, then don’t ignore the celery in your fridge!