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Can Celery Help You Manage Your Blood Sugar Levels?

April 18, 2022
Written by
Team NutriSense
Brooke McKelvey
Reviewed by
Katie K.
RD

Do you see celery as nothing more than a crunchy accompaniment to your wings-and-blue-cheese dish, or just one of the raw veggies in your crudités tray? It doesn’t get enough love, especially considering all its health benefits.

This humble green stalk is rich in nutrients that can support various health concerns. From gut health to diabetes management, it can be a helpful addition to your diet. And like cucumbers, celery has a lot of water content. In fact, it’s made up of 95 percent water, so it may also be an excellent way to keep your fluids up.

Celery is touted for its beneficial effects on lowering glucose, but there is not enough research to confirm this. Researchers believe that the phytochemicals in celery may help increase insulin sensitivity and reduce inflammation, both of which are vital factors in maintaining healthy blood sugar levels. In one study, participants who ate two stalks of celery per day for four weeks saw significant improvements in their blood sugar control. 

Celery (Apium graveolens), an herbaceous plant of the parsley family (Apiaceae), also has a long history of use as a medicinal herb in practices like Ayurveda. And since it may have the potential to help with everything from blood pressure and cholesterol to blood sugar levels, it’s a good idea to learn more about it. Read on to see why you should include it in your diet.

Is There Sugar in Celery?

Whole foods usually contain natural sugars, which don’t have the same adverse effects on your health as the added sugar in processed food. Fruits contain natural sugar but they also contain fiber, micronutrients, antioxidants, and water. Most processed foods with added sugar are low in fiber and not nutrient-dense.

Although most fruits and vegetables contain naturally-occurring sugars like sucrose, fructose, and glucose, not all are created equal. For example, tamarind and jackfruit are higher in sugar than mushrooms and tomatoes.

Where does celery stand on the sugar scale? Celery is a vegetable that is low in both calories and sugar content and high in fiber and water content. It’s why it’s often recommended as a snack for people looking to lose weight or manage type 2 diabetes.

One stalk of celery contains less than a gram of sugar, three percent of your daily fiber intake needs, only six calories, and many other vital nutrients. So, it can help regulate blood sugar levels when it’s part of a balanced diet.

The Benefits of Celery

celery and other produce

Celery may not be as flashy as other vegetables, but it’s more than just a side! It’s a good source of dietary fiber, potassium, and vitamin C and has anti-inflammatory properties that can help fight off disease. So, consider incorporating the vegetable into more mains to reap its benefits. Here are some of its primary health benefits:

It Can Help Prevent Heart Disease

Celery is a powerhouse of nutritional value. It's a low-calorie, high-fiber option and a good source of potassium, vitamin K, and folate. It’s also known for its ability to reduce blood pressure levels and improve heart health overall.

It Has Digestive Health Benefits

Celery is also known for its digestive health benefits. Some of the nutrients found in celery include fiber, potassium, and vitamin C. Celery is a good source of antioxidants, which can help protect the body against free radicals.

Additionally, celery contains natural compounds that can help support digestive health and may reduce your risk of stomach ulcers (although most of the research has been done on rats). Consuming celery may also improve gut function and reduce inflammation. 

It Can Strengthen Your Bones

Did you know that celery is an excellent food for bone health? It contains high levels of magnesium, flavonoids, and Vitamin K, which are beneficial for bone health.

You need potassium to maintain bone mineral density, which is something else celery has to offer. It’s safe to say adding celery to a balanced diet can help keep your bones strong and healthy as you age. 

It Helps You Stay Hydrated

Think of celery as nature's sports drink. This fibrous vegetable is mostly water (95 percent, as mentioned above), but that’s not the only reason it helps with hydration. It also contains essential electrolytes like sodium and potassium, making it an excellent option for pre-workout hydration. And the fiber in celery can help regulate blood sugar levels and promote gut health.

It Has Many Essential Vitamins

If you're looking for ways to increase your daily intake of vitamins, add some celery to your diet. Celery is a good source of vitamin A and vitamin C, which are essential nutrients that our bodies need to function correctly. In addition, celery is a low-calorie food, making it a healthy choice for those trying to lose weight or maintain their current weight. 

It Has Anti-inflammatory Properties

One of the main benefits of celery is its anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation is a major factor in many chronic diseases, so by consuming foods that have anti-inflammatory effects, you can help to prevent these diseases. Celery is rich in antioxidants and phytochemicals, both effective at reducing inflammation in the body.

