It may not have the most taste in the food world, celery plays a very important part. Celery makes for a great addition to a lot of meals, and it also has a texture that people love to eat as a snack. When someone is trying to drop a few pounds, you might notice that they are starting to eat more celery. It’s easy to snack on almost endlessly while not bringing a lot of calories with that snacking.
While people think of the low calorie count, many don’t think about the other health benefits that they can get from eating celery. Between being a food and being an herb, celery has many different uses. Let’s take a look at those uses, the nutritional value and the health benefits that you get from snacking on celery compared to some of the other snacks you might be grazing on throughout the day.
Nutrition of Celery
The Nutritional Labeling and Education Act determined that one serving of celery is 110 grams, which is more than you get from the average large stalk of celery. That means you can eat quite a bit, and still only get 18 calories from that entire serving. While there is very little protein in each serving, you are getting seven percent of your daily recommendation for fiber. You’ll also be getting some important vitamins, with vitamin K being the most abundant at 40 percent of your recommended value.
Celery also contains an important amount of vitamin A and folate, each with 10 percent of recommended value. As for the other vitamins and minerals, there are plenty that have less than 10 percent, but still produce an important amount. These nutrients include vitamin C, manganese, potassium, riboflavin, vitamin B6, calcium, sodium and more. While it might not have the most nutrients for a vegetable, getting all of that for a low amount of calories is quite impressive.
Obviously the first thing that comes to mind with celery is what it can do for your waistline. There are some people that believe that you can burn calories from eating celery alone, taking in a net negative. However, this is not true, as you are adding five calories per stalk to your body. Then again, that really isn’t many calories at all. That lower calorie count alone is going to help you burn off quite a bit of fat.
Celery is also great for weight loss because it can help fill you up. Celery does contain a decent amount of dietary fiber that allows your body to feel more full. This will also enhance your digestive system, which enhances your metabolism. Making celery a regular snack while also exercising and controlling your overall calorie count is going to ensure that your diet is a success.
There is no doubt that celery is one of those foods that doctors suggest you eat more of if you want to increase your overall heart health. That’s because celery contains phthalides, which can lower both your cholesterol and blood pressure. The blood pressure regulation comes from celery’s ability to lower your stress, making your blood stream wider, allowing blood to pass through much easier.
As for your cholesterol, the stimulation from phthalides help to clear out some of the LDL (bad) cholesterol in your system. While most vegetables are going to be very beneficial for your heart, not all of them contain the important phthalides that you find in celery. Studies have shown the effect that this compound has, so you can start taking control of your heart health today by eating celery.
Inflammation is one of those things that you don’t normally think about occuring in your body, but it can lead to some serious problems. Inflammation is at the source of just about any disease that you can think of as free radicals can ravage the body and cause anything from arthritis to cancer. Celery contains a lot of anti-inflammatory properties, especially thanks to polyphenol and flavonoid.
These compounds will help you to fight off a lot of different aches and pains that are caused by inflammation, especially in the joints or from gout. It will even help you out in terms of digestion, as problems as irritable bowel syndrome are caused by inflammation. Control inflammation, and you can control your entire body.
Cancer is an unfortunate disease that happens to a lot of people that we know and love. You can help to fight this disease by eating foods such as celery because of the nutrients and chemical compounds that eliminate free radicals. Celery is high in antioxidants that fight chronic diseases, and can even help you fight off some of the minor diseases that tend to spread.
That’s because celery has a solid vitamin C content that your body needs to build up an immune system. Even if you are already sick, vitamin C can help you get through an illness faster, and even helps those that suffer from asthma as it opens up the airways. For those that experience migraines, celery is a good way to alleviate the pressure from your headaches.
Sometimes you just need a little pick me up during the day, and some people turn to caffeine or sugary foods. Instead, you should be focusing on foods such as celery to give you a natural boost throughout the day. The fiber content and your blood stream experiencing a boost will give you a natural lift that a candy bar won’t give you. You also won’t experience the spikes and crashes throughout the day. It has even been found that celery can give you an energy boost in the bedroom, though you probably wouldn’t even think of that.
Summing it Up
With all of the benefits and almost none of the calories, there has to be some sort of catch when it comes to eating celery, right? Thankfully, there aren’t many, but there are some things you need to watch out for. If you are depending too much on celery, it can cause some digestive problems as there isn’t much fiber in each serving. There also isn’t a wide range of high vitamins, so celery should be added to your diet instead of being a large part of it.
Your body needs a wide range of vitamins, and you still have to make sure that you are getting the proper amount of calories so that you aren’t losing weight too quickly. Other than that, there isn’t much concern at all about eating celery. Don’t make a meal out of celery alone, but rather swap out your unhealthy snacks for celery instead. This will help you feel better overall, while also losing weight and getting some of the essential nutrients that your body needs.