Saturday, 30 April 2016

The House Just Voted to Give Wall Street Billions from Americans' Retirement Savings

If the House of Representatives gets its way, President Barack Obama won’t be able to crack down on unnecessary fees that cost Americans billions of dollars in retirement savings a year.
The House voted 234 to 188 Thursday to undo a rule proposed by the Labor Department earlier this month that would require anyone getting paid to provide retirement investment advice to act in the best interest of retirees. Many people think that’s already how things work, but it isn’t.
The way things work right now is that brokers who oversee retirement savings accounts can be paid extra to steer their clients into unnecessarily expensive funds or excessively risky investments, without disclosing that fact to their clients. That sort of conflicted investment advice costs Americans saving for retirement $17 billion a year, according to the White House Council of Economic Advisers.
To remedy the situation, the Obama administration proposed a fiduciary rule to keep Wall Street from taking so much money in fees from retirement accounts. The financial industry has opposed the rule from the start, saying it will raise costs and limit the advice investors can receive.
Legislators have tried to undercut the proposed rule, which is currently being reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget, for some time. In December, there was a push, which ultimately failed, to include language neutering the rule in the massive omnibus spending bill. And in October 2015, the House passed a similar bill to the one passed Thursday. Three such measures have been introduced in the Senate.

U.S. Special Ops Kill 40 ISIS Operatives Responsible for Attacks From Paris to Egypt

As the self-proclaimed Islamic State trumpets its global terrorist campaign, U.S. special operations forces have quietly killed more than three dozen key ISIS operatives blamed for plotting deadly attacks in Europe and beyond.
Defense officials tell The Daily Beast that U.S. special operators have killed 40 “external operations leaders, planners, and facilitators” blamed for instigating, plotting, or funding ISIS’s attacks from Brussels and Paris to Egypt and Africa.
That’s less than half the overall number of ISIS targets that special operators have taken off the battlefield, one official explained, including top leaders like purported ISIS second-in-command Haji Imam, killed in March.
The previously unpublished number provides a rare glimpse into the U.S. counterterrorist mission that is woven into overall coalition efforts to defeat ISIS, and which is credited with crippling ISIS efforts to recruit foreign fighters and carry out more plots like the deadly assault on Paris that killed 130 last fall.
As proof of the campaign’s overall success, Pentagon officials this week said the overall size of ISIS from a high estimate of 33,000 a year ago to between 19,000 to 25,000 fighters, and that the influx of foreign fighters into Iraq and Syria had dropped from up to 2,000 a month last year to just 200. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter was more cautious about that figure in testimony Thursday morning, saying it is “hard to be accurate” estimating foreign fighter flow, but that the numbers generally are falling. That’s set against the warning by Director of National Intelligence Jim Clapper this week that ISIS cells are likely already in place across Europe.   
That’s set against the warning by Director of National Intelligence Jim Clapper this week that ISIS cells are likely already in place across Europe.
The U.S. strikes have picked up pace since Defense Secretary Carter announced the deployment of special operations forces to northern Iraq last December, under the unwieldy moniker of “Expeditionary Targeting Force,” the officials said. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to describe the special operations mission publicly.
The officials expect that tempo to rise as the newly expanded special operations advising team inside Syria also grows from 50 to up to 300, as President Obama announced in Germany on Monday.
Officials say the Syria-based U.S. special operators help stitch together the disparate members of the Syrian Defense Force and vet others who want to join the mission, while also gathering intelligence on the ground that leads to strikes.
The CIA, NSA, and other elements of the U.S. intelligence community are also driving the effort, finding and feeding the intelligence to the coalition strike force.
At the top of the special operations target list is the network of ISIS operatives blamed for “external operations”: 60 attacks in 21 countries that have killed 1,000 people since January 2015, the officials said. Most of the ISIS targets were killed in Syria, by special operations combat aircraft, but also by troops who attempted to capture a handful of high-value ISIS targets in raids. All of those targets resisted arrest and were killed, the officials said.
That grim tally includes the previously announced December killing of Syrian-based ISIS member Charaffe al-Mouadan, who officials have concluded had direct ties to Abdel Hamid Abaoud, the leader of the ISIS cell that attacked Paris last November. Mouadan was among an estimated 10 militants taken out in a spec-ops airstrike.
Another was Abdul Kader Hakim, killed in Mosul in December. The Pentagon called Hakim an “external operations facilitator” and a forgery specialist with links to the Paris attack network.
It’s not clear how many civilians may have been caught in the special operations-related strikes. The U.S. has admitted to accidentally killing 41 civilians in the 20 months since coalition strikes began.
Sometimes the kills or attempted captures are not announced, in order to see how ISIS responds, one of the senior officials explained. “What are they doing, what are they saying, who are they communicating to? How do they backfill the missing operator?” he said. Those reactions can reveal weakness the U.S. task force can exploit. 

