Celery: Properties and Benefits
Celery is a vegetable rich in vitamin C and other constituents with interesting therapeutic properties. Its regular consumption can bring various health benefits that we will now see
The celery, scientific name Apium graveolens, is an herbaceous biennial belonging to the family Umbelliferae. This type of celery is nothing other than the derivation from the marsh celery operated by farmers over the centuries.
The celery is present in different varieties. These are classified according to certain characteristics such as the color of the canes, the leaves, the flowering period or the predisposition to conservation. The main groups are 3: dulce, the most widespread, rapaceum and sylvan.
For years, in folk medicine, celery has been used to treat hypertension and now even scientific studies confirm its benefits against cardiovascular health. In fact, scientific research has shown that its antioxidants have anti-inflammatory properties that help improve blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
- Chemical Composition
- Blood Pressure
- Free Radicals
- Weight Loss
- Chronic Diseases
- Protects the Liver
- Essential Oil
Approssimante 40,000 tons of celery are produced in India and 29,250 tons are exported each year. For its growth this plant needs high levels of humidity, but requires lower temperatures. Therefore, the celery for high quality grows in regions with cold climate and mild. The parts used in this plant include seeds, leaves and essential oils. Among its phytochemical compounds we can mention carbohydrates, phenols like flavonoids, alkaloids and steroids. ( 1 )
The reason why this is the most used plant in traditional medicine is due to the presence of compounds such as limonene, selinene, frocoumarin glycosides, flavonoids and vitamins A and C. ( 2 )
Most people eat celery stalk, but leaves and seeds also have properties that should not be underestimated. Seeds for example have excellent health benefits as they help reduce inflammation and fight infection.
The celery seeds contain a special oily compound called apiol that is used for medicinal purposes.
In Italy about 80% of the total production of celery comes only from 4 regions: Piedmont, Puglia, Emilia Romagna, Lazio. Thanks to its delicate aroma and its particularly pleasant taste, celery is an appetizing and appreciated food. At the same time it is also a vegetable with therapeutic properties that we will see later.
|Chemical composition for 100 g of raw celery|
Amino acids: aspartic acid, glutamic acid, alanine, arginine, cystine, glycine, phenylalanine, histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, proline, methionine, serine, tyrosine, tryptophan, valine and threonine.
The most recent scientific research has shown the presence of a substance in the flavonoid family with antioxidant properties. The compound is called luteolin and appears to be able to protect the brain from inflammatory states.
The calories supplied by 100 grams of edible portion are very low, only 16 .
Celery: Properties and Benefits
Lower Blood Pressure
It contains organic chemical compounds which, together with the activity of potassium, relax the walls of blood vessels. The consequences are a greater flow of blood throughout the body. In this way a lowering of the arterial pressure is determined with benefits for the health of the cardiovascular system.
These properties were found in celery seed extract during a study conducted in rats. The results of the study were published in the Journal of Medicinal Food. ( 3 )
A 2015 study informs us that celery compounds have been reported to reduce blood pressure in humans. ( 4 )
The antioxidant compounds present in celery, the coumarins in particular, perform a very useful function in counteracting the harmful effects of free radicals. The resulting benefits relate to the prevention of certain types of cancer and cardiovascular diseases. ( 5, 6 )
The first studies in this direction have shown that this precious plant helps prevent certain types of cancer. In particular its activity seems effective against leukemia, intestinal cancer and breast cancer.
According to researchers at the University of Aarhus in Denmark, these benefits are due to polyacetylenes. These compounds showed different and interesting biological activities. The polyacetylenes are in fact found to be cytotoxic, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, antiplatelet agents and antibacterials. ( 7 )
Very recent studies have focused their attention on the therapeutic properties of apigenin. Apigenin is a flavonoid that is commonly found in many fruits and vegetables such as celery leaves. There are many scientific evidences that indicate that this compound is useful in the prevention of tumors through the induction of apoptosis and autophagy. ( 8 )
The seeds of celery have diuretic properties, their intake promotes urination. It also helps to expel excess uric acid, thus preventing certain diseases such as gout. The seeds also benefit in the case of cystitis, bladder problems and kidney stones.
The celery is used in traditional medicine as a diuretic agent or hypertensive. Contains chemical compounds such as apiine, apigenin, isoquercitrin and sesquiterpene. ( 9 )
Because the plant helps reduce uric acid and stimulates urine production, it is useful for fighting bacterial infections in the digestive system and urinary tract. This vegetable prevents bladder disorders, kidney problems and perhaps even cysts on the reproductive organs. ( 10 )
In the history of mankind its seeds have been used for centuries as a medicine with antibacterial properties. These plant virtues were confirmed by a 2009 study published in the Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology. In the study the researchers confirmed the presence of antibacterial compounds in the chemical composition of the seeds. (11)
In the study, celery compounds were particularly effective against Helicobacter pylori infections .
The active ingredients present in this vegetable can affect the effect of certain drugs. A 2009 study examined the effects of celery juice in relation to those of a chemotherapy drug. ( 12 )
The drug in question is doxorubicin and has been tested on animals. During the tests it was discovered that celery juice had a positive effect on treatment with this drug. The juice has also reduced the damage caused by free radicals and protected cells from oxidative stress.
Infections of the Urinary Tract
Because this plant helps eliminate uric acid and stimulates urine production, it is also useful for fighting urinary tract infections. A 2016 study in China describes how this plant can help prevent and treat bladder disorders, kidney problems and even cysts to reproductive organs. ( 13 )
The fiber and other organic chemical compounds are useful to reduce the levels of LDL cholesterol in the blood. Cholesterol reduction prevents the formation of dangerous plaques in the arteries. Its intake is therefore associated with better heart and cardiovascular health.
