Celery belongs to a family of distinguished, nutrient rich foods like fennel and parsley and shares the same nutrient rich goodness of its cousins.
There are two types of celery: the white variety which is grown in the shade and contains less chlorophyll and the green variety which is rich in chlorophyll.
Along with onions and potatoes, celery has become a staple food in many households, mainly due to its crunchy texture and its distinctive flavor. That it is full of natural goodness makes it top the list of recommended foods too. All parts of the celery are valuable although the prized stalks are much talked about. The roots, leaves and seeds also find a place at the table.
Health benefits of Celery:
Celery contains a large number of beneficial nutrients. It is particularly rich in Vitamin K. It contains Vitamin C, B6, B1, B2 and A. It also contains potassium, folate, molybdenum, manganese, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, tryptophan and iron. It is fiber rich and lean in calories. Quite the wholesome food, in fact.
Since ancient times, practitioners of Chinese medicine have been advocating the use of celery for lowering blood pressure levels. Celery contains phthalides, which relax the muscles in the arteries and thus lead to lowering of blood pressure. Additionally, it also contains healthy amounts of minerals like potassium and magnesium, both of which lower blood pressure levels.
The nutritional goodness of celery has been associated with a number of benefits like combating cancer and defending the body against inflammation.
Since celery has high amounts of Vitamin C, it is good for the immune system. It destroys free radicals and limits inflammation within the body. Celery may also alleviate symptoms of flu. Since it fights infection, it may be helpful in alleviating symptoms of arthritis, osteoarthritis and asthma. Celery’s high antioxidant activity prevents the deposit of plaque in the arteries and is therefore excellent for cardiovascular health.
Celery has diuretic properties as it contains both sodium and potassium, which are responsible for maintaining fluid balance within the body. By getting rid of excess fluid, celery helpts to keep the body free of toxins and is beneficial to the health of the kidneys. It may also help to dilute and destroy urinary stones.
It is believed that celery juice can balance pH levels in the blood. This is beneficial for people suffering from high acidity levels.
Celery juice is recommended during hot, dry weather as it restores lost moisture and minerals. Since celery is rich in minerals, its juice provides excellent post-workout nourishment to athletes.
Celery is an excellent natural laxative. It can also help curb cravings as it bulks up the stomach. Thus, it is highly recommended for those who want to lose weight.
How to eat:
- Wash the stalk and leaves under running water before consumption.
- Celery leaves and stalks are used in salads.
- Chopped celery may be added to chicken salad recipes.
- Since celery juice has a salty taste, it may be added to other sweet or bland juices for a unique flavor.
- Celery leaves and stalks may be added to stews, casseroles and soups.
With so many health benefits and so little calories, celery is undoubtedly among the healthiest foods you can eat. So, the next time you come across fresh celery, don’t give it a miss. Bring it home and get health, quickly!