Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Power of Celery...

They say some of the greatest treasures in life are right under your nose, or in this case buried in the vegetable drawer in your fridge. This green emerald is cheap, easy to find, and tastes great. Oh yeah andis a natural way to lower blood pressure. That’s right I’m talking about celery. With it’s fresh crunchy texture and subtle flavor, celery has been supporting character in the cast of veggies we all grew up on. Whether adding that refreshing accent in your stuffing on the Holidays, or co-starring in the classic “Ants on a Log” with peanutbutter and raisins. It is one of the most common veggies in use today and can seriously reduce the possibility of a life threatening health condition while being risk free of any potential side effects that it’s prescribed medicine alternatinative may result in. Not to mention it is one tenth the price of any pharmaceutical medication.
In a time where our culture, our society, is the unhealhiest it’s ever been, childhood obesity is now being labelded a lethal epidemic by the government, and cancer is at an all time high, we need to dig deep to shift this momentum because it’s not working. Now as strange as it is to look at in perspective, it is fairly common in the human experience that people need situations to get really bad before they stand up and do something about it. That is what is Americans around the country are starting to do. Wake up! Even in the media with shows like,“The Biggest Loser”, “The Food Revolution”, and even “Celebrity Fit Club”, are bringing awareness to the imbalance and disharmony with Americans relationship with food. The biggest issue I’ve experienced as a trainer, chef, and nutrition consultant is the lack of education or mis-education about how the body works and the basics of nutritional requirements that an individual needs to be a healthy body. So it is time to reeducate ourselves on eating for substance and not just for taste. Unfortunately with the commercialization and industrialization of food, we have been bombarded with empty food with artificial flavors. Our taste buds have been conditioned to these artificial chemical flavor, and it is our job to wake them up to the taste of fresh, natural living foods. There is so much amazing knowledge and wisdom for healthy eating and living if you are ready to learn, and the healing power of celery is a perfect example of how simple and easy, yet powerfully effective this knowledge can be.
Now first and foremost, what is (HBP) High blood pressure? HBP, also known as hypertension, is a condtion where healthy arteries, which are made of muscle and a semi-flexible tissue that stretches like elastic, are made to pump blood more forcefully which results in the arteries stretching to allow for blood to flow more easily. Over time, when the pressure of the blood flow is often high, the tissue of the walls of arteries gets stretched beyond its healthy limit. This can result in number of lethal health conditions: vascular weakness and scarring, increased risk of blood clots (resulting in heart attacks or strokes), increased plaque build up on the arterial walls, tissue and organ damage, and an overworking of the circulatory system. When the arteries are not as elastic because of the build-up of cholesterol or plaque or because of scarring, the heart pumps harder to get blood into the arteries. Over time, this increased work can result in damage to the heart itself. The muscles and valves in the heart can become damaged and heart failure can result. All of these destructive effects can lead to damage to the heart and coronary arteries, resulting in heart attack, heart disease, congestive heart failure, aortic dissection and atherosclerosis.

HBP is actually a greatly misunderstood medical condition. Many people assume that someone with hypertension would be tense, nervous or hyperactive, but this is far from the truth. You can be a calm, relaxed individual and still have HBP. The next question is, what does high blood pressure do to the body? Well your organs and really all tissue need oxygen to live. In your body oxygen is carried through the blood. As the heart beats, it creates compression that moves blood through a network of tube-shaped arteries and veins, also known as blood vessels and capillaries. This compression or force - blood pressure - is actually the result of two forces. The first force is created as blood pumps out of the heart and into the arteries which are a component of the circulatory system. The second force is takes place as the heart rests between heart beats. When a doctor checks your blood pressure, these two forces are each represented by numbers. The blood pressure reading for a healthy person is 120/80. Individ
uals whose blood pressure is higher than 140/90 mm Hg (140 systolic or above or 90 diastolic or above) most often become patients treated for serious cardiovascular problems.

So you must be asking yourself by now, how can celery, or celery juice affect my blood pressure? Well this underated green giant is full of active compounds named phthalides. It is these compounds that create profoundly healing rewards by naturally sooothing the muscle tissue of the arterial walls thus causing the vessels to expand. This provides the extra space needed for the arteries to move the blood flow at a lower pressure. Phthalides are also known to lower certain stress hormones which in turn, lower blood pressure and support a healthy circulatory system. Celery is a biennial vegetable which means they take two years to grow from seedling to maturity for harvest. Celery also contains high amounts of magnesium, potassium, and calcium. These minerals have been reported to calm the nervous system by instantly neutralizing stress levels.

Looking back through history, Hippocrates who was a Greek physician and generally known as the Father of Medicine, treated patients suffering from nervous tension with celery juice. In the East, Chinese medicine long regarded celery juice as a significant cure in lowering high blood pressure. The Western world seems to be the last to get the memo as only recently has it begun to be researched and studied in the Western world. The first credited study done was from the University of Chicago Medical Center (UCMC) documented celery’s effects on blood pressure. In one case, a father of one of the scientists at UCMC experienced a drop in his blood pressure from 158/96 to 118/82 after only a week of consuming around four stalks a day. That was only eating it celery whole, the juice is said to be more potent in its nutritional absorption. Another test was performed by a physician at the Whitaker Wellness Center and her father. They did a thirty day experiment of drinking celery juice daily mixed with a small amount of orange juice to soften the mildy acrid taste of the celery juice. What was the outcome? The systolic level of the father decreased from 148 to 128, and the physician’s systolic level dropped from 120 to 105.

Now this physician and her father masked the bitterness of the celery juice
with orange juice, but I have a recipe for you that will take your daily dose of celery to the next level of enjoyment. It really won’t matter to you if there was celery in this delicious beverage or not. You’ll be looking forward to this emerald nectar every morning. That’s actually what it’s called, Emerald Nectar.


1 1/2 - cucumbers
2 - granny smith apples (about 2 cups)
4 - celery stalks
6 - mint leaves or spearmint - exspearmint!
1 tablespoon - fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon - fresh lemon juice

Run the cucumber, apples, celery, and mint through the juicer, and strain into a glass. Mix in the lemon and lime and drink up! Who knew that making this refreshing juice a part of your daily diet and lifestyle could prevent high blood pressure from ever being a potential health risk in your lifetime. Well, now you do! It’s up to you with what you choose to do with
this information. You
have the power...of celery!

1 comment:

  1. Medical diagnosis on cardiovascular system such as congestive heart failure, heart attack, hypertension and alike can be determined through vital signs monitoring, food intake, daily activities and leisure. So it is very important to have an active lifestyle and appropriate food choices to prevent such diseases.