“The point of such operations is to keep ISIS guessing,” he said.
Defense officials acknowledge the downside of the secrecy of the operations is that humanitarian and human-rights organizations that try to serve as neutral arbiters in war zones don’t always know who to call when civilians report allegations of casualties or damage in the aftermath of a military strike—or when someone goes missing, possibly taken in a raid. Two senior defense officials said they were actively working to establish and maintain relationships with such agencies in areas where their troops operate, including sharing with the International Committee of the Red Cross details of any detainees taken within a short time of their capture, as per Pentagon policy on detainees.
“Defense regulations… stipulate that information concerning detainees in U.S. military custody should be provided to the ICRC normally within 14 days,” ICRC spokesman Anna Nelson said. “In practice, as soon as we are made aware of a new detainee in U.S. custody, we will get in contact with the U.S. authorities to organize a visit.”
The special operations counterterrorist mission is spearheaded by troops from the Joint Special Operations Command, the U.S. military’s premier counterterrorist unit.
But unlike previous conflicts, where JSOC raiders worked in secret, usually apart from other types of special operators, the Iraq and Syria teams blend specialists from multiple disciplines. “Door kickers” from units like the U.S. Army’s Delta Force and the Navy SEALs’ Naval Special Warfare Development Group who train for hostage rescue missions or kill-capture raids are paired with operators like Green Berets who specialize in learning foreign languages and cultures, and training local forces.
“The teams are integrated in just about everything we do,” one defense official said. 
The mixing of troops may have something to with the background of those in charge of the ISIS fight. Current JSOC commander Lt. Gen. Austin S. Miller and his predecessor, Gen. Tony Thomas, both ran the overall special operations task force in Afghanistan, which blended the different skills of very different, sometimes competing spec-ops tribes.
Thomas now runs the U.S. Special Operations Command. Miller most recently commanded Fort Benning, Georgia, where he oversaw the U.S. Army Ranger School that produced the first successful women candidates ahead of the Pentagon’s decision to open all combat roles to women.

10 of the Healthiest Grains You Can Eat

We’ve all seen it and heard it everywhere — whole grains are one of the most important aspects to add to a healthy diet. In fact, if you’re between the ages of 31 and 50, chances are you may not be getting all 3.5 to 7 servings of whole grains that the Whole Grain Council recommends, and with so many different choices out there, you might even think it’s easier just to stick to the whole grain bread and brown rice that you’re already familiar with. What you may not realize is that all of the healthful grains on the market don’t all function the same inside of the body, and you should be eating more of certain grains over others.

In general, whole grains are known for containing more vitamins and minerals, antioxidants, essential fatty acids, and fiber than their over-processed cousins. One Green Planet says that whole grains are also great for fighting cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes while also maintaining good digestive health, but you need to consume a variety of these grains to receive the most positive impact. Here’s a list of the top 10 that benefit the body in more ways than one.

