Friday, August 31

Celery Nutrients - Health Benefits of Celery Juice

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Celery and its juice have immense nutritional value and many health benefits. Celery belongs to the family Apiaceae (aka Umbelliferae) and species Apium graveolens. It is a biennial vegetable having a life cycle of two years, grows up to one meter in height and has pinnate to bipinnate leaves. In celery the leaves are carried on long green stalks joined at the bulbous root.

The green leaves, stalks and bulbous root are rich sources of vitamins, dietary minerals, dietary fiber, antioxidants and other nutrients giving many health benefits.

Nutrients in celery and its juice

     As per the USDA Nutrient Database, 100 grams of raw celery has 95 gms of water and the other nutrients making up the remaining 5%. Celery in dry flakes form gives 319 kcl energy and contains:
Protein11.30 gms
Total lipid (fat)  2.10 gms
Carbohydrate63.70 gms
Total dietary fiber27.80 gms
Sugars35.90 gms
Mineral nutrients
Calcium  587.00 mg
Iron      7.83 mg
Magnesium  196.00 mg
Phosphorus  402.00 mg
Potassium4388.00 mg
Sodium 1435.00 mg
Zinc      2.77 mg
Vitamin nutrients
Vitamin C  86.50 mg
Thiamin    0.44 mg
Riboflavin    0.50 mg
Niacin    4.64 mg
Vitamin B 6    0.46 mg
Folate, DFE107.00 mcg
Vitamin E    5.55 mg
Vitamin K 584.20 µg
Vitamin A1962 IU
     Celery and its juice contain very high amounts of nutrients like vitamin K which benefit us in blood coagulation. Vitamin K also has a vital role in metabolic pathways in bone and other tissues. Celery is a good source of Vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B5 and vitamin B6. Among minerals nutrients celery and its juice contain good amounts of potassium, Calcium, magnesium, manganese and sodium. The high content of nutrients like dietary fiber gives health benefits like lowering of glycemic index and blood sugar.

Image of celery plant
http://commons.wikimedia.org
User:Popolon (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Health benefits of antioxidants in celery juice

     The major antioxidants in celery juice are vitamin A, vitamin C and coumarins. The juice also contains antioxidant flavonoids like apigenin and luteolin. During the biochemical metabolic processes in the human body free-radicals are formed which cause oxidative stress to body and can start chain reactions inside the cells causing damage or death of cells. Antioxidants inhibit oxidation of other molecules by neutralising the free-radicals and extend many health benefits. Oxidative stress contributes to development of many diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, atherosclerosis, cardiovascular diseases, osteoarthritis, diabetes and neurodegeneration.

Hypertension lowering health benefits

The phthalides (sedanenolide and 3n-butylphthalide) present in celery, especially its seeds, are found to be effective in the treatment of high blood pressure. Phthalides show anti-hypertension effects by  relaxing the wall muscles of arteries, improving microcirculation and reducing the body fluids. Further celery also contains phytochemical nutrients known as coumarins. These phytochemicals show anti-hypertension activity.

Fluid and electrolyte balance health benefits
     The presence of good amounts of nutrients like calcium, potassium and sodium in celery juice helps in maintenance of  water-electrolyte balance. Electrolytes like calcium, potassium and sodium play a vital role in maintaining homeostasis within the body. These nutrients are important for  regulating muscle, heart and neurological functions, maintaining fluid balance, acid-base balance and oxygen transport.

Anti-cancer health benefits
     The coumarin compounds present in celery juice are reported to have anti-cancer activity. Other health benefits reported for coumarin compound nutrients include anti-HIV, antiseptic, pain relief, anti-arrhythmia, anti-inflammatory, bronchodilating, anti-osteoporosis and anti-lymphedema effects.

Allergies and anaphylactic shock due to celery juice?
     Like peanuts, celery and its juice also has some allergens which can trigger severe allergic reactions sometimes leading to anaphylactic shock. Its seeds have the highest amount of allergens followed by roots and then stalks. Unlike peanut allergy which is most prevalent in United States, allergy to celery is most prevalent in Central European countries. However health benefits of juice outweigh possible allergies.

     After a workout celery juice is a perfect health drink as it benefits the body by replacing lost eletrolytes, especially nutrients like sodium.


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