It Helps Regulate Blood Pressure

As we mentioned above, celery is filled with potassium. Potassium is an essential mineral that helps keep your heart healthy, your muscles functioning properly, and regulates blood pressure.

Celery also contains a phytochemical called phthalides that can help increase blood flow and reduce blood pressure. Celery seed extract, in particular, can help lower blood pressure elevations.

The Side Effects of Overeating Celery

a lady pouring celery juice

Are there side effects to overeating celery? Most likely! Celery is a low-calorie vegetable with many health benefits and can improve overall wellness when part of a balanced diet. But as with most things, overeating can do more harm than good. Remember that there’s no one-size-fits-all for nutrition, so it’s essential to monitor the effects of celery on your specific body. Here are a few common side effects some people may experience: 

  • Malnutrition
  • Bloating
  • Diarrhea
  • Gas
  • Gastrointestinal issues

The Celery Juice Trend

a plate with celery juice in a container

The wellness world is abuzz with a delicious health trend: celery juice. Proponents of this new green juice fad claim that drinking celery juice first thing in the morning can help improve digestion, boost energy levels, help with weight loss, and clear up skin problems.

You may have noticed the recent celery juice trend and thought to yourself: what is this all about? Is this just another “miracle cure” that will quickly fade away? Or is there something to this trending health craze? 

So, are there any side effects to adding celery to your juicer? No, but it may not have as many health benefits as you think. Celery contains 12 different antioxidants, including vitamin C, beta carotene, and flavonoids which all get juiced out. So, one of the most significant drawbacks to juicing celery is losing the fiber content in the stalk. Consider blending celery instead as part of a smoothie or refreshing drink to retain some nutrient benefits. 

Pro Tip: Want a slight boost in your celery juice? We recommend adding turmeric root to your celery juice to get added anti-inflammatory benefits. The primary active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin, which has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. These properties make it a natural treatment for various health issues, including heart disease, cancer, arthritis, and Alzheimer's disease. 

The Hype Around Celery Juice: What Do Our Dietitians Think?

So, we know now that celery juice is super trendy, but is it that good for you? Three NutriSense dietitians talk about whether it’s the superfood the internet seems to think it is:

Celery Juice is Lower in Fiber

“Plants such as celery pack powerful phytochemical compounds responsible for antioxidant activities in your body important for healing effects. There is a lack of evidence in the literature to support that juicing has superior benefits over the consumption of whole celery. Remember, celery juice will be lower in fiber. One stalk of celery has about one gram of fiber. I blend my celery with some cucumber, lemon, and apple cider for a nice refreshing drink. It's an easy way to quickly get in those compounds and other fabulous nutrients. It can even encourage healthy eating patterns throughout the day!” 

— Marie Funk, MS, RD, LDN

It Shouldn't be a Meal Replacement

“Celery itself is a great, often underrated vegetable full of fiber and many vitamins and minerals. The fiber can help you feel full when combined with protein and healthy fats on a balanced plate. So including celery with other non-starchy veggies can be a way to reduce inflammation and manage your weight. On the other hand, celery juice isn’t going to offer those same benefits as juicing celery removes the fiber and health benefits that come along with that. While celery juice can provide some hydration and micronutrients, it’s not going to be a magical cure-all (like some online sources may claim). It shouldn’t be a meal replacement.” 

— Jordyn Wallerius, MS, RD, CD

You May Drink More Calories Than You Eat

“As a dietitian, I always recommend food first! Drinking celery juice can be a part of a well-balanced diet and provide some hydration and other nutrients! But drinking juice is not the same as eating food because you can miss out on fiber and often drink more calories than you can eat. Want some celery? Have some as a delicious snack, with some hummus or peanut butter for extra protein/fat.” 

— Randi Yow, RDN, LDN

A Note on Celeriac

a celery plant

Have you ever wondered what celeriac is? Is it just a fancy name for celery? Many people don't know the difference between these two plants, but there is a difference. Celeriac, also known as celery root, is an edible root vegetable that belongs to the Apiaceae family.

It's not often found in mainstream grocery stores, but it's worth seeking out. Celeriac has a mild celery flavor and a crisp, firm texture. It's often used in soups and stews, but it can also be roasted or mashed like potatoes. And it has many health benefits, too: it may help improve bone health, reduce your risk of diabetes, and prevent long-term disease. Try this Cream of Celery and Celeriac Soup to get the benefits of both!

The Effect of Celery on Your Blood Glucose Levels

someone pricking their finger

So, we know that celery is full of health benefits, but can it help manage your blood sugar levels? Yes, because one of the benefits of this vegetable is its effect on your blood glucose levels.