1. Whole rye
Not only does rye have excellent flavor, but it’s also considered one of the healthiest grains out there. According to The World’s Healthiest Foods, rye is rich in manganese, a memory-boosting mineral that also helps to heal wounds faster. It also has a very high fiber content — a quality that whole grains tend to have, but still worth noting because of the lack of fiber in most men’s diets. The fiber found in rye is particularly rich in noncellulose polysaccharides, or in other words, it makes you feel fuller even faster than the fiber found in typical whole grain bread, and this can aid in weight loss if that’s a goal of yours.

There are more nutrients in a 100-calorie serving of whole rye than many other whole grains. In addition to its high fiber and high manganese content, it’s also great for boosting your daily intake of iron, phosphorous, copper, and magnesium, which can ultimately lead to the prevention of diabetes and heart disease.

2. Buckwheat
While this “grain” is technically a fruit seed, it’s a great gluten-free alternative — and you can still buy bread and pancake mixes made of it. Care2 describes buckwheat as a highly nourishing and energizing food, as it boasts high protein content and all nine essential amino acids, making it a complete protein. Buckwheat also contains rutin, a compound that is typically extracted from the leaves and used to treat high blood pressure. It can also help manage blood sugar levels and bring them down slower than other grains, making it a good option for diabetics.

Buckwheat is also excellent for digestion, as it helps to clean out the intestines and strengthens them. And, if you’re looking to build muscle, buckwheat has been known to increase appetite, which goes along great with its protein content for muscle growth.

3. Oats
Oats are an easy grain to incorporate into your diet, as there are so many recipes that already contain them, and you should be seeking them out as a nutritious breakfast option as often as you’d like. Medical News Today explains that while oats, like other whole grains, are high in fiber, they are high in a particular fiber known as beta-glucan, and this can assist in lowering bad cholesterol.

Oats are also a great source of multiple minerals such as manganese, selenium, phosphorus, magnesium, vitamin E, and flavonoids, which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits and can help with cardiovascular health. It has also been shown that oats, oat bran, and oat flour all may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease and colorectal cancer.

4. Quinoa
According to Forbes, quinoa is one of the most protein-rich foods you can eat, as it contains all nine essential amino acids. This makes it a perfect food to help you build your muscles, so incorporating it into your diet as a main component of your meals will help you tone up and feel fuller for longer. Quinoa also has nearly twice as much fiber as other grains, and while this is great for digestion, it’s also helpful in preventing heart disease and reducing high blood pressure. Fiber also lowers cholesterol and glucose levels, making quinoa a great option for those who are at risk for developing diabetes.

This grain is also rich in iron, and this can help keep your red blood cells healthy and increase the oxygen supply to your muscles (giving you the opportunity to work harder at the gym) and to your brain. Magnesium and lysine are prevalent in quinoa as well, and these promote tissue growth and repair, and can relieve migraine symptoms.

5. Millet
Though millet might not be on your radar as a grain you should be incorporating into your diet, you may want to reconsider — this small grain originating from India packs a punch when it comes to health benefits. Organic Facts talks about all that millet has to offer, and this includes a high magnesium content and fiber content with high levels of antioxidants.

While millet can offer better heart and digestive health like many other grains, studies have also shown that millet can significantly improve the lives of those who suffer from asthma and other respiratory health issues. This could be because millet does not carry the same components as wheat, which is a common allergen that is associated with respiratory problems — either way, if your airways are sensitive, you should consider millet over other grains. Millet is also rich in B-vitamins, calcium, iron, potassium, zinc, and magnesium, and it offers essential healthy fats.

6. Spelt
Spelt, a distant cousin of wheat, is considered an ancient grain with a rich and nutty flavor. Because of spelt’s high vitamin and mineral content, Livestrong suggests using spelt flour in place of wheat flour or white flour in baked goods for an added health boost. Spelt flour is much higher in niacin than wheat flour — while the daily recommended value for niacin is 20 milligrams, a 100-gram serving of spelt flour contains nearly 5.5 milligrams of niacin, giving you over a quarter of the amount you should be consuming daily. Niacin is great for improving circulation, lowering cholesterol, and opening up the deep blood vessels around the joints that can help with arthritis.

