Celery is an amazing vegetable. You may think of celery as the stalky equivalent of iceberg lettuce–very little nutrition. However, unlike iceberg lettuce, celery and celery seeds, are packed with some very healthy goodness–that is pretty amazing since the food is almost 90 percent water. Celery’s diuretic properties have been known for a very long time. By stimulating urine production, celery helps the body get rid of excess fluid and uric acid, which can aggravate joint pain associated with arthritis, rheumatism, and gout. Celery also contains insoluble fiber, which helps move other waste more quickly through and out of the body.
The combination of potassium and sodium in celery are essential to regulating fluid balance, which affects every part of the body. Celery has been used for centuries as a remedy for lowering high blood pressure, and scientists recently discovered why it works: a chemical compound called phthalide helps blood vessels to dilate, which lowers blood pressure. Phthalide also reduces stress hormones, which cause blood vessels to constrict. Celery’s potassium content and its diuretic effect also help prevent and reduce high blood pressure. Don’t neglect to eat the leaves: they contain the most vitamin C, calcium, and potassium. Cooked celery retains its nutrients; if you want to retain its crunch try sauteing it lightly.