Celery: Fighting Cancer and Boosting Blood

CeleryCelery has long been associated with good health. The stalks of this aromatic plant, which is believed to have originated from the Mediterranean basin, has been used worldwide to treat countless medical issues ranging from mild constipation to serious inflammatory diseases. Today, over one billion pounds of celery are produced annually in the United States alone, with Michigan, Florida, and California accounting for 80 percent of all celery production.

Despite its popularity, many people assume that celery isn’t especially nutritious due to its lightweight, watery nature. While it is true that celery does contain few essential vitamins and minerals compared to heavier foods, it is rich in certain phytonutrients that provide some truly special health benefits.

List of Health Benefits

Cancer-fighting properties – Celery contains two flavones, apigenin and luteolin, that are proven to help treat various types of cancer. For example, a study published in Tumour Biology in August 2014 found that apigenin can induce apoptosis in human gastric carcinoma cells in a dose-dependent manner. Another study, published two months later in Experimental and Molecular Pathology, discovered that “low-dose apigenin has the potential to slow or prevent breast cancer progression.”

Luteolin, on the other hand, seems to specialize in treating colon cancer. A review published in the Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention in 2014, for instance, concluded that luteolin could reduce oxidative stress during colon cancer genesis, and could be “considered as a potential drug to treat [colorectal cancer].”

Improves blood health – One of the chemical constituents of celery oil is 3-n-butylphthalide (BuPh), which, aside from being responsible for celery’s unique taste and aroma, is shown to help treat high blood pressure. For example, research published in Phytotherapy Research in December 1998 showed that BuPh has a vasorelaxant effect on hypertensive rats (i.e. it reduced tension in their blood vessel walls), thus lowering their blood pressure.

One cup of chopped celery also supplies our bodies with 37 percent of our daily value of vitamin K, a group of fat-soluble compounds that helps our blood clot properly. In fact, the “K” actually stands for koagulation, the German word for “clotting.” Deficiencies in vitamin K can increase the risk of uncontrolled bleeding, easy bruising, and – due to vitamin K’s additional role in bone building – a weakening of the bones.

Weight loss aid – There are many good reasons why eating celery can help us lose weight. Firstly, it is fat-free and only contains around 16 calories per cup (celery is actually a “negative calorie” food, since our bodies require more calories to digest it than the plant itself contains). Secondly, it is comprised of approximately 95 percent water, which helps to remove waste from our cells and reduce fatigue. Lastly, celery is rich in soluble fiber, which helps balance blood sugar levels and lower LDL cholesterol.

When possible, favor organic celery that snaps easily when pulled apart. The leaves should be a healthy pale to bright green color and free from yellow or brown patches.

Celery is best consumed raw and in whole form. While celery juice does have its benefits, juicing damages the plant’s fiber profile which, in turn, decreases its efficacy as a constipation and weight loss aid.

 

Recommended Articles

Wheat

Four Ways Wheat Is Proven to Destroy Our Health

The general consensus among medical professionals is that whole grains are an essential component of our diet. After all, everyone knows that grain products comprise the entire base of the United States Department of Agriculture's official food pyramid, and that adults should consume between 6 and 11 servings of grains per day for optimum health. Surely a food group that is promoted so … Read more

Basket of Bananas

A List of Foods Rich in Potassium: From Bananas to Baked Potatoes

Though it might not be as well-known as iron or calcium, potassium is an essential nutrient that plays numerous roles in the human body. For example, it regulates water balance, thus controlling the amount of fluids that we retain or excrete. It also contributes to metabolism and other biochemical reactions, maintains electrolyte balance, and boosts the functioning of the nervous system. … Read more

Syrup Selection

A List of the Best Substitutes to Molasses

Although molasses is an extremely healthy sugar substitute that has been a staple in the American diet since pilgrims first visited the continent, it is certainly an acquired taste. Depending on the type of molasses you've tried, you might find it too sweet, too sour, too sugary, too rich, or simply just too difficult to obtain in the region in which you live. Fortunately, there are … Read more

Iron-Rich Foods

A List of Foods Rich in Iron: From Chlorella to Goji Berries

The important trace mineral, iron, performs a large number of roles in our bodies. It helps form hemoglobin in our red blood cells, boosts our immunity, maintains brain and endocrine function, and more. In fact, iron plays a small role in most biological functions, and no living organism can survive without it. Despite widespread understanding of its importance, however, iron remains the … Read more