High blood pressure can lead to many health problems: heart attacks, strokes, kidney failure, even sexual dysfunction and mental deterioration in the elderly. Watching what you eat, exercising more often and taking garlic or fish oil are all well-known methods for naturally lowering blood pressure, but one method you may not be as familiar with is eating celery.
Celery contains 3nB, or phthalides, which block stress hormones and dilate blood vessels, improving blood pressure. Photo By clayirving/Courtesy Flickr.
Celery has long been used by Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioners to control high blood pressure, but Western medicine only recently jumped on board after a study at the University of Chicago Medical Center found that a compound in celery known as 3-n-butylphthalide (3nB) actually does lower blood pressure. Stress hormones can cause blood vessels to narrow, but 3nB blocks those hormones and causes blood vessels to dilate, which allows blood to flow more easily through them. The study was inspired by one of the researcher’s father, who ate a quarter-pound of celery every day for one week and saw his blood pressure drop from 158 over 96 to 118 over 82. Celery is also high in potassium, calcium and magnesium, all of which are important in heart health.
If eating an entire bunch of celery doesn’t tickle your fancy, supplement your diet with 150 milligrams of celery seed extract that contains 85 percent 3nB.