When you think of celery, you probably immediately think “diet” and snacking on carrots and celery instead of the food you really crave!
Well, celery does much more for your heart than simply trimming your waistline. A Chinese study found blood pressure to fall significantly in 14 out of 16 individuals with high blood pressure when they were given celery.
Exactly how celery works to lower blood pressure is not completely understood. Scientists have found celery to contain apigenin. Apigenin is a substance known to help lower high blood pressure. Celery also exhibits properties similar to diuretics and ACE inhibitors, both effective medications to lower blood pressure. Celery has been used to treat a variety of conditions – congestive heart failure, fluid retention, anxiety, insomnia, gout, and diabetes.
Mark Houston, a well-known cardiac physician, recommends eating either 4 celery stalks daily, 8 teaspoons of celery juice 3 times a day, 1000 mg celery seed extract twice a day, or ½ to 1 teaspoon of celery oil 3 times a day in tincture form. I say go with the celery stalks. The cost is low, calories minimal, taste good, and potential benefit great.
The risk of excess celery is almost non-existent, so this is a safe treatment option if you are struggling to lower high blood pressure. However, don’t counteract the benefits by slathering your celery in a high fat dip or dressing. If you need added flavor, opt for a low fat dressing or possibly peanut butter. Peanut butter provides a good source of heart healthy unsaturated fats and protein.
FYI – Non-animal sources of protein, such as beans and soy, promote lower blood pressure levels. Studies have found that individuals who consume 30% higher than average protein intake (such as 1.0 – 1.2 grams per kilogram of body weight) have reduced blood pressures. The average reduction was 3.0 mm Hg reduced systolic blood pressure and 2.5 mm Hg diastolic. So, added bonus to combine peanut butter with your daily celery intake!
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All the best,
Lisa Nelson RD