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Celery, the most wanted vegetable in the produce department

Updated: Aug 10, 2020

Cultivated as a vegetable since antiquity, celery has received a lot of attention as a ‘super-food,’ with supporters claiming that celery juice helps combat a range of ailments, including inflammation, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. They call the celery juice "the most powerful medicine". I agree and I don't ! I don't like extremes.

However, celery does provide us with several macro-nutrients, making it a valuable addition to any meal:

Celery is a great source of important antioxidants.

Celery juice provides a healthy dose of vitamin C. Our bodies do not synthesize vitamin C so eating foods with vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid) is essential for good bone structure, cartilage, muscle, and blood vessels.

Vitamin C also aids in the absorption of iron and promotes wound healing. So you might consider adding some dark leafy greens or raspberries to your shake :-).

According to the National Institutes of Health, "ongoing research is examining whether vitamin C, by limiting the damaging effects of free radicals through its antioxidant activity, might help prevent or delay the development of certain cancers, cardiovascular disease, and other diseases in which oxidative stress plays a causal role".

Celery reduces inflammation:

Celery is a wonderful source of phytonutrients, which have been shown to reduce instances of inflammation in the digestive tract, cells, blood vessels, and organs.

Celery and celery seeds have approximately 25 anti-inflammatory compounds that can offer protection against inflammation in the body. It helps restore health in people who suffer from a vast range of chronic and mystery illnesses and symptoms, among them fatigue, brain fog, acne, eczema, addiction, ADHD, thyroid disorders, diabetes, SIBO, eating disorders, autoimmune disorders, Lyme disease, and eye problems.

Celery supports digestion:

Pectin-based polysaccharides in celery, including a compound known as APIUMAN, have been shown to decrease instances of stomach ulcers, improve the lining of the stomach, and modulate stomach secretions in animal studies.

Celery also has a high water content — almost 95 percent — plus generous amounts of soluble and insoluble fiber. All of those support a healthy digestive tract and keep you regular. One cup of celery sticks has 5 grams of dietary fiber. One celery stem a day makes that p--p go away !

Celery has an alkalizing effect:

With minerals like magnesium, iron, and sodium, celery can have a neutralizing effect on acidic foods. All these minerals are necessary for essential bodily functions. A perfect post-workout tonic, celery juice replaces lost electrolytes and re-hydrates the body with its rich alkalizing minerals.

The organic alkaline minerals in celery juice also has a calming effect on the nervous system, making it a wonderful drink for insomniacs.

Raw celery has a low glycemic index of 35. Cooking dramatically raises celery's glycemic index to a value of 85. (1) Eating it raw, celery helps balancing blood sugar, blood pressure, weight and adrenal function.

Be mindful of its Adverse Effects

  • a cup of chopped celery has about 30 micrograms of vitamin K, which is essential for blood clotting. Speak to your doctor if you take blood thinners to learn more about the role of foods that are high in vitamin K.

  • folate may interfere with the effectiveness of methotrexate, a medication prescribed to treat autoimmune diseases and cancer. Although this is usually more of a concern for folate supplements rather than foods high in folate (like celery), it doesn't hurt to discuss your dietary intake of green vegetables with your doctor while on this medication.

  • celery is a source of oxalates which contributes to certain types of kidney stones. If you are prone to kidney stones, talk to your doctor to determine whether you need to limit your celery intake.

  • celery contains the chemical psoralen, which reacts to sunlight. Eating celery and other foods high in psoralen may increase the skin’s sensitivity to ultraviolet light, increasing the risk of dermatitis, sun damage, and photo aging.

  • celery contains about 30 mg of sodium per 1 medium (40 g) stalk. Salt- sensitive people must be mindful of how much sodium they consume, although it is believed that the natural organic sodium (salt) in celery , unlike table salt (iodized sodium) which is harmful for those with high blood pressure, is very safe for consumption. In fact this natural organic sodium is essential for the body for building the alkalizing compound sodium bicarbonate.

How to Prepare

Although most people discard celery leaves, they are edible and can make a good addition to soup, pesto, and smoothies or juices. Don’t discard the leaves — that’s where celery has the most calcium, potassium, and vitamin C. But because they don’t store well, consume celery leaves within a day or two of purchase.

Chop celery leaves to add on top of salads, sandwiches, and cooked dishes.

Raw or cooked, celery adds texture, color, flavor, and nutrients to meals and snacks. Braise, steam, or sauté celery and serve it with meats such as turkey, chicken, and roasts. Dice celery and place it in side dishes like stuffing.

Dip celery into peanut butter, hummus, yogurt dip, tuna, or chicken salad. Celery's natural crunch makes it a healthy substitute for chips or crackers.

The vegetable that's easy to enjoy at any time of the day! Enjoy!

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