I’ve often recommended eating celery to people who have water retention, and they usually tell me that within a few days of eating a stalk or two a day, the rings on their fingers would become looser. This diuretic action is most likely due to celery’s potassium content. Potassium balances sodium in the body. Most processed and packaged foods are high in sodium and low in potassium. Fresh fruits and vegetables, beans, nuts, and seeds are naturally higher in potassium than sodium. When this balance is disturbed in the body, water retention and high blood pressure can be a result. Rather than just reducing the sodium in your diet, it may prove beneficial to increase your intake of potassium-rich foods.
Research has shown that a chemical in celery can help relax muscles of the arteries that regulate blood pressure, allowing them to to dilate. This same chemical may also reduce stress hormones that typically raise blood pressure.
Celery is a member of the parsley family, which is also a good potassium source, making it useful as a natural diuretic. Besides potassium, celery is a good source of insoluble fiber, vitamin C, and calcium.
It will probably be difficult to overeat celery, but since it is a source of natural sodium (about 35 milligrams per stalk), don’t overdo if you have hypertension due to salt sensitivity.
Buy it uncut, because it begins to lose some of its flavonoids (disease-fighting chemicals) within 24 hours after it’s been cut. Choose bunches of celery that look crisp and snap when pulled apart, instead of those that are wilted and rubbery. The leaves should be pale to bright green, with no yellow or brown spots. The leaves actually contain more vitamins and minerals than the stalks.
You can eat it raw or cooked and still enjoy its health benefits. Add it to tuna or chicken salad, soups, or leafy green salads. Eat it as a snack spread with some guacamole, hummus, or unsweetened nut butter.
Bonus: Research has shown that celery contains compounds that may help prevent cancer cells from spreading!
Now you know!
Keep learning to be healthy!
Lisa Hernandez, Certified Nutritionist & Natural Health Consultant
1 Corinthians 10:31–“Whatever you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all to God’s glory!”
This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. It does not take the place of any medical care that you may need. Consult your health care provider about making dietary and lifestyle changes that are right for you.