Celery has low sugar content and is low in digestive carbohydrates. These things mean it is not likely to cause blood sugar spikes for most people.

Celery also contains a compound called apigenin, which has been shown to help lower blood sugar levels in mice so more research is needed in humans. In addition, celery has enough fiber and other nutrients that may help regulate blood sugar levels.

A recent study found that participants who ate celery with their meals found that their postprandial blood glucose levels were 19.5 percent lower than those who did not. It makes celery an excellent food for people with diabetes or prediabetes.

Tips to Add Celery to Your Diet

celery, carrots, hummus, and other snacks

There is something about celery that just screams "healthy." Perhaps it’s the crisp, green texture or the subtle taste that makes it so popular in health-conscious circles.

Here are a few fun tips to help you add it to your diet:

  • Celery is an excellent addition to your salads. Try slicing it up and adding it to your next salad for a bit of crunch. 
  • Celery makes a great snack. Snack on celery sticks with peanut butter or hummus for a quick and easy snack packed with nutrients. 
  • Try adding sliced celery to a chicken or beef stir fry. 
  • Add celery to your favorite soups and stews.

Try Our Favorite Celery Recipes

two girls making a salad

Want to add celery to your diet but stumped for ideas? Here are a few of our favorite recipes to help you get started.

Carrot, Apple, Celery, Turmeric & Ginger Juice

One of the easiest ways to add celery to your diet is to add it into your juice. Remember, whole foods have more health benefits than when you juice them, so while this is a delicious addition to your diet, it should not be a meal replacement. We love this fruit and vegetable juice from The Balanced Kitchen. Here’s what you need to make it:

  • 10 organic apples, washed, cored, chopped
  • 20 organic carrots, washed, with the tops removed
  • 10 sticks of celery, washed
  • 1 juiced lemon
  • 2 inches ginger root
  • 2 inches turmeric root
  • 1 teaspoon of ground black pepper (to help absorb the curcumin from the turmeric)

Pan-Cooked Celery With Tomatoes and Parsley

celery with tomatoes on a plate

Here’s a vegetarian treat that is a good side dish or an excellent main dish. Add this pan-cooked celery dish from NYTimes Cooking to your rotation—it’s perfect for any season. Here’s what you need to make it:

  • 1 bunch celery, trimmed and cut into one-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 anchovy, rinsed and chopped (optional)
  • 1 14-ounce can of chopped tomatoes in juice
  • 3 tablespoons of chopped flat-leaf parsley
  •  A pinch of sugar
  •  Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Black Pepper Beef and Celery Stir-Fry

celery pepper stir fry dish

Looking for a quick dinner that incorporates all the goodness of celery? Here’s a delicious recipe from Bon Appétit that we can’t get enough of. Here’s what you need to make it:

  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 teaspoons ginger
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 pound sirloin steak
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • 5 celery stalks, sliced diagonally, plus 1 cup celery leaves
  • 4 scallions, cut crosswise
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into pieces

Engage with Your Blood Glucose Levels with Nutrisense

Your blood sugar levels can significantly impact how your body feels and functions. That’s why stable blood glucose levels can be an important factor in supporting overall wellbeing.

With Nutrisense, you’ll be able to track your blood glucose levels over time using a CGM, so you can make lifestyle choices that support healthy living.

When you join the program, our team of credentialed dietitians and nutritionists are available for additional support and guidance to help you reach your goals.

Ready to take the first step? Start with our quiz to see how Nutrisense can support your health.

Click here to listen to the podcast.
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Can Celery Help You Manage Your Blood Sugar Levels?
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Weight Loss and Blood Glucose
Weight Loss and Blood Glucose

Learn about how weight loss can impact blood glucose levels, and find tips for maintaining healthy blood sugar levels.

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9
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What A Digital Detox Can Do for Your Mental Health
What A Digital Detox Can Do for Your Mental Health

Do you spend all your free time scrolling through social media? If you can’t remember the last time you went offline, you may need a digital detox.

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9
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Vinegar and Blood Sugar: Does It Lower It?
Vinegar and Blood Sugar: Does It Lower It?

Read on to find out what impact, if any, vinegar really has on our body’s ability to balance blood sugar.

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8
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Useful Glycemic Index Charts For Fruits and Vegetables
Useful Glycemic Index Charts For Fruits and Vegetables

Review our glycemic index charts for the most common fruits and vegetables to better understand the impact on your glucose levels.