While spelt also contains a good amount of fiber and protein like typical wheat, Healthy Living explains how a 38-gram serving of spelt flour can give you 12% of your daily intake of zinc, which can lower your risk for neurological problems and age-related macular degeneration. There’s also a higher amount of copper, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus in spelt than other grains, and its high water solubility makes it easier to digest for those who are intolerant of wheat.

7. Bulgur
When looking at whole grains, bulgur should be among your daily mix for its low fat content, high protein content, and richness in complex carbohydrates. While bulgur also has the high fiber content as many of the other whole grains listed, it’s also great for giving the body energy because of its macronutrient profile. The Fit Indian states that bulgur’s carbohydrates are digested slowly, giving you long-lasting energy all day without the sudden “crash” that comes with foods loaded with simple carbs. Bulgur’s also great for the brain, as it improves your overall brain function and can boost memory.

Though bulgur also has a high percentage of zinc, niacin, and iron, it’s also great for its anti-inflammatory benefits. Those who regularly consume bulgur flour are relieved from inflammation, and this can protect you from various diseases such as Alzheimer’s, diabetes, osteoporosis, and heart disease.

8. Barley
Barley may be one of the oldest grains on the planet, and the reasons its still eaten today are a testament to its long-term consumption and health benefits. According to Life Extension, barley contains beta-glucan, a sugar found in its cell walls and a fiber that your body can’t digest. The consumption of beta-glucan slows down the rate at which food moves through your digestive tract, and this helps to tame your insulin response and keep your blood sugars from spiking after a hearty meal. Beta-glucans have been used to treat high cholesterol, diabetes, cancer, and chronic fatigue.

Barley is also full of lignans, and these are phytonutrient compounds that have been shown to ward away prostate and colon cancer. Studies show that men with the highest levels of enterolactone, a substance that the lignans metabolize into by bacteria in the colon, are 82% less likely to develop prostate cancer. Though oats have similar nutritional benefits as barley, barley is both lower in fat and calories and higher in dietary fiber, making it an arguably even better dietary choice.

9. Teff
Though teff is tiny in size, it packs a lot of valuable benefits. This grain’s name may be new to you, as it’s originally from Ethiopia and used to make sourdough flatbread, but according to Huffington Post, many are hailing it as the new quinoa because of its tasty flavor and highly nutritious content. Teff is gluten-free and high in fiber and protein, and it boasts eight essential amino acids. It’s also incredibly high in calcium (there’s about double the amount of calcium in teff compared to spinach), and it contains manganese, copper, iron, and a good amount of vitamin C.

Like many of the other grains on this list, teff is beneficial for those aiming to lower inflammation in the body and keep blood sugars in check, as it has a low glycemic index and won’t cause blood sugars to spike after eating. Though you may be unsure of how to prepare teff, it’s incredible versatile in the ways that it can be prepared — you can steam, boil, or bake this grain and serve it as a side dish just like you would with quinoa or brown rice. If you don’t feel like preparing it yourself, check for premade granola bars and bread mixes containing teff in your local grocery store.

10. Sorghum
Sorghum may be another grain that you’re unfamiliar with, but fear not — though other grains like wheat and rice are more popular in the States and Western Europe, the sorghum grain is quite popular in the tropics and southern hemisphere. Healthy Eating discusses sorghum’s benefits by first stating that it’s gluten-free and containing nearly half of your daily recommended intake of both complex carbohydrates and fiber. It’s also rich in thiamin, niacin, potassium, iron, and phosphorus.

Sorghum varies greatly in appearance — it comes in colors ranging from red to white to black, and the bran layers of the more pigmented sorghum varieties contains antioxidants that can help ward away esophageal cancer. It’s also good for the metabolism because of its high magnesium and copper content — both of these minerals help your cells create energy that you can use, and the niacin that’s in the sorghum grain assists in metabolizing nutrients into energy as well. Because of sorghum’s mild flavor, consider using it instead of wheat or white flour for baked goods (or even gluten-free baking) for a healthier alternative to your favorite treats.

