Does Celery Lower Blood Pressure and Prevent Cancer?

Celery has a unique flavor, high nutritional value, and health benefits such as anti-oxidation, cancer prevention, and blood pressure reduction. It is a green vegetable that belongs to the Umbelliferae family.
A celery stem is light green, hollow, and multi-sectional, with feather-like compound leaves in a darker color. Its refreshing taste comes with a slight bitterness and aroma. It’s a common ingredient in soups, salads, stir-fried dishes, and pickles. Rich in nutrients and vitamins, celery also contains minerals and dietary fiber.

The healthy benefits of celery are as follows:

1. Lower Blood Pressure

Due to the richness of potassium and sodium, celery regulates the electrolyte balance in the body and helps reduce blood pressure.

study published in the Avicenna Journal of Phytomedicine in 2015 revealed that celery leaf extract reduces systolic pressure, cholesterol, and triglycerides in experimental rats with fructose-induced high blood pressure.

study in The Journal of Chiropractic Medicine in 2021 reported an interesting result of using celery to treat high blood pressure in the elderly:

“A 74-year-old man presented with neck pain and a history of hypertension as diagnosed by his primary care provider. He had attempted different medications for his hypertension, but he reported that they gave him the side effect of chest discomfort. His initial physical examination blood pressure measurement was 150/80 mmHg.”

Per the clinical staff’s advice, the elderly patient drank celery juice daily and chose to have cervical spine massage therapy to relieve his neck pain.

Six months later, his blood pressure dropped to 118/82 mmHg.

An experiment published by Phytotherapy Research discovered Apium graveolens in celery is anti-hypertensive, which can reduce high blood pressure.

In the experiment, 52 patients with high blood pressure were divided into two groups (celery group and placebo group), and their blood pressure was assessed using 24-hour dynamic blood pressure monitoring.

Systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, and average arterial pressure decreased significantly in the celery group. The above parameters did not change in the placebo group.

The results suggest that as a supplement, celery seed extract is therapeutic for patients with high blood pressure.

2. Heat-clearing and Detoxifying

Celery contains various antioxidants that clear heat in the body while detoxifying it. It helps relieve fever, sore throat, and other related symptoms.

An Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine article pointed out that celery contains chemical compounds such as caffeic acid, p-coumaric acid, apigenin, tannins, saponin, and kaempferol. Hence it removes free radicals and has strong antioxidant properties.

3. Weight Loss and Digestion

Celery is rich in dietary fiber and natural enzymes, stimulating gastrointestinal digestion and regularity.

study published in Food and Function found that fermented celery juice (FCJ) significantly prevents weight gain, lipid metabolism disorders, and hyperglycemia. It also reduces visceral fat accumulation in the body.

In addition, 16S rRNA sequencing analysis shows that FCJ intake changes the composition of intestinal flora and increases the number of beneficial bacteria, Lactobacillus, Ruminococcaceae UCG-014, Faecalibaculum, and Blautia.

Hence, it reduces the number of harmful bacteria (Alloprevotella and Helicobacter pylori). Fermented celery juice can prevent obesity caused by a high-fat diet—it also improves intestinal flora disorders and obesity-related metabolic disorders caused by a high-fat diet.

4. Cancer Prevention

Celery contains a dietary flavonoid called apigenin.

Research in Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications in 2001 found that apigenin treatment resulted in significant apoptosis of human prostate adenocarcinoma (CA-HPV-10) cells as evident from (i) DNA ladder assay, (ii) fluorescence microscopy, and (iii) TUNEL assay, indicating apigenin exhibited growth-inhibitory effects in prostate cancer cells.

The Journal of Cancer Prevention mentioned that the anti-carcinogenic properties of apigenin regulate cell responses to oxidative stress and DNA damage and prevents inflammation and angiogenesis.

It also delays cell proliferation and induces autophagy and apoptosis in cancer cells.

5. Sleep Improvement

The magnesium and calcium in celery relax nerves and muscles and improve sleep quality.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, celery contains 11 mg of magnesium and 40 mg of calcium.

Below is the nutrient profile for 100 grams of celery:

  • Total dietary (1.6 g)
  • Calcium (40 mg)
  • Magnesium (11 mg)
  • Phosphorus (24 mg)
  • Potassium (260 mg)
  • Sodium (80 mg)
  • Zinc (0.13 mg)
  • Vitamin C (3.1 mg)
  • Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) (0.27 mg)
  • Vitamin K (phylloquinone) (29.3 µg)

6. Immunity Enhancement

Vitamin C and zinc in celery promote immunity and prevent colds.

A 2023 study noted that butylphthalide, a new drug made from celery seeds safely protects and preserves the brain from possible damage related to stroke in animal models with a clot-caused stroke. The study result indicates that butylphthalide may help protect brain tissue from damage when the supply of oxygenated blood is cut off.

In general, celery is a healthy vegetable that is not only delicious and refreshing but also has many health benefits, making it an ideal part of your daily diet.

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