Health and Wellness: Celery, the ultimate green machine superfood for seniors
Celery has been trending these past few years. Social media influencers often post photos of glasses of celery juice, and Anthony William, the one who originally started the fad, calls celery a “miraculous superfood” because of its numerous health benefits.
The best part of celery juice is that it isn’t only for the young — seniors can profit from its potent healing properties too. Here are a few advantages seniors can experience by consuming celery in liquid or whole form:
1. Lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels
Nearly half of adults in the United States have high blood pressure, and 38% of adults have high cholesterol levels. Both high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels are risks of heart disease and stroke, so it’s important that seniors take care of their bodies to avoid these life-threatening diseases.
One way seniors can reduce their blood pressure is by consuming celery. Celery contains a phytochemical called phthalides that relaxes the tissues of the artery walls. This increases blood flow and reduces blood pressure. In order to get this benefit, Luke Laffin, M.D., codirector of the Center for Blood Pressure Disorders, suggests that seniors eat “roughly four stalks — one cup, chopped — of celery daily.”
Similarly, celery can lower cholesterol in seniors. This is partly due to the fiber found in celery that picks up extra cholesterol compounds in the gut and pushes them out.
2. Facilitate digestion
When people grow older, their gastrointestinal tract undergoes a variety of changes, making it difficult for their bodies to absorb as many nutrients as they could in the past. This low absorption of nutrients causes constipation and other intestinal issues.
Seniors can reduce constipation and stimulate their intestinal motility by consuming a high-fiber diet. Among the many vegetables seniors can choose from, whole celery provides a rich source of fiber. In fact, one cup of chopped celery (almost three stalks) contains 1.6 grams of fiber.
By crunching on celery stalks throughout the day, seniors can increase the flow of their digestive system and absorb more of the nutrients that their bodies need.
3. Maintain a healthy body weight
The amount of fiber in celery also can help seniors maintain their body weight. This is because fiber makes seniors full at a faster rate, keeping them from snacking on other foods that don’t contain as many nutrients, like cheese, chips, or cookies.
Another great benefit of celery is that each stalk is only 10 calories, meaning that seniors can basically snack on as many stalks as they want to without worrying about exceeding their daily calorie intake.
4. Lower inflammation in your body
Eating or drinking celery can help patients who suffer from inflammatory autoimmune diseases — such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, asthma, inflammatory bowel diseases and Crohn’s disease — because of its anti-inflammatory components and antioxidants.
Research suggests that celery juice has antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties. Because of these properties, celery juice has been used to reduce joint pain and decrease symptoms associated with a variety of inflammatory diseases.
Celery has multiple advantages for seniors, such as lowering blood pressure and cholesterol, improving digestion, maintaining a healthy weight and reducing inflammation. Snack on the crunchy stalks or sip its miraculous green juice to reap its superfood goodness.
Marisa Gooch is a project manager at Stage Marketing, a full-service content marketing agency based in Provo.