Celery Lowers Blood Pressure


Eating celery regularly can control high blood pressurewithout the use of drugs according to China’s HunanHemotological Research Center.

Celery contains a naturally occurring chemical called”apigenin” which has been shown to dilate the blood vesselsand contribute to preventing high blood pressure. Celeryalso contains very small amounts of a chemical in called 3-n-butylphtalide (3nb) which lowers blood pressure byrelaxing the smooth muscles that line the blood vessels.3nb also lowers the level of stress hormones calledcatacholamines.

In the Middle East patients have routinely been given half apound of celery a day to control hypertension. According toresearchers at the University of Chicago, animals fed celeryextracts had blood pressure readings 14 percent lower thanthose animals who did not receive the extracts. The animalswere given the equivalent of 2 stalks daily. Systolic bloodpressure readings went down an average of 15 points.

Compared to other vegetables celery has a nigh naturalsodium content so it can satisfy the craving for salt onlow-salt diets. It also has a high potassium value. Thismakes it excellent for people who are taking hypertensivemedications. Celery contains 341 milligrams potassium and125 milligrams sodium per 100 gram serving. Any food with aratio of at least three parts potassium to one part sodiumis good for people with high blood pressure. In the body,the ratio between potassium and sodium is more than two toone. Most prepared foods, including cooked vegetables,reduce the ratio more than tenfold.

When the diet is high in salt sodium is retained in thecells with a large amount of water. An abundant amount ofpotassium is necessary to displace the accumulated sodium inthe cells. If potassium is not present, the tissue cellsretain water with the sodium. For this reason doctorsprescribe diuretics, commonly called “water pills” in orderto remove the water. When diuretics are taken to lower theblood pressure, they work by removing sodium from the body.But when sodium is removed, potassium is also removed. Forthis reason potassium supplements are usually prescribed inconjunction with the hypertension drug.

Celery contains a natural diuretic substance and has beenused traditionally in treating obesity because it tends toeliminate water weight. But the balance between sodium andpotassium is not unbalanced as it is when synthetic drugsare taken.

For people who have blood pressure which is only mildly ormoderately high, the eating of celery may be all that isneeded to lower it to normal levels. But even for those whohave extremely high blood pressure readings, celery can behelpful. Celery is an excellent diuretic that can improvethe effectiveness of high blood pressure medication, meaningthat the dosage of medication may be reduced.

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Author: Piyawut Sutthiruk

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