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At just 18 calories per serving -- approximately 1 cup -- celery makes a satifyingly crunchy snack that fits easily into a calorie-controlled diet. It offers a variety of essential nutrients, including potassium and magnesium, two minerals important for nerve and muscle function. Celery also provides nutrients that benefit your cardiovascular system, and vitamins and minerals you need for healthy blood flow.
Celery serves as a good source of vitamin A, a nutrient important for healthy blood flow. Vitamin A plays a role in new blood cell development, including the development of red blood cells -- which transport oxygen in your blood -- and white blood cells, which travel around your body and fight infection. It also plays a role in helping to ensure your heart can develop normally and effectively pump blood through your body. A serving of celery provides you with 494 international units of vitamin A -- 21 percent of the recommended daily intake for women and 16 percent for men, according to intake recommendations established by the Institute of Medicine.
Consuming celery benefits blood flow due to its vitamin K content. Vitamin K affects blood cells, called platelets, that regulate the thickness of your blood. Controlling blood thickness proves important to healthy blood flow, because blood that is too thin can lead to excessive bleeding, which can disrupt normal blood flow to your tissues. In contrast, blood that is too thick leads to blood clots that physically block blood flow. Each serving of celery boasts 32 micrograms of vitamin K. This contributes 26 percent toward the recommended daily vitamin K intake for men and 36 percent for women, according to the Institute of Medicine.
Celery's folate levels promote healthy blood flow by regulating the levels of homocysteine, a toxic amino acid, in your bloodstream. Homocysteine negatively affects blood clotting, contributes to a narrowing of your arteries and interferes with proper blood vessel dilation -- three factors that negatively affect blood flow. Folate lowers your homocysteine levels by converting it into non-toxic compounds. Consuming a serving of celery provides you with 40 micrograms of folate, or 10 percent of the recommended daily intake.
Celery also provides small amounts of other nutrients important for healthy blood flow. Its iron content promotes healthy red blood cell function, because iron makes up a component of the protein that these cells need to carry oxygen to your tissues. It also contains some vitamin C, a nutrient that strengthens your blood vessel walls and holds them together. By keeping your blood vessels intact, vitamin C prevents a disruption of blood flow that could develop due to a blood vessel rupture.