Most cases of hypertension (high blood pressure) come with unknown exactly cause. This kind of hypertension is medically called as primary /essential hypertension. Typically, this type occurs due to the combination of different factors. Lack of potassium is one of these factors. In fact, many times this mineral deficiency is found in hypertensive people. And celery is rich in potassium – this is the key of why eating this veggie can help lower blood pressure.
Many times, hypertension is not followed with noticeable symptoms until it get worse at advanced stage and cause serious complications such as heart attack and stroke.
This is the reason why it is often considered as a silent killer. Fortunately, it is preventable and manageable.
And when it comes to dietary approaches to help prevent and treat hypertension, getting plenty of dietary potassium (such as by eating celery) is the most common recommended advice after diet low in salt (sodium).
It is one of the most essential minerals needed by the body. It can be important mineral to help the body in provide proper functions of organs, tissues, and cells.
Potassium can act as essential electrolyte of the body. With other electrolytes such as magnesium, calcium, chloride, and sodium – it has function to conduct the body’s electricity.
The key comes from the ability of potassium that can control the amounts of sodium in cells of the body.
With other electrolytes (particularly magnesium), it can remove the excessive amounts of salt (sodium) in the cells and then promote more sodium excretion from your body.
As well we know that too much sodium in the body can directly affect systolic and diastolic pressure (two major different numbers given in mm Hg that you will find when you check your BP with a sphygmomanometer).
Therefore, diet low in sodium /salt is always recommended in DASH ‘Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension’ diet. And when you have hypertension, getting plenty of dietary potassium along with diet low in salt can provide double effect on lowering your BP.
The issue of reducing sodium in cells of the body is not the single reason of why eating celery can help lower BP. Other health benefits include:
- It may help the function of hormonal system in the body that modulates BP.
- As you age, the sensitivity of your body to blood-pressure-elevating chemical signals tends to increase. Eating foods high potassium such as celery may help improve and stabilize this sensitivity.
- It may also help improve the function of the blood vessels.
- And it can promote the blood vessels to dilate and relax.
There are many studies that analyze the effectiveness of foods high in potassium to treat and prevent hypertension. Almost studies found that these foods are linked with lower risk of hypertension. How about celery?
According to a journal about the Progress in Cardiovascular Disease published in 2005, celery is one of foods that can significant improve blood pressure in hypertensive people.
This veggie can act as ‘natural water pill’ or ‘natural diuretic’ (one of the common medicines prescribed to treat hypertension).
While celery can be great to help prevent and treat hypertension, but it’s much better to not only rely on it. Potassium is potassium, and celery is not the only one that contains it.
Each food can contain unique property that can help improve your overall health in long term. For this reason, it is much better if you diversify the sources of your dietary potassium.