Friday, 11 July 2014

Celery and Blood Pressure

Celery is a member of the the same family of vegetables as the carrot, parsley and fennel (the umbelliferae family). Modern celery is derived from a wild variety that was native to regions adjacent to the mediterranean sea. Celery has some important nutritional qualities. In particular celery is a good source of vitamin C, potassium, folic acid vitamin B1 and vitamin B6. It has been pointed out that celery contains a higher quantity of sodium that many other vegetables, and this is true. However, the high sodium content is balanced by an even higher potassium content. The fact that the potassium content is higher than the sodium content means that celery will not raise blood pressure even in those small number of people who are sodium sensitive.
As well as being nutritionally interesting, celery also has some interesting medicinal properties. In particular celery contains high amounts coumarin compounds that may have blood pressure lowering effects. One of the coumarin compounds in celery, 3-N-butylphthalide, has been shown to lower blood pressure. Animal studies have shown that daily consumption of celery not only lowers blood pressure, it also results in reductions in plasma cholesterol levels. However some of the blood pressure lowering effects of celery may be due to the very high potassium levels within the celery. Either way, as the side effects of eating celery are non existent, anyone who wishes to lower their blood pressure may wish to try celery. Eating around 3 to 4 sticks of celery may improve raised blood pressure reading, and will also improve the quality of your diet.

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