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Does Celery Help the Brain?

Nicks J Oct 19, 2020
Celery is said to contain brain-friendly nutrients as revealed through studies. Studies show that celery can play a significant role to reduce brain inflammation, combat brain damage and even boost memory. Know more about the benefits of celery for the brain.
Is celery good for the brain? If your brain could talk, the answer would have been in the affirmative. The fact that health experts consider celery as a brain food is enough to include it in your diet. Basically, celery is a vegetable plant that is said to be a goldmine of essential nutrients.
This 1 m tall plant has thick stalk and 2-4 cm broad green leaves and contains a spectrum of vitamins and minerals. In most cases, raw stalk is consumed and often added in salads.
Benefits of celery when consumed are not just confined to the brain but vary from lowering cholesterol to regulating blood pressure. The following story discusses in what way does celery help the brain.

Benefits of Celery for the Brain

As aforementioned, celery is full of nutrients, some of which purportedly support brain function. According to studies, a chemical compound found to be useful in reducing inflammation is luteolin. As we all know, inflammation of the brain arising from an injury or medical conditions like encephalitis can be a cause for concern.
Studies indicate that celery has the property to improve brain activity, hence luteolin foods are referred to as brain power foods.
The chemical compound luteolin in celery is a flavonoid and we all know how beneficial flavonoids are for overall well-being. Flavonoids including luteolin display antioxidant activity and moreover they provide an anti-inflammatory effect. These properties of luteolin work to restrict inflammation of the brain as revealed through animal studies.
With increase in age, certain cells of the brain induce inflammatory response that causes memory problems and poor cognitive skills. Difficulty in learning or reduced recalling ability have been associated with age-related brain inflammation.
New research on mice suggests that brain inflammation that occurs with age or because of injury can be effectively treated with luteolin.
Two studies conducted by professors working at the University of Illinois suggested luteolin as a potential remedy for brain inflammation. Microglia cells are present in the brain and their main function is to kill infectious agents like pathogens and provide protection to the neuron.
In short, the cells are defense mechanism of the brain. In research, microglia cells removed from the mice were studied. In the study, microglia cells infested with bacteria were allowed to interact with luteolin. Due to the bacterial infection, microglia cells showed inflammation but upon exposure to luteolin, the inflammatory response reduced considerably.
In the second study, a small group of mice were given drinking water enriched with luteolin for approximately 21 days. After the stipulated time, solution containing the bacteria was administered intravenously (through injection) to the animals. As expected, the injected bacteria triggered brain inflammation.
However, as the mice were drinking water containing luteolin for the past 3 weeks, the inflammatory response gradually subsided. In fact, blood tests revealed a marked decrease in inflammation 4 hours after exposure to the bacteria.
It is observed that in the presence of viral or bacterial infection, microglia cells generate cytokines, molecules that are notorious for causing inflammation. The normal aging process can also lead to the production of cytokines. Cytokines have been linked to the onset of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.
These inflammatory cells also have a negative impact on cognitive health. The key to manage neurodegenerative diseases is to control the amount of inflammatory cytokines being produced in the brain. Studies indicate that luteolin in celery can help to decrease cytokine production.
Animal studies suggest that consumption of celery can also decrease the incidence of TIA (Transient Ischemic Attack) or stroke, a condition in which part of the brain does not get sufficient blood supply. High blood pressure or high cholesterol levels are the factors that may induce a stroke.
This is because, both these conditions, eventually damage the arteries by making them stiff and narrow. In case, this occurs to arteries that provide adequate blood circulation to the brain, it can lead to a stroke.
Raw celery or its seeds show diuretic properties, which means they can help to flush off excess fluid, a crucial factor to regulate blood pressure. Cholesterol produced by the liver is broken down by certain enzymes. Animal studies show luteolin in celery facilitates this process, which assists in control of cholesterol levels.
People suffering from multiple sclerosis may also experience relief by consuming celery. In this condition, immune system invades the myelin sheath that conceal the nerves of the brain and spinal cord. As a result, initially, the myelin sheath gets inflamed and over time get destroyed.
This can reduce the ability to transport electrical signals as well as cause inflammation in any part of the brain. As the disease has been associated with inflammation, the anti-inflammatory effect of luteolin may help to treat multiple sclerosis.
Keep in mind that cytokine is just one of the many molecules that cause inflammation in the brain. There is no research that analyze the impact of luteolin on other molecules that also trigger inflammation.
Although, there is insufficient data to conclude celery as a cure for brain inflammation, results certainly indicate that celery can aid to reduce inflammation. So, adding luteolin foods such as celery to the diet would be a wise decision.