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8
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Understanding the Relationship Between Menopause and Metabolic Health
Understanding the Relationship Between Menopause and Metabolic Health

Did you know that menopause can affect your metabolic health, and vice versa? Read on to understand the relationship between metabolic health and menopause, and how to manage metabolic health during your menopausal journey. 

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7
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Understanding The Effects of Sugar on the Brain According to Research
Understanding The Effects of Sugar on the Brain According to Research

What really happens to your brain when you consume sugar? Review how interesting the relationship between the brain and sugar is, and why it’s important to control your blood sugar.

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9
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Understanding the Causes and Symptoms of Endometriosis
Understanding the Causes and Symptoms of Endometriosis

Endometriosis is a common yet often ignored condition. Learn more about the symptoms to watch out for, how you can seek treatment, and read first-hand accounts from two women who have dealt with endometriosis.

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6
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Understanding Hyperglycemia vs. Hypoglycemia and How to Recognize the Differences
Understanding Hyperglycemia vs. Hypoglycemia and How to Recognize the Differences

Quickly understand the differences between hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia, how to recognize the signs, and key prevention tips.

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6
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Triglycerides and Blood Glucose [+Tips to Lower Triglyceride Levels]
Triglycerides and Blood Glucose [+Tips to Lower Triglyceride Levels]

Learn everything you need to know about the relationship between triglycerides levels and blood glucose.


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7
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Tips and Tricks for Staying Healthy in the Summer
Tips and Tricks for Staying Healthy in the Summer

If you're gearing up to travel or spend more time outdoors this summer, here are a few tips to help you stay safe and hydrated in the sun.

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7
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Tips for a Healthy, Happy Purim
Tips for a Healthy, Happy Purim

Purim, a joyous occasion celebrated around March or April every year, is just around the corner! Read on to learn more about the holiday and the delicious foods that accompany it.

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Thoughtful Valentine's Day Gift Ideas from NutriSense Dietitians
Thoughtful Valentine's Day Gift Ideas from NutriSense Dietitians

Still haven't settled on the perfect gift for your Valentine this year? Take a look at our Nutrition Team's favorites for some thoughtful ideas.

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The Warning Signs of Nerve Damage You Should Watch Out For
The Warning Signs of Nerve Damage You Should Watch Out For

Because nerve damage can have many silent symptoms, it often goes undiagnosed in the early stages. Read on to learn more about what causes nerve damage and some warning signs to watch out for.

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7
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The Ultimate Guide to Fiber and its Effect on Metabolic Health
The Ultimate Guide to Fiber and its Effect on Metabolic Health

Ready to learn all about fiber beyond just the basics? In this post, we dive deep into the different kinds of fiber and health benefits of each. From functional fiber to fermentation, we break down all the jargon into a layman's language.

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The Relationship Between Cardio and Blood Sugar
The Relationship Between Cardio and Blood Sugar

Did you know that cardio can help you lose weight as well as optimize your health and blood glucose? Here's everything you need to know about cardio and its relationship with blood sugar.

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The Side Effects of Unhealthy Weight Loss
The Side Effects of Unhealthy Weight Loss

Find out what unhealthy weight loss is and learn more about its side effects and what you can do to prevent them.

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6
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The Relationship Between Low Blood Sugar and High Blood Pressure
The Relationship Between Low Blood Sugar and High Blood Pressure

Learn about the warning signs of low blood sugar and the relationship it has on blood pressure.

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10
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The Positive Impact Weight Lifting Has on Blood Sugar
The Positive Impact Weight Lifting Has on Blood Sugar

Here is everything you need to know about the relationship between weight lifting and blood sugar.

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The Relationship Between Cholesterol and Blood Sugar
The Relationship Between Cholesterol and Blood Sugar

Cholesterol plays a very important role in the human body, contributing to the structure of the cells, helping with vitamin D synthesis, and also promoting the production of steroid and sex hormones, like cortisol, aldosterone, testosterone, and estrogen. But how exactly is cholesterol connected to blood glucose levels?

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The Link Between Sleep Apnea and Diabetes
The Link Between Sleep Apnea and Diabetes

NutriSense dietitian Katrina Larsen, MS, RD,N, LD, CDCES discusses the risk factors for sleep apnea and how this disorder is linked to other health conditions.

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The Paleo Diet and Blood Glucose Levels
The Paleo Diet and Blood Glucose Levels

The premise of the paleo diet is that the body can handle a mix of meats, fruits and vegetables, eggs, fish, and complex carbohydrates better than processed meats, refined fats, grains and simple carbohydrates because it evolved to eat the first category as hunter-gatherers.

