Primarily accessible only in the wild, celery is supposed to have originated in the Mediterranean regions of northern Africa and southern Europe. But, it is also supposed to be native to areas spreading east to the Himalayas.
At first, celery was considered a medication. These medicinal properties are noted in the Odyssey, which was written by the Greek poet Homer in the 9th century BCE. In ancient Greece, celery leaves were fashioned into laurels and decorated on athletes, and in ancient Rome, celery was used as a seasoning.
By the middle Ages, celery had become a food that was cooked. It was not till the 18th century that it was consumed as a raw vegetable in Europe. In the 19th century, celery lastly made its way to the United States.
Celery consists of outstanding quantities of vitamins C and K. It has very good quantities of potassium, foliate, dietary fiber, molybdenum, manganese, and vitamin B6. Additionally, celery has good amounts of calcium, vitamins A, B1, and B2, tryptophan, magnesium, iron and phosphorus. But, what have the researchers learned?
In a study, researchers found that the consumption of apigenin, a phytonutrient with higher antioxidant activity which is found in celery, increases the response of cancer cells to chemotherapy. How is this accomplished? Scientist dogged that apigenin encourages a tumor suppressor known as p53 and transports it into the nucleus of the cancer cell. There it stops cell growth and causes cell death. The researchers noted that, “apigenin particularly restores p53 nuclear localization and this offers a molecular basis of using apigenin for targeting cancers caused by abnormal cytoplasm localization of wild-type p53.”
In a population-based research, researchers studied the relationship between consumption of apigenin and occurrence of ovarian cancer. The cohort contained of 1,141 women with ovarian cancer and 1,183 matched controls. The average age of the contestants was 51.
When linked to the women with the lowest intake of apigenin, the women with the highest intake had a “borderline significant reduction” in risk of ovarian cancer. Fascinatingly, the researchers discovered that no such advantage was gained from consuming four other flavonoids luteolin, myricetin, quercetin and kaempferol, and. Furthermore, they found no connotation “between total flavonoid consumption and ovarian cancer risk.”
In a study, researchers fed mice doses of 20 and 50 micrograms (mcg) of apigenin every day for a total of eight weeks. After the first two weeks of supplementation, they implanted prostate tumors in the mice. In a second protocol, the tumors were implanted two weeks before the supplementation was started. Researchers found that in both forms of the research, the apigenin slowed the development of prostate tumor cells. Additionally, the apigenin did not seem to have any adverse side effects. Researchers noted that their findings “present the possibility that apigenin might be beneficial in the prevention or treatment of prostate cancer.”
Added Anti-Cancer Benefit
In an in vitro study, researchers found that when apigenin was consumed with foods that contain sulforaphane, a chemical found in all brassica vegetables like broccoli, it offers far greater defense against cancer cells. Though both apigenin and sulforaphane act in diverse ways, they have a “synergistic effect.”
In a study, Japanese researchers supplemented the diets of mice with apigenin for two weeks and measured the levels of immune and inflammatory markers. When compared to a control group of mice, the researchers discovered that the apigenin suppressed the levels of immunoglobulin E (IgE) by 50 percent. IgE is related with the expression of asthma and other allergies; higher levels of IgE increase the chances of allergies and asthma. The researchers noted that their results suggest that “a diet that contains apigenin may decrease serum IgE.”
Preventing bone loss and supporting weight loss
In a study, South Korean researchers attempted to determine if apigenin defends bones in estrogen-deficient rats from which the ovaries had been removed. Scientist used three month-old rats that were either sham-operated or ovariectomized and fed a diet that fosters bone loss for seven weeks. Then, for 15 weeks, the rats were fed 10 mg/kg apigenin three times per week. The researchers discovered that the apigenin increased mineral content and density of the bones and had a positive effect on bone turnover. Additionally, apigenin reduced body weight and dietary consumption. They concluded that the “data recommend that apigenin must be considered for use in the treatment of osteoporosis.”®
In a study, researchers surveyed the cardiovascular effects of the consumption of nitrite, which is found in celery, on mice. While a control group of mice ate a standard diet, for seven days researchers added 50 mg/L nitrite to the drinking water of another group of mice. All of the mice then had simulated heart attacks, followed by 24 hours of reperfusion. As might be expected, the hearts of the mice on nitrite supplementation had greater levels of nitrite. Of more significance is the fact that when linked to the control mice, the hearts of the mice on nitrite had a 48 percent decrease in heart muscle damage. The mice on a high-nitrite diet were more probable to survive a heart attack. Their survival rate was 77 percent; the mice on a nitrite deficient diet lived only 58 percent of the time. When the researchers accompanied a similar trial with nitrate, the nitrate supplemented mice had greater quantities of nitrate in their heart muscle and less heart muscle damage; however the reduction in damage was less than was obtained from nitrite. Scientists concluded that, “nitrite and nitrate may serve as vital nutrients for optimal cardiovascular health and may offer a treatment modality for cardiovascular health.”
Protection against inflammatory brain diseases
In two studies researchers examined the relationship between consumption of luteolin and brain inflammation. Scientist treated microglia brain cells with different concentrations of luteolin. They exposed the cells to a substance that caused swelling. When compared to untreated cells, luteolin inhibited inflammation by 90 percent. In the in vivo trial on mice, the researchers gave the mice different concentrations of luteolin. After 21 days, they were vaccinated with the same inflammation activating substance. Luteolin was found to drop the levels of inflammation. In fact, the mice that were given the maximum concentrations of luteolin had the most protection in the hippocampus, the area of the brain concerned with memory and learning. Therefore, the researchers speculated that luteolin might be beneficial in the prevention of brain diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Should celery be comprised in the diet? Definitely. And, it is a good idea to consume it with at least one brassica vegetable.