11 Foods That Can Help You Look Younger

Aging is a natural part of life that can’t be avoided. However, the foods you eat can help you age better, both inside and out. 
Here are 11 foods that can help you look younger:
1. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Extra virgin olive oil is one of the healthiest fats on earth.
Research has shown that it may help prevent many common diseases associated with aging.
It lowers blood pressure, reduces the risk of heart disease, helps prevent metabolic syndrome and may be effective in fighting cancer (1234).
Olive oil may also help your skin look younger. Animal and lab studies suggest it has stronganti-inflammatory effects on the skin and may protect it from sun damage (5).
Additionally, nearly 73 percnet of olive oil consists of monounsaturated fat, which is associated with increased skin elasticity and firmness (6).
Two studies looked at food records and questionnaires completed by middle-aged and older adults. They found that those with the highest intake of monounsaturated fat from olive oil were least likely to have severe sun damage (78).
Bottom Line: Olive oil has strong anti-inflammatory properties that may protect skin elasticity and decrease the risk of sun damage.
2. Green Tea
Green tea is high in antioxidants, which can protect against free radicals.
Free radicals are unstable molecules that form during metabolism and in response to stress.Antioxidants change their structure so they’re unable to cause damage.
Green tea is particularly high in antioxidants called polyphenols, which can fight diabetes,insulin resistance, inflammation and heart disease (91011).
Polyphenols may also help protect collagen, the main protein in your skin. This may reduce and even partly reverse some signs of aging (6121314).
In one study, women with sun-damaged skin who were treated with green tea cream and supplements for eight weeks had modest improvements in skin elasticity (15).
Bottom Line: Green tea has strong antioxidant properties that protect your skin’s collagen from sun damage and may reduce signs of aging.
3. Fatty Fish
Fatty fish is truly an anti-aging food.
Its long-chain omega-3 fats are beneficial against heart disease, inflammation and ulcerative colitis, among many other diseases (161718).
Studies suggest that they may also protect against inflammation and damage that occurs during sun exposure (1920).
Salmon, one of the most popular types of fatty fish, has an additional component that may keep your skin looking younger.
It contains a nutrient in its orange pigment called astaxanthin, which is a powerful antioxidant.
In one study, people with sun-damaged skin who were given a combination of astaxanthin and collagen for 12 weeks experienced significant improvements in skin elasticity and hydration (21).
Bottom Line: Fatty fish may provide protection from skin damage that occurs in response to inflammation and sun exposure. The astaxanthin in salmon may also improve skin elasticity and hydration.
4. Dark Chocolate/Cocoa
The antioxidant profile of dark chocolate is second to none. It is even more powerful than acai berries, blueberries and cranberries (22).
Research suggests it may reduce blood pressure, increase insulin sensitivity and improve arterial function and elasticity (2324).
Chocolate contains antioxidants called flavanols, which protect the skin from sun damage. However, the amount of flavanols varies significantly among different types of chocolate (25).
One study showed that high-flavanol dark chocolate doubled the amount of time people could stay in the sun before turning red. This didn’t occur in people who ate chocolate with less flavanols (26).
In other studies comparing high-flavanol and low-flavanol cocoa on skin function, people in the high-flavanol groups experienced better blood flow to the skin and improvements in thickness, hydration and smoothness (2728).
Remember, the higher the cocoa content, the higher the flavanol content. So make sure to choose dark chocolate with at least 70 percent cocoa solids.
Bottom Line: Dark chocolate with a high flavanol content may protect against sun damage. It may also improve skin hydration, thickness and smoothness.
5. Vegetables
Vegetables are extremely nutrient-dense and very low in calories.
They contain antioxidants that help reduce the risk of heart disease, cataracts and cancer (29,3031).
Many vegetables are also high in carotenoids like beta carotene. These can protect against sun radiation and free radicals, both of which can lead to skin aging (3233).
Some of the best sources of beta carotene are carrots, pumpkin and sweet potatoes.
Many vegetables are also rich in vitamin C, which is important for collagen production and has strong antioxidant effects.
In one study, when people were given 180 mg of vitamin C daily for four weeks, their skin’s antioxidant activity increased by 37 percent (34).
Vegetables with the highest vitamin C content include leafy greens, bell peppers, tomatoes andbroccoli.
In another study, researchers measured elasticity and other skin qualities in more than 700 Japanese women. They found that those who ate more green and yellow vegetables had fewer wrinkles (6).
Bottom Line: Vegetables provide sun protection and may prevent free radical damage to skin. This is largely due to their strong antioxidant effects.
6. Flaxseeds
Flaxseeds have amazing health benefits.
They contain lignans, which can lower cholesterol, reduce blood sugar and insulin levels, while decreasing the risk of breast and prostate cancer (35363738).
They are also a great source of an omega-3 fatty acid called ALA, which protects your skin from sun radiation and may reduce sun-related skin damage (3940).
In controlled studies, women who consumed flaxseeds or flax oil for 12 weeks showed improved hydration and smoother skin (4142).
Bottom Line: Flaxseeds may protect skin from sun damage and improve smoothness, among other measures of skin quality.

