#8: Add a Celery Stick per Day to Your Diet (54! non-drug ways to lower blood pressure)

Celery contains active compounds called pthalides, which can help relax the muscles around arteries and allow those vessels to dilate.  The active ingredient in celery that has this blood pressure reducing effect is primarly 3-n-butylphthalide.   Phthalide is also known to lower the levels of the stress hormones, which are proven to increase blood pressure and cause the blood vessels to constrict. Celery also acts as a natural diuretic. 

(Parsley and celery have certain similarities, so much of what we say below for celery also holds for parsley.)




I use to think that celery was kind of like junk food, but not at all, celery contains fiber, vitamin K, vitamin C, potassium and a host of other good stuff, all in a very low calorie package.  I do recommend that you wash celery carefully, and a short rinse in  Javex to kill off the surface bacteria is a good idea.  I’ve also heard that you can buy potassium permanganate for washing, or use a salt solution.   In any regard, carefully visually inspect the celery, cut away and discard any discolored or dirt stained area, and keep your eye open for anything that might look like worm holes or anything like that.  Most celery has deep surface cracks that make cleaning impossible so don’t be scared to waste a little celery to cut away this surface layer, or do javex soak, or cook it in a soup. 

After a week or two, if you haven’t used up the celery it will start to get old – go limp, maybe start to discolor.  Cut and discard any discolored area, as that vegetable will be full of bacteria, usually not harmful to humans but why take chances.    What I do then, is that I cook up the remainder of the celery in a soup, or add to an oven casserole, or something like that.  The leaves that come with celery are highly edible, use them in salad or cook them in a soup. 

The question arises, how much celery to eat.  I like to eat about a stick a day; one of those pieces from a bunch broken off, washed and cut.  Does it work to reduce blood pressure? To be honest, I haven’t noticed a huge impact from eating a stick of celery on my blood pressure but I have found it does seem to reduce aches and pains and just generally produce a  feeling of well-being. I do notice that when I’m eating celery I rarely get those spike days when your blood pressure jumps up higher. So, I wonder if perhaps celery while not really lowering my blood pressure a lot, doesn’t have a protective effect against blood pressure rises. Perhaps if I ate 4 or 5 stocks a day, the effect would start to become more noticeable, but I haven’t found that I like that much celery.   Just a bit of a warning: some celery (particularly wild varieties) can produce allergic reactions or toxic responses in some folks.  So, if you do start eating a lot watch to ensure you don’t get a toxic response.

Overall, there is something about that nice fresh, crisp flavour of celery that I enjoy.  So while I prefer raw celery, I also enjoy it in soup and casseroles. I understand that celery helps to neutralize uric acid and other excess acids in the body, helpful if you suffer from rheumatism or headaches.  Celery also apparently has a calming effect — which I find true.   I believe that celery is a great snack food, while watching the T.V. or socializing – just remember to wash it. 

Celery has the chemical luteolin that is beneficial against infections, brain diseases, and potentially multiple sclerosis.   As if all this isn’t enough, celery apparently contains apigenin  that may protect against ovarian cancer, leukemia, and other cancers.




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