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The Health Benefits of Winter Squash
The Health Benefits of Winter Squash

A common ingredient in cozy winter recipes, winter squash is one of our favorite foods this time of year. Read on to learn more about how it can benefit your health.

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The NutriSense Holiday Gift Guide: Stocking Stuffers We Love
The NutriSense Holiday Gift Guide: Stocking Stuffers We Love

Haven't finished your holiday shopping yet? Pick from this list of NutriSense-approved holiday gifts to find some great last-minute stocking stuffers for everyone on your list!

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The NutriSense Holiday Gift Guide: Health-Focused Gifts They’ll Love
The NutriSense Holiday Gift Guide: Health-Focused Gifts They’ll Love

Still haven't bought all your holiday gifts this year? Don't worry—there's still time to find the perfect gift for everyone on your list. Read our guide for some great ideas!

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9
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The Link Between Inflammation and Blood Glucose
The Link Between Inflammation and Blood Glucose

Learn more about inflammation, how it affects blood glucose levels and what you can do to prevent and manage it.

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9
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The Health Benefits of Adding Fermented Foods to Your Diet
The Health Benefits of Adding Fermented Foods to Your Diet

Fermented foods have a range of health benefits. Read on to learn more about what they are and why you should be adding them to your diet.

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The Health Benefits of Potatoes, Yams, and Sweet Potatoes
The Health Benefits of Potatoes, Yams, and Sweet Potatoes

Potatoes, yams, and sweet potatoes are similar in usage, but pretty distinct in taste, texture, appearance, and even nutritional content! Read on to find out more about each one.

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The Health Benefits of Living With Pets
The Health Benefits of Living With Pets

Did you know that living with a pet can do more than just put a smile on your face? Read on to learn all the ways living with pets improves your wellbeing.

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The Health Benefits of Cooking With Herbs and Spices
The Health Benefits of Cooking With Herbs and Spices

Herbs and spices are a great way to add flavor to dishes, and also have a range of health benefits. Learn more about a few of our favorites.

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12
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The Health Benefits of Beans
The Health Benefits of Beans

Learn about the health benefits of beans and how they can help you live a healthier, longer life.

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6
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The Guide to Metabolic Diets: What Are They, Do They Work, And Who Should Try Them?
The Guide to Metabolic Diets: What Are They, Do They Work, And Who Should Try Them?

Review our guide to metabolic diets to help get a better understanding of what they are and whether they might be right for you.

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The Foods and Traditions of Kwanzaa
The Foods and Traditions of Kwanzaa

Learn about the traditions and nutrient-dense food commonly enjoyed during Kwanzaa. 

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9
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The Blood Sugar and Joint Pain Connection
The Blood Sugar and Joint Pain Connection

Have you ever wondered how your glucose levels might be connected to joint pain? We'll take a deep dive into this connection and share tips for reducing pain.

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10
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The Best Diet for Non-Diabetic Hypoglycemia
The Best Diet for Non-Diabetic Hypoglycemia

This article explores hypoglycemia in non-diabetics, how to manage symptoms through diet, and the advantages of glucose monitoring.

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The Effect of Aging on Your Blood Glucose Levels
The Effect of Aging on Your Blood Glucose Levels

Take a look at how aging can affect your blood glucose levels.

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The Best Diet to Increase Your Vitamin D Levels
The Best Diet to Increase Your Vitamin D Levels

Read on to learn more about vitamin D-rich foods and what you should include in your diet to make the most of this vitamin’s health benefits.

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The Best Diet for Menstruation
The Best Diet for Menstruation

When it comes to your menstrual cycle, what you eat can significantly impact how you feel. Read on to learn more about the best foods to add to your diet to help during that time of the month.

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The Benefits and Risks of Popular Ayurvedic Herbs and Spices
The Benefits and Risks of Popular Ayurvedic Herbs and Spices

Ayurveda is an ancient Indian holistic healing system that dates back over 5,000 years. In the second installment of our series on the practice, review the benefits and risks associated with popular Ayurvedic herbs and spices.

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The Beginner’s Guide to the Low FODMAP Diet
The Beginner’s Guide to the Low FODMAP Diet

In this article, we break down what a low FODMAP diet looks like for beginners, and its potential benefits and drawbacks for gastrointestinal health.

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The 6 Worst Foods for Osteoporosis
The 6 Worst Foods for Osteoporosis

When it comes to bone health, good nutrition is absolutely critical. Read on to learn what osteoporosis is and why some foods may increase your risk of or worsen the condition.