Jul 26, 2012

Celery: Is It Worth Anything?

Celery gets a bad rep for being worthless, does it not? Well, it's actually a good addition if you've got it laying around. Here are some highlights:
  • contains Vitamins B3, B5, C, E, K biotin, folate, magnesium, manganese, calcium, iodine, molybdenum, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, sodium, zinc, and fiber
  • strengthens the immune system and at the same time makes the body more resistant against diseases
  • has ideal quantities of iron and magnesium to stop diseases from progressing
  • detoxifyies the body
  • known to help alleviate the effects of anemia
  • combats bad-breath because it stimulates saliva secretion in your mouth, which helps to flush out debris and bacteria.
Here are more benefits based on the nutrients:

§ Lowers Blood Pressure-Celery contains a compound called Phthalide, which is what gives celery its unique taste. This compound has been shown to help relax the muscles around vessel walls, allowing them to dilate and therefore the blood flows through the vessels more easily.

§ Vitamin K-Vitamin K may be one of the lesser known vitamins, but its health benefits should not be overlooked. It is a fat-soluble vitamin that plays a vital role in regulating blood clotting. It has also been shown to aid the body in absorbing calcium – a crucial mineral for bone health – so try eating foods rich in vitamin K (such as celery) along with calcium-rich foods to help increase your calcium absorption (and as a bonus, celery is also a good source of calcium).

§ Vitamin C-Celery is a very good source of vitamin C, one of the most well known vitamins, which offers a wide array of benefits. It is a powerful antioxidant that helps to boost the immune system, protect against cancer, regulate blood sugar, protect your skin from free radical damage, and plays a part in the growth and repair of body tissue.

§ Dietary Fiber-One serving of celery contains over 8% of your RDA of dietary fiber. Fiber is a very important part of a healthy diet, offering a wide variety of benefits, such as regulating blood sugar levels, helping to lower cholesterol and helping to protect against heart disease.

§ Potassium-This mineral should be an essential part of any active person’s diet, and celery is a great source of potassium. Potassium helps muscles to contract properly during exercise and reduces muscle cramps – it also plays a role in regulating blood pressure, water content in cells, digestion and in some metabolic processes.

§ Rich in Calcium-Calcium in a very important mineral and one that many of us don’t get enough of. Calcium is essential for strong bones and teeth, but it is also necessary to ensure proper functioning of muscles and nerves. When we don’t get enough calcium to supply the body with what it needs, your body will ‘borrow’ this mineral from bones, leading to a variety of problems, such as Osteoporosis or other bone disease.

For pregnant women the consumption of celery should be made in very small quantities.
While many foods lose nutrients during cooking, most of the compounds in celery hold up well during cooking. And it's slightly salty character lends well to adding with fruits and fruit juices.

So why not throw it into your soups, salads and casseroles as an added benefit. Or snack on it with peanut butter or our family favorite: cheese (we use to do shredded cheese and mayo, but now we just do sliced cheddar without mayo). Or make a cream of celery soup if you have too much (just cook with onions and garlic and blend it all, then throw in ham, peas and potaoes for more fill--don't forget to salt and pepper).


*info from www.liveandfeel.com/medicinalplants/celery.html

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