Anticancer Foods: Celery Uses & Benefits
Did you know that, according to legend, a Scotsman named George Taylor first introduced celery to the United States in 1856? It is doubtful that we knew of celery's numerous health benefits back then. This crunchy vegetable is packed with essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamin K, potassium, and folate. Plus, it can also help reduce inflammation and improve digestion. Next time you're looking for a healthy snack, reach for some celery sticks and give your body a boost!
What Is Celery?Celery is a vegetable that belongs to the Apiaceae family and is also known as Apium graveolens. It has a long, green stalk that is usually consumed raw or cooked as a vegetable. The plant also produces small white flowers and seeds that are commonly used as a spice in various cuisines. Celery is grown all over the world and is a popular ingredient in many dishes due to its distinctive flavor and crunchy texture.
How Is Celery Used?Celery has been cultivated and used as a food for thousands of years, with evidence of its use dating back to ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome. It is used in a variety of cuisines all over the world, from soups and stews to salads and sandwiches. In some cultures, celery is believed to have medicinal properties and is used as a natural remedy for various ailments. In addition, the seeds of the plant are used to add flavor to pickles, bread, and other foods. Today, celery is a popular ingredient in health-conscious diets and is used in juicing and smoothie recipes for its high nutrient content.
What Are The Health Benefits of Celery?Celery is a low-calorie vegetable that is packed with nutrients and has been shown to have a range of health benefits. One of the most notable benefits of celery is its anti-inflammatory properties. The plant contains antioxidants and flavonoids that help reduce inflammation in the body, which can help prevent chronic diseases such as arthritis, heart disease, and cancer. Celery is also a good source of dietary fiber, which can help regulate digestion and prevent constipation. It is also rich in vitamins and minerals, including vitamin K, vitamin C, and potassium, which are essential for bone health, immune function, and blood pressure regulation. Research has also shown that celery can help lower blood pressure, thanks to its high levels of potassium and other beneficial compounds. Studies have found that consuming celery extract can help improve blood lipid levels, which can reduce the risk of heart disease. Finally, celery has been shown to have diuretic properties, meaning it can help flush excess fluid from the body and reduce bloating. This makes it a popular ingredient in detox diets and can also help relieve symptoms of water retention.
What Makes Celery An Anticancer Food?Celery has been studied for its potential anti-cancer properties, and researchers have found that several compounds in celery may help prevent or fight cancer. For example, a study published in the journal Cancer Prevention Research found that apigenin, a flavonoid found in celery, can help inhibit the growth of cancer cells and prevent the formation of new blood vessels that supply tumors. Another study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that the compound luteolin, which is also found in celery, has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that can help prevent cancer. In addition to these compounds, celery contains polyacetylenes, which are compounds that have been shown to have anti-cancer properties in animal studies. According to a study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, polyacetylenes can help prevent the growth of cancer cells and induce apoptosis in cancer cells. Celery is also a good source of antioxidants, which can help protect cells from damage caused by free radicals. A study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food found that celery extract was able to reduce oxidative stress in the liver of rats, suggesting that it may have a similar effect in humans. Overall, while there is still much research to be done on the anti-cancer properties of celery, these studies suggest that the compounds found in celery may have potential in the prevention and treatment of cancer.