Many people assume celery is nothing more than a crunchy and low-calorie diet staple, but this unassuming veggie is actually packed with antioxidants and nutrients that can help with everything from digestion to inflammation. Apples, spinach, and avocados may get all the limelight, but seniors can enjoy many health benefits by getting more celery in their diet. In honor of National Celery Month, Home Care Assistance in Annapolis presents five benefits of celery.
1. Celery Improves Digestion
Celery has a very high water content as well as five grams of fiber for every 16 calories. The high percentage of electrolytes and water help prevent dehydration, reduce bloating, and support healthy digestion while the fiber helps ease constipation. Dehydration and digestive problems are especially common among seniors, often as a result of medications. A daily serving of celery can fight constipation and bloating associated with many common prescription drugs.
2. Celery Fights Inflammation
Celery is high in polysaccharides and antioxidants that work as anti-inflammatories. While anti-inflammatories like vitamin C and flavonoid antioxidants are important at any age, they become especially important as we age and our body needs help fighting free-radical damage that contributes to inflammation. Inflammation can contribute to chronic conditions like heart disease and arthritis among seniors.
3. Celery Can Lower Cholesterol
Celery contains a compound called BuPh that has is believed to lower blood lipid levels. In a study on rats conducted by the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Singapore, rats who consumed celery extract had significantly lower lipid levels than rats who did not.
4. Celery Helps Fight Ulcers
Ulcers are more likely to develop in seniors than younger people, possibly because many seniors take aspirin or ibuprofen daily to alleviate arthritis and these painkillers can aggravate and promote ulcer development. According to a 2010 study published in the Journal of Pharmaceutical Biology, celery can help protect the digestive tract lining from ulcers thanks to a form of ethanol extract. Celery is believed to nourish the lining of the digestive tract and help replenish lost gastric mucus to prevent tiny holes in the lining. The tannins, flavonoids, and alkaloids in celery also help control the amount of gastric acid that is released.
4. Celery Improves Liver Health
According to a study conducted at the University of Egypt, celery, in addition to barley and chicory powder, may help protect the liver by reducing the dangerous build-up of fat. After feeding rats a combination of barley, chicory, and celery, researchers saw an improvement in liver enzyme function and blood lipid levels.
Interested in learning more about elderly health and wellness? We have you covered. In addition to helping with everyday tasks like transportation and bathing, our live-in, hourly, and respite caregivers in Annapolis can also grocery shop and prepare healthful meals for your loved one to ensure he or she is getting ample nutrition and eating enough calories. Learn more by calling a friendly Care Manager at 443-302-2771 today.