7. Pomegranates
Pomegranates are one of the healthiest fruits.
Their antioxidant activity appears to be even higher than that of green tea (43).
Pomegranates decrease inflammation, help prevent damage from high blood sugar levels and may improve outcomes in patients with colon cancer (444546).
They also help protect the skin from sun damage (4748).
What’s more, researchers suggest that different parts of the pomegranate may work together to repair damaged skin and increase collagen production (49).
Bottom Line: Pomegranates are rich in antioxidants that provide sun protection and may help repair existing skin damage.
8. Avocados
Avocados are rich in heart-healthy fat, fiber and several vitamins and minerals that are essential for health (50).
They also taste delicious and are extremely versatile.
Furthermore, avocados contain unique compounds called polyhydroxylated fatty alcohols. These can fight inflammation, protect your skin from the sun and help repair damaged DNA (51).
Their high content of monounsaturated fat and the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin provides additional skin and DNA protection (652).
Bottom Line: Avocados prevent sun-related skin damage and may also help protect the DNA in your skin cells.
9. Tomatoes
Tomatoes provide many impressive health benefits, several of which can be attributed to their high lycopene content.
Lycopene is a type of carotenoid that reduces your risk of heart disease, stroke and prostate cancer (535455).
Studies show that it may also protect your skin from the damaging rays of the sun (565758).
In one study, women who ate a mixture of foods high in lycopene and other plant antioxidants had a measurable decrease in wrinkle depth after 15 weeks (59).
Cooking tomatoes with healthy fats, such as olive oil, significantly boosts the absorption of lycopene into the body (60).
Bottom Line: Tomatoes are high in lycopene, which protects skin from sun damage and may help reduce wrinkles.
10. Spices
Spices do more than just add flavor to your food. They also contain various plant compounds that may have beneficial effects on your health (61).
Interestingly, research suggests some spices may even help your skin look younger.
Cinnamon has been shown to increase collagen production, which may lead to increased skin firmness and elasticity (62).
It may also reduce the skin damage that occurs as a result of advanced glycation end-products(AGEs), which are formed when blood sugar levels are high (63).
Additionally, research suggests that capsaicin, which is found in chili peppers, may limit a portion of the age-related changes that occur in skin cells (64).
Furthermore, ginger contains gingerol. This compound has anti-inflammatory effects that may help prevent the age spots that develop due to sun exposure (65).
Bottom Line: Certain spices contain plant compounds that boost collagen production, protect cells from high blood sugar levels and help prevent sun damage.
11. Bone Broth
Bone broth has recently become very popular among health conscious people.
It’s made by cooking bones from meat, poultry or fish for an extended period of time. This releases minerals and other beneficial components.
One of these components is collagen, which has been credited with beneficial effects on muscle and bone health (666768).
Although there is no published research on bone broth itself, there’s evidence suggesting that the collagen in it may help reduce signs of aging.
When cooked, collagen breaks down into gelatin, which is rich in the amino acids glycine, proline and hydroxyproline. Your body can absorb these amino acids and use them to form new collagen in your skin (69).
Controlled studies have shown that consuming collagen may improve skin elasticity, moisture and firmness, while reducing wrinkles (707172).
In one study, wrinkle depth was significantly reduced in postmenopausal women who took a collagen supplement along with other skin-supporting nutrients like vitamins C and E for 12 weeks (72).
Bottom Line: Bone broth’s high collagen content may improve skin elasticity and reduce wrinkles and other signs of aging.
Take Home Message
Unfortunately, there’s no way to actually turn back the clock.
However, the foods on this list can improve the function of your skin and help you look younger.
They will also help you remain healthier and younger looking as you age.

