Celery is one of those totally underrated vegetables that people tend to swear off because they think it’s all water with no real nutritional value. But that’s one big myth we’re about to debunk.
While celery is 95 percent water, it still can do wonders for your health, body, and mind—especially if you can sneak it into your diet every day. And that shouldn’t be too hard considering how versatile the veggie is. You can add it to your smoothies, juice it, eat it with hummus for a snack, add it to soup. You can also just eat the stalks plain.
So what exactly happens if you consume a little celery every day? Try it out and you might experience some of these awesome benefits.
To start off, celery is a good source of phytonutrients, which are a compound found in certain plants. There are many different kinds of phytonutrients, but most of them have a ton of health benefits, including antioxidant properties, being an anti-inflammatory, and being good for your liver.
Additionally, because celery is so low in calories (it comes in around 10-15 calories a stalk), eating celery every day can help you lose weight. Of course, you’ll have to combine this with proper nutrition and exercise, but celery can certainly aid you in the process.
On that note, since the fiber content in celery is high, it’s able to keep you fuller longer, especially when you pair the celery with foods that are high in fat and protein as well. (Think guacamole made from high-in-good-fat avocados or having it in high-protein chicken soup.)
Besides keeping you full, fiber also helps with digestion and constipation—another benefit for you if you’re dealing with those kinds of issues. And even if you’re not, it can just help regulate you and keep everything flowing, if you get our drift.
Celery is also a great way to stay hydrated every day, especially if you’re not a big water fan. (Guilty.) Experts recommend drinking eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day — that’s about half a gallon! — and most of us struggle to do that each day. While celery shouldn’t replace your water, it’s a good way to prevent dehydration if you’re just not very into your water bottle that day.
Still not convinced? What about if celery had the potential to lower blood pressure? A study done by the University of Chicago Medical Center showed that a chemical extracted from celery was able to relax lab animals’ muscles and thus lowered their blood pressure. While the experiment needs to be done on humans, this is a good indicator that celery could have similar benefits in us.
Besides blood pressure, celery has been shown to help with symptoms of other conditions as well, including arthritis and gout, muscle spasms, colds and flu and water retention, says the University of Maryland Medical Center.
Perhaps the most crazy benefit of all: A flavonoid found in celery called luteolin may have anti-cancer properties, according to a study published in Current Cancer Drug Targets.
There’s only one way to find out if celery is capable of doing all these things—and that’s trying to eat it every day. What do you say? Will you try to incorporate more celery into your life?