Yow Hui Yin,
Phd, BPharm (Hons), RPh
Celery, also known as Apium graveolens, is a vegetable from Apiaceae family. Although it is more well-recognized for being low in calories and as a popular diet food, celery actually has incredible health benefits.
It is a myth that celery provides ‘negative calories’. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), two medium stalks of celery contain approximately 15 calories. However, it also contains lots of fiber that helps to control cravings by absorbing water in digestive system, giving the feeling of fullness. Therefore, by adding more celery to your diet, you actually eat less and this can contribute to weight loss.
Some scientific studies have shown that celery may reduce inflammation. This may be attributed to its antioxidant properties. Hence, it is used to support the relief of joint pain in conditions such as arthritis and gout. In addition, its seeds also possess natural diuretic property which can cause increased passing of urine. It can therefore increase the elimination of uric acid from the kidneys and may help to relieve the symptoms of mild gout.
Animal studies have shown the promising effects of celery in lowering cholesterol levels and blood pressure. Similarly, some recent studies have shown the protective effect of celery against cancer cells due to its antioxidant properties. Nevertheless, there is limited investigation involving human subjects pertaining to these benefits. As such, it should be noted that current evidence is inconclusive and further scientific studies are required to establish the cardiovascular and anticancer benefits of celery in human.
Celery seeds are dried or extracted into oils and formulated as a dietary supplement. Generally, celery supplements are safe to be consumed. However, the consumption of celery in very large amounts can cause gastrointestinal problems such as bloating and diarrhea. Celery supplements are not recommended for use during pregnancy and breast-feeding. This is because the consumption of large amount of celery may cause miscarriage, and there is a lack of safety information for breastfeeding mothers. Additionally, celery supplements may potentially interact with certain medications such as thyroid medications, sedative medications and medications that increase your sensitivity to sunlight. Kindly consult your doctor or pharmacist before starting any celery supplement.
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