What is Celery?
Apium graveolens is a plant species in the family Apiaceae commonly known as celery (var. dulce) or celeriac (var. rapaceum), depending on whether the petioles (stalks) or roots are eaten. Apium graveolens is used around the world as a vegetable, either for the crisp petiole (leaf stalk) or the fleshy top-root.
Celery seeds can be used as a spice, either as whole seeds or ground and mixed with salt, as celery salt. Celery salt can also be made from an extract of the roots. Celery salt is also used as a seasoning.
The use of celery seed in pills for relieving pain was described by Aulus Cornelius Celsus around 30 AD. Celery seeds contain a compound, 3-N-butyl-phthalide, that has been demonstrated to lower blood pressure in rats. Bergapten in the seeds can increase photosensitivity, so the use of essential oil externally in bright sunshine should be avoided. However, this is a potentially useful action in psoriasis, with caution, and celery, along with other umbellifers, is one of the vegetables to be included in the diet as a source of psoralens for this purpose according to herbalists. This may constitute a risk factor, though, in skin cancer. The oil and large doses of seeds should be avoided during pregnancy, as they can act as a uterine stimulant. Seeds intended for cultivation are not suitable for eating as they are often treated with fungicides.
A common use for the seeds is as a “blood purifier”, and it is sometimes taken for arthritis.
Nutrition & Weight Loss
Celery is used in weight-loss diets, where it provides low-calorie dietary fibre bulk. Celery is often called a “negative calorie food”.
Celery juice is highly hydrating and incredibly alkalizing. It equalizes the body’s PH, which is vital for peak health. In ancient times, it was considered a medicinal herb used to treat a variety of health complaints. The minerals and vitamins and nutrients are in perfect harmony with each other. Celery leaves are high in vitamin A, whilst the stems are an excellent source of vitamins B1, B2, B6 and C and dense in potassium, folic acid, calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, sodium and essential amino acids.
This super food also contains important concentrations of plant hormones and the very special essential oils that give celery its characteristic smell. These oils help to regulate the nervous system, and are very calming.
Celery is rich in a sodium that is different from table salt. Normal table salt is composed of insoluble inorganic compounds which lead to the development of varicose veins, hardening of the arteries and other aliments. If salt, including sea salt is white, then it has been processed and all minerals and nutrients have been destroyed. On the other hand, the sodium that is in celery is soluble and organic (live), and is essential for the body. Organic salt allows the body to use the other nutrients that are taken into the body.
Juicing Celery | How to improve the taste
Celery Juice alone is not recommended because of the taste, but it is highly recommended to add to just about any juice. To juice primarily Celery you should add an apple and either a lemon or small chunk of ginger to make the taste more pleasant.
The Benefits of Celery Juice
Fights Cancer – Celery is known to contain at least eight families of anti-cancer compounds. A study at Rutgers University of New Jersey found that celery contains a number of compounds that help prevent cancer cells from spreading. Celery contains compounds called acetylenics and this compound has been shown to stop the growth of tumor cells. Celery contains other compounds called phonolic acids that block the action of hormone-like substances called prostaglandins, which encourage the growth of tumor cells. Coumarins, another phytonutrient in celery helps prevent free-radicals from damaging cells and prevent the formation and development of the colon and stomach cancers.
Lowers Cholesterol – Butyl phthalide, a chemical in celery, helps to reduce bad cholesterol. According to researchers at the University of Chicago, celery reduces cholesterol levels by as much as 7 points with as little as 2 stalks a day.
Diuretic & Aids in Digestion – The potassium and sodium in celery juice are powerful body fluid regulators that stimulate urine production to help flush out excess fluid. Celery has been used as a diuretic for centuries.
Anti Inflammatory – The polyacetylene in celery is an amazing relief for all inflammation including rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, gout, asthma and bronchitis. Studies have found that another powerful phytonutrient called luteolin prevents activation of a pathway that allows inflammation in the brain to get switched on.
Lower blood pressure – Chinese medicine has known of Celery’s potential for reducing high blood pressure for a long time and studies show that drinking celery juice every day for 1 week can significantly help accomplish this. A compound called phtalides helps relax the muscles around the arteries, dilating the vessels and allowing blood to flow smoothly. Pthalides also reduce stress hormones that cause blood vessels to constrict. Researchers injected 3-n-butyl phthalide derived from celery into laboratory animals and their blood pressure dropped 12 to 14 percent.
Insomnia – Celery juice have a calming effect on the nervous system, which makes it beneficial for insomniacs.
Weight loss – Celery helps with weight loss because it is very low in calories and has a lot of filling fiber.
Elimination and Prevention of stones – Celery juice is an amazing eliminator of toxins from the body, which aids in the breaking and elimination of urinary and gall bladder stones.
Immune System – Celery has a high amount of vitamin C which promotes a healthy immune system.
Celery is among a small group of foods (headed by peanuts) that appear to provoke the most severe allergic reactions; for people with celery allergy, exposure can cause potentially fatal anaphylactic shock. The allergen does not appear to be destroyed at cooking temperatures. Celery root—commonly eaten as celeriac, or put into drinks—is known to contain more allergen than the stalk. Seeds contain the highest levels of allergen content. Exercise-induced anaphylaxis may be exacerbated. An allergic reaction also may be triggered by eating foods that have been processed with machines that have previously processed celery, making avoiding such foods difficult. In contrast with peanut allergy being most prevalent in the US, celery allergy is most prevalent in Central Europe.