A study conducted on rats given a high fat diet for 8 weeks gave promising results. In fact, rats that had taken celery extract showed lower levels of lipids in their blood than those who had not received the extract. ( 14 )
A study conducted in Iran on animals found that hydroalcoholic leaf extract reduces cholesterol and triglycerides in animals with fructose-induced hypertension. ( 15 )
Another study in rats found that drinking aqueous celery extract for 8 weeks significantly reduces total cholesterol levels. ( 16 )
The dietary fiber is well known for its digestive properties. Its intake increases intestinal motility and prevents constipation. ( 17, 18, 19 )
Gastritis can increase the risk of other diseases such as gastric ulcers and tumors. Smokers and people who regularly use pain medication are at risk for gastritis. According to researchers, sufferers of this condition should consume celery, honey and apples regularly. ( 20 )
The University of Maryland Medical Center suggests that regular intake of celery may help prevent gastritis. The flavonoids in fact inhibit the formation of intestinal bacteria which cause inflammation of the stomach wall.
All parts of this vegetable act as a detoxifier. Seeds, sparse and leaves all have depurative properties. Those who regularly consume this vegetable reduces so the risk of liver disease, pancreas, liver and gallbladder.
Eating celery or drinking its juice can help with weight loss. This vegetable in fact has a very low caloric intake and is rich in dietary fiber. These, once taken, increase the sense of satiety and therefore decrease the appetite.
Thanks to its low acidity it is a recommended food to let the heartburn pass. The introduction of celery in the diet of patients with acid reflux brings improvements. This properties was demonstrated by a study published in Annals of Otology, Rhinology & Layingology.
Prevents Chronic Diseases
This vegetable is very rich in flavonoids. A 2014 study showed the antioxidant properties of flavonoids present in the vegetable. Flavonoids have been tested in vitro on animals. The beneficial effects of antioxidants have been seen mainly in the liver, heart and kidney of mice. ( 21 )
The antioxidants and polysaccharides contained in this plant are known to act as anti inflammatory. In particular we are talking about flavonoids and polyphenols. Inflammation is often the cause of chronic diseases such as cancer, arthritis and heart disease.
A study of 28 days in rats showed that the celery seed extract has properties anti-inflammatory and protective gastro. ( 22 )
Another study conducted by the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences of the University of Salerno suggests that the flavonoids present in the leaves of this vegetable have anti-inflammatory activity. ( 23 )
Protects the Liver
For now there are only studies conducted on rats that, if confirmed on humans, bode well. Scholars have fed rats with celery, chicory and barley for a certain period of time. At the end of the test there was a decrease in dangerous fat in the liver.
The study is from 2011 and was conducted by researchers from Helwan University in Egypt. The researchers added celery, chicory and barley to a high cholesterol in the diet rats. This addition resulted in improved liver function and blood fat levels. It is believed that the addition of this vegetable in the diet can bring benefits to those with liver problems. ( 24 )
The Celery contains a special ethanol extract that is used to protect the lining from digestive ulcers. This is supported by a 2010 study published in the Journal of Pharmaceutical Biology. ( 25 )
The ethanol extract regenerates the levels of gastric mucus. These serve to prevent the formation of lesions in the stomach lining.
A 2015 study confirmed this property by analyzing the effects of its seeds that have also proved useful in treating arthritis. ( 26 )
Essential Oil of Celery
In addition to having proven fungicidal properties , its essential oil appears to have good antitumor activity. The presence of 2 antioxidant compounds proved to be effective for the reduction of tumors in rats. Developments are awaited.
Studies have shown that antioxidant compounds are useful for a wide range of conditions that are worsened by inflammation. Irritable bowel syndrome , skin disorders, liver and kidney infections just to name a few.
Science has confirmed what the ancient peoples already claimed. Thanks to the presence of vitamin E, celery has not only revitalizing , but also aphrodisiac properties.
Celery’s reputation as an aphrodisiac food dates back to ancient Roman times.
Thanks to its purifying and diuretic activity, celery is certainly an excellent food to fight cellulite.
It can be grown during almost any time of the year. The coldest winter months and subject to temperatures below zero are instead excluded.
An excellent aid to combat insomnia and stress can be obtained by drinking an infusion prepared with its seeds.
Its added juice of a little ice and a pinch of salt is an excellent regenerating and remineralizing drink.
Every year, since 1965, on the third Sunday of October, the festival of celery takes place in Trevi, Umbria.
The cultivation of this particular vegetable requires a fresh, well-fertilized and above all well-watered soil.
The celery you can find it for sale throughout the year. But what is available in the spring is the one appreciated for its particular tenderness.
Maybe not Everyone Knows That
In Italy there is a high demand for light celery that is obtained through the bleaching technique. The bleaching consists, through the coverage on the field, in the elimination of the chlorophyll which is the substance that gives the green color.
The typical taste and aroma is due to the presence of a substance called sedanin.
It is a very old vegetable. The documents show that its leaves were part of the remains found in the tomb of Tutankhamun, the pharaoh who died in 1323 bC.
In ancient Greece its leaves had a dual use. They were used as garlands for the dead or to compose crowns to honor the winners in battle.
Homer tells us that Achilles had his horse healed that was seriously ill by making him eat a celery plant.
Its seeds, like those of fennel, have the property of facilitating the elimination of intestinal gases.
Celery: Properties and Benefits
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