Celery is from the same family with parsley and fennel, the Umbelliferae family. It can grow to the height of up to 16 inches. The white celery is grown shaded from direct sunlight, thus has less chlorophyll, compared to its greener counterparts.
The ribs of celery are crunchy and are often used to make soup or salad. It has a salty taste, so celery juice is a good mix with the sweeter fruit juices. Depending on variety, some may taste very salty.
Celery leaves has high content of vitamin A, whilst the stems are an excellent source of vitamins B1, B2, B6 and C with rich supplies of potassium, folic acid, calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, sodium and plenty essential amino acids.
Nutrients in the fiber are released during juicing, aiding bowel movements. The natural organic sodium (salt) in celery is very safe for consumption, in fact is essential for the body. Even individuals who are salt-sensitive can safely take the sodium in celery, unlike table salt (iodised sodium) which is harmful for those with high blood pressure.
While many foods lose nutrients during cooking, most of the compounds in celery hold up well during cooking.
Celery has always been associated with lowering of blood pressure. When combined with other juices, it provides different formula that help other conditions.
Recent studies have shown that celery might also be effective in combating cancer. Read on.
Some of the health benefits of celery juice:
Acidity: The important minerals in this magical juice effectively balance the body's blood pH, neutralizing acidity.
Athletes: Celery juice acts as the perfect post-workout tonic as it replaces lost electrolytes and rehydrates the body with its rich minerals.
Cancer: Celery is known to contain at least eight families of anti-cancer compounds. Among them are the acetylenics that have been shown to stop the growth of tumor cells. Phenolic acids which block the action of prostaglandins that encourage the growth of tumor cells. And coumarins which help prevent free radicals from damaging cells.
Cholesterol: This humble pale juice has been shown to effectively and significantly lower total cholesterol and LDL (bad) cholesterol.
Colon and stomach cancer: The phytochemical coumarins prevent the formation and development of the colon and stomach cancers.
Constipation: The natural laxative effect of celery helps to relieve constipation. It also helps relax nerves that have been overworked by man-made laxatives.
Cooling: During dry and hot weather, drink a glass of celery juice two or three times a day, between meals. It wonderfully helps to normalize body temperature.
Diuretic: The potassium and sodium in celery juice helps to regulate body fluid and stimulate urine production, making it an important help to rid the body of excess fluid.
Inflammation: The polyacetylene in celery is an amazing relief for all inflammation like rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, gout, asthma and bronchitis.
Kidney function: Celery promotes healthy and normal kidney function by aiding elimination of toxins from the body. While eliminating toxins, it also prevents formation of kidney stones.
Lower blood pressure: Drinking celery juice every day for a week significantly helps lower blood pressure. A compound called phtalides help relax the muscle around arteries, dilating the vessels and allowing blood to flow normally. To be effective, drink the juice for one week, stop for three weeks, and start over.
Nervous system: The organic alkaline minerals in celery juice has a calming effect on the nervous system, making it a wonderful drink for insomniacs.
Weight loss: Drink celery juice frequently throughout the day. It helps curb your cravings for sweets and rich food.
Urinary stones, breaking of: The diuretic effect of celery juice also aids the breaking and elimination of urinary and gall bladder stones.
Choose green celery where possible for its chlorophyll. Ensure that the ribs are still firm, not limp. To store in the fridge, wrap celery in a sealed container or wrap in a plastic bag or a damp cloth.
Do not leave it at room temperature for too long as it tends to wilt quickly. If your celery has wilted, sprinkle it with a little water and put it in the refrigerator for a few hours. It will regain its crispness.
Celery is such a succulent plant that it produces its own "pesticide" to protect itself from fungi. This protective layer is called psoralens which although protects the celery, may not go down so well with some people.
If you begin having skin problems after eating celery, it might mean that you have some sensitivity to psoralens.
Some people with low blood pressure had complained that celery makes their blood pressure even lower. I personally didn't encounter that problem so I believe it is also your overall make-up. But, you might want to avoid celery if you have low blood pressure. Listen to your body when you take celery.