11 Super Health Benefits in Just One Celery Stalk

Apples walk away with most health accolades, and spinach leads the healthy veggie brigade. Compared to them, celery is somewhat unsung, but once you read its incredible–and nearly endless–list of health benefits, you will quickly join its growing list of lovers. 
  • Celery is a great choice if you are watching your weight. One large stalk contains only 10 calories! So, add celery to your shopping list and enjoy it in your salads, soups and stir-fries.
  • Celery reduces inflammation. If you are suffering from joint pains, lung infections, asthma, or acne, eating more celery will bring much-needed relief.
  • It helps you calm down: Celery for stress-relief? Oh yes! The minerals in celery, especially magnesium, and the essential oil in it, soothe the nervous system. If you enjoy a celery-based snack in the evening, you will sleep better.
  • It regulates the body’s alkaline balance, thus protecting you from problems such as acidity.
  • Celery aids digestion: some say celery tastes like “crunchy water,” and that is the reason it is so good for your digestive system.  The high water content of celery, combined with the insoluble fiber in it, makes it a great tool for easy passage of stool. Note: because celery has diuretic and cleansing properties, those with diarrhea should avoid eating it.
  • It contains “good” salts. Yes, celery does contain sodium, but it is not the same thing as table salt. The salt in celery is organic, natural and essential for your health.

  • It cares for your eyes. One large stalk of celery can deliver up to 10 percent of your daily need for Vitamin A, a group of nutrients that protects the eyes and prevents age-related degeneration of vision.
  • Celery reduces “bad” cholesterol: There is a component in celery called butylphthalide. It gives the vegetable its flavor and scent. Guess what: this component also reduces bad cholesterol! A Chicago University research shows that just two stalks of celery a day can reduce bad cholesterol (LDL) by up to 7 points!
  • It lowers blood pressure: An active compound called phthalides in celery has been proven to boost circulatory health. Raw, whole celery reduces high blood pressure.
  • It can amp up your sex life: and this is not just hearsay. Dr. Alan R. Hirsch, Director of the Smeel and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation, says two pheromones in celery–androstenone and androstenol–boost your arousal levels. They are released when you chew on a celery stalk.
  • Celery can combat cancer: Two studies at the University of Illinois show that a powerful flavonoid in celery, called luteolin, inhibits the growth of cancer cells, especially in the pancreas. Anotherstudy suggests that the regular intake of celery could significantly delay the formation of breast cancer cells.
Useful Tips:
Choose celery with upright stalks that snap when bent. The leaves should be fresh and crisp.  When selecting celery, remember this rule of thumb:  The darker the color, the stronger the flavor.
Freshly chopped celery retains its nutrients much better than if you chop and store it even for a few hours.
Steamed celery not only retains its flavor, but also most of its nutrients–up to 99 percent of them, in fact!