Celery was made for juicing. It’s not only the perfect shape and size to whiz through any type of extractor, it also has a subtle and refreshing taste that mixes very well with other vegetables or with fruits. Three fat stalks are easily enough for a glass of juice, and what’s more, celery is packed with nutrients and minerals that many people don’t even know exist. Although it is great for anybody, this article should be of particular interest to men: As you will see there are some rather interesting nutritional benefits of celery for men, some of which you just might want to put to the test.
Does celery have any nutritional value?
Sadly, celery is a misunderstood plant in modern society – it usually gets semi-cooked in bad imitation stir fry dishes, and then there is the annoying “negative calories” label it gets slapped with. While it’s true that your body does not get a great deal of energy from celery, it is a myth that you actually use up more energy than you gain. Low calorie yes, but not negative. So does celery have any nutritional value to make up for what it lacks in energy density? It sure does, and juicing is simply the best way to get the most out of this great vegetable.
Celery safely lowers blood pressure thanks to a family of compounds called Pthalides, which allow blood vessels to dilate, and blood to flow with less restriction. Interestingly, these compounds have a self-regulating effect on the human body, and with celery blood pressure has not been found to drop significantly below a normal level regardless of the amount (juice or whole) that is consumed. Dieticians often advise persons with hypertension (high blood pressure) to consume a cup of the raw vegetable every day for a week. Anecdotal and clinical evidence has shown that where hypertension is concerned, celery benefits for men and women are easily measurable and can result in a significant reduction in blood pressure, stress, and stress related illness.
Unless you suffer from really threatening blood pressure levels, rather than turning straight to conventional hypertension treatments (nearly all of which involve drugs, which can have serious side effects) give the celery nutrients a chance to work their magic. Its cheap and you have nothing to lose.
I can’t stand it when people tell me to measure something like celery (or butter or cheese) in a cup. Who measures vegetables in cups??? Chop it up and measure if you have to, but two or three large stalks will nicely make a cup of juice – more than enough for a daily dose. Or check out green smoothie recipes to see how to drink celery in a smoothie!
Fresh celery helps your body effectively re-hydrate after a work out or after prolonged illness. Your body needs a certain amount of mineral salts (amongst others sodium, potassium, and magnesium) to maintain proper electrolyte balance. This is the fluid within your cells, in which vital chemicals and compounds are carried. Sweating and loss of fluids as a result of being sick can quickly deplete your body’s stores, with the most common results being headaches, stiffness and cramps, and fatigue. This is a great celery health benefit for men and women alike. Forget proprietary sports drinks – they are a drain on your hard earned money, and are often laced with preservatives, colors, sugar, and stimulants (usually caffeine). I don’t like eating celery sticks (or any other vegetable sticks) but home made juice is a convenient way to take advantage of the re-hydrating properties.
Note that re-hydration does not mean fluid retention. Herbalists in fact often prescribe a celery diuretic treatment for people who have fluid build up – the high sodium content actually stimulates urine production.
Celery can gently restore sexual function for men suffering from a weak libido. It’s tricky finding any hard and fast studies that support this, but anecdotal and historical evidence certainly suggest these benefits of celery for men. The effects of celery nutrients in the form of juice, or any part of the plant (the seeds are thought to be quite potent) work at several levels – improved circulation improves erectile function, the availability of trace minerals increases the ability to produce seminal fluid and create a more favourable environment for sperm to survive in, and there is solid evidence to suggest that celery promotes a healthy prostate gland. Once again, there are no nasty side effects as are often found with drugs prescribed to men diagnosed with sexual dysfunction, and you have nothing to lose by trying this at home. What you don’t get is quite the same super-fast result that Viagra and similar drugs provide. Aim for a steady, small daily intake of fresh juice or any whole part of the plant to best take advantage of the nutrients in celery.
Celery stimulates the production of sexual-indicator pheromones in men, potentially making you more attractive to women! It probably won’t cancel out too much booze, loutish behaviour, or a long argument, but under the right circumstances it can make you a whole lot more appealing in a totally unconscious manner. As you probably know pheromones are chemicals which are released by plants and animals as a form of communication – the one we are interested here is called andresterone. Numerous studies have found that women are able to rate a man as more of less “sexy” based on their level of exposure to this chemical – and celery has been shown to stimulate the production of andresterone. Does it really work? Casanova, the legendary Italian lover certainly believed in the benefits of celery sticks, making sure to include them in his diet every day.
Apart form this the nutritional benefits of celery include aiding the digestion, soothing the gut, and calming the nerves. The vegetable we now grow or buy has been bred and cultivated intensively, but ancient Chinese and Greek herbalists prescribed a very similar plant for all of the symptoms mentioned above. Quite honestly, I cannot remember the last occasion where I made juice without celery in it – and since I make an effort to make a large batch at least every second day that’s quite a lot of juice.
Here is my favourite recipe, a tribute to the many celery health benefits for men:
A big leafy bunch of celery
Small bag of carrots (about 6)
Generous cube of ginger root
One or two apples
This makes a great, sweet, and refreshing drink – even without the health benefits celery gives it plenty of volume (nearly a litre of juice from a big healthy bunch) while the carrots and apple give you a sweet earthy flavour. Ginger cuts it nicely with a sharp fresh taste.
A quick preparation tip for juicing celery: drop the whole bunch on your chopping board and slice of the very tips of the leaves (often brown or dirty) as well as the base of the bunch, to about an inch up. Discard these (unless you are really thrifty and use them in a vegetable stock) and then drop the whole bunch in the sink. You might want to chop the whole bunch in half first to make it easier to handle, but it depends on the size of your juicer. If your produce comes from a reputable organic farm a superficial rinse is fine, but for commercially grown celery I really recommend a scrub under running water, at least for the outside stems. As with any fruits or vegetables, you wont have to worry about toxic chemicals if you buy organic, and the celery nutritional benefits will be more pronounced. I throw my washed stalks on the dish rack for a few minutes to drip dry; this way the juice isn’t excessively watered down.
Oh, and make sure you use the whole plant – don’t do what many people do, and throw out the celery leaves. Including the leaves will make a darker, stronger tasting juice (“grassy” would be the best way to describe it) but the leaves are loaded with the phytochemical chlorophyll, which has a detoxifying and deodorising effect.