If you have become accustomed to thinking about celery as a crunchy, low-cal vegetable but not a key part of your health support, it is time to think again. Recent research has greatly bolstered our knowledge about celery’s anti-inflammatory health benefits, including its protection against inflammation in the digestive tract itself. Some of the unique non-starch polysaccharides in celery—including apiuman—appear especially important in producing these anti-inflammatory benefits. (Unlike starchy polysaccharides that provide plants with a way to store simple sugars, these non-starch polysaccharides in celery help provide this vegetable with its unique structure and are not made from simple sugars but rather from pectins.)
In addition to well-known antioxidants like vitamin C and flavonoids, scientists have now identified at least a dozen other types of antioxidant nutrients in celery. These antioxidants include dihydrostilbenoids like lunularin as well as furanocoumarins like bergapten and psoralen. The antioxidant support we get from celery is largely due to its phenolic nutrients that have been shown to help protect us against unwanted oxidative damage to our cells, blood vessels, and organ systems
- Vitamin ANecessary for the function of the four sense organs: hearing, vision, smell and taste. Necessary for the development of healthy muscles, bones, tooth enamel, skin, hair.
- Vitamin B1Has a positive effect on digestive organ function, promotes stomach movement and secretory function and accelerates the emptying of its contents, normalizes heart function.
- Vitamin B2Plays an important role in the “burning” of carbohydrates, fat and protein. Promotes a more complete breakdown of carbohydrates. The need for this vitamin highly increases with a fatty diet.
- Vitamin B3Vitamin B3, also called niacin, is one of the eight B-complex water-soluble vitamins. Niacin has a wide range of uses in the body, helping functions in the digestive system, skin and nervous system.
- Vitamin B6Has a positive effect on the metabolism, stimulates the formation of red blood cells and haemoglobin. An average of 110 disease stem from a lack of this vitamin.
- Vitamin B11Vitamin B11 functions in the DNA and RNA syntheses, essential for the body. It is necessary for cell division. By this way, it helps growth. It is necessary for the development of the fetus nervous system.
- Vitamin B12Vitamin B12 is an essential vitamin that’s crucial for addressing adrenal fatigue, multiple metabolic functions — including enzyme production, DNA synthesis and hormonal balance — and maintaining healthy nervous and cardiovascular systems.
- Vitamin CStabilizes the psyche and strengthens the immune system. Blocks the formation of toxic compounds in the body, contributes to bone and cartilage formation, takes an active part in the metabolism of protein, sugar and fat.
- Vitamin DResponsible for normal bone and tooth development. Promotes the absorption of calcium and phosphorus. Vitamin D protects the body from various types of cancer.
- Na sodiumAn important substance for muscle and nerve cell function, regulates stomach acid levels and the amount of fluid in the body’s cells.
- Ca calciumStrengthens teeth and bones, promotes blood supply to tissues, strengthens the heart and nervous system.
- Fe IronResponsible for normal bone and tooth development. Promotes the absorption of calcium and phosphorus. Vitamin D protects the body from various types of cancer.
- P phosphorusSupplies the body with energy, participates in building bones and teeth, regulates calcium levels in the blood and metabolic processes.
- Mg magnesiumStrengthens the heart and kidneys, promotes and regulates metabolic processes, regulates calcium, phosphorus and potassium levels in the blood. A particularly important element for athletes and physical workers.
- Cu copperRequired in red blood cell formation. Helps prevent depression and low moods.
- Zn zincHas a positive impact on wound healing and tissue elasticity, promotes the formation of insulin and enzyme function, regulates carbohydrate processing and body growth. Stimulates the immune system.
Celery is an important food source of conventional antioxidant nutrients, including vitamin C, beta-carotene, and manganese. But its “claim to fame” in terms of antioxidant nutrients may very well be its phytonutrients. Many of these phytonutrients fall into the category of phenolic antioxidants and have been shown to provide anti-inflammatory benefits as well. Below is a representative list of the phenolic antioxidants found in celery.
- Phenolic acids
- caffeic acid
- caffeolyquinic acid
- cinnamic acid
- coumaric acid
- ferulic acid
In addition to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrients that help protect the digestive tract as a whole, celery contains pectin-based polysaccharides that can provide the stomach with special benefits. We’ve become accustomed to thinking about polysaccharides as starchy molecules that are used by cells as a way to store up simple sugars. But there are other types of polysaccharides in plants, including the non-starch, pectin-based polysaccharides found in celery. (Pectin is a sugar-related molecule that is largely formed from a substance called glucuronic acid.) The pectin-based polysaccharides found in celery —including apiuman—appear to have special importance in producing anti-inflammatory benefits. In animal studies, celery extracts containing apiuman have been shown to improve the integrity of the stomach lining, decrease risk of stomach ulcer (gastric ulcer), and better control the levels of stomach secretions. We look forward to future research that may confirm these stomach support benefits in humans based on dietary intake of celery in its whole food form.