How to Eat Celery: Benefits and Uses
Commonly used in stock, broth, soups and salads, celery is more than just a green vegetable. Packed within it are countless health benefits that puts many other vegetables to shame! Moreover, it is a rather tasty vegetable, considering our pet rabbits can hardly keep their paws off it!
However, in this article, we will cover all the uses and benefits of eating celery that apply strictly to humans. If you are not a celery-lover, hopefully by the end you will be munching on a stalk of celery yourself.
What Is Celery?
To state the obvious, celery is a green vegetable that has been cultivated by humans for ages. It has a stalk of considerable length that is fibrous. The stalk eventually gives way to leaves, which too is eaten as a part of celery. Besides this, celery is universally known to be a vegetable packed with medicinal properties. It is bursting with antioxidants and has a low-calorie content.
Celery Nutrition Facts
Based on a 2000 calorie diet, a single stalk of celery contains a minimum of 6 calories only. Fats as well as cholesterol, both are not present in celery at all.
In the same stalk, you will find 32 mg of sodium and 104 mg of potassium. A minimum of 1.2 g of carbohydrate and 0.3 g of protein will also be present in the celery. Vitamin A, vitamin C and K are also found in this green veggie.
To sum it all up, celery is a diet as well as health-friendly vegetable. Not only does it not have fats, even the carbs are nothing to worry about as they are mostly cellulose (fiber) that humans cannot digest. So they are egested out. The healthy source of vitamins is a huge deal as well since they bring much needed health benefits.
Celery Health Benefits
- Antioxidants and celery
As we mentioned before, antioxidants are plentiful in celery. The breakdown of food or being exposed to tobacco smoke and many other factors lead to the formation of free radicals within our body which are harmful for our body cells. The sole purpose of antioxidants is to give protection to our body cells from the harmful effects of these free radicals.
To name a few antioxidants in celery – vitamin c, beta carotene and flavonoids – are the most common ones, besides the 12 other antioxidants that have been found in celery.
Celery is also rich in phytonutrients which has shown promising results in reducing inflammation within our body like the digestive tract and a few other organs.
- Preventing UTI
Urinary tract infection is a common condition that mostly affects women and men in some cases. However, it still remains painful no matter who it affects.
Good for us, celery seeds have certain properties that can help the prevention and cure of UTI, like its diuretic properties. Diuretic refers to the increased passing of urine. Hence, we can say that having celery will lead you to urinate more and expel uric acid from the body.
This very property has made celery a good choice for treating not only UTI but also other health problems like kidney stones or bladder disorders. Another reason why celery can prevent and cure UTI is that it has been seen to have antibacterial properties. And since bacteria is a cause behind UTI, celery certainly proves to be a good food choice for those suffering from this infection.
All these apply for both women as well as men.
- Cancer prevention
If cancer seems to run in your family or there is even a mild chance of you getting the horrific disease, you may want to soon stock your fridge with celery. A huge number of studies have been conducted on the anticancer properties of celery and the results are promising.
For one, flavonoids like luteolin present in celery, have been known to fight cancer.
Certain white blood cells in our body are capable of keeping cancer at bay. However, there are certain substances that can increase their effectiveness such as coumarins. Since this very substance is present in celery, it is safe to say that celery has cancer fighting properties.
Another interesting fact about the celery is that the extract from its seed promotes anti-proliferation or anti-growth and also has a great effect on gastric cancer. If that was not enough, the extract has also been seen to encourage apoptosis or a process which brings about programmed death of cells.
These antioxidants in celery work hard to eliminate risks posed by the free radicals, thus preventing the growth of cancerous cells.
- Healthy heart
Heart diseases have been common in people from all walks of life which undoubtedly poses a great danger to health. However, if you want to be the happy owner of a healthy heart, you need to start stocking up on celery.
Besides being full of antioxidants that reduces free radical damage, there are many more things in celery that can promote cardiovascular health. Like vitamin c and fiber.
The anti-inflammatory properties also play a huge role in keeping our heart in its best shape. Not to mention all the other wonderful substances and components present in celery that help to keep the cholesterol levels low as well as keeping the blood pressure in check. With both these factors been taken care of, there is absolutely no reason to fret about your heart health!
- Cataract prevention
We often fail to pay much attention to our eye health and unless it is some very serious problem, we hardly bother with it. Nonetheless, celery has you covered on this front too. A few drops of celery tea on your eyelids may save you from spending thousands on your ophthalmologist! This is because the tea will improve the overall condition of your eyes and also keep you safe from eye problems like cataracts.
For those of you hearing of it for the first time, “Cataract” is a medical condition where the eye lens turn opaque and results in blurred vision. In the same way, macular degeneration can also be kept at bay with the help of celery tea.
- Weight loss
Weight loss requires not only exercising but also having healthy eating and drinking habits. One such habit you could pick up on is drinking celery juice right before your meals. As we mentioned earlier, celery has a very, very low-calorie content and is densely packed with fiber. The fiber helps you to feel fuller, effectively preventing you from overeating. Also since it has a low amount of calories, it will not hurt your diet. This is a win-win from all directions – no overeating, diminished appetite without side effects!
- Immune system
Our immune systems are responsible for making us resistant to infections and toxin damage. Hence, it is essential that our immune system is always at its top game. To ensure that this happens, we need to consume a diet that has anti-oxidants in plenty. We also need to guarantee that our diets include healthy doses of vitamin a and c.
And what green vegetable is a great source of these three? Celery, of course! The combination of these three nutrients will make sure that our immune system is functioning properly and more effectively. In this way, you will be able to avoid the hassle of going down with a flu or fever or a number of other diseases!
- Low cholesterol level
High amounts of cholesterol in blood can cause numerous heart diseases which includes the blockage of your arteries in the heart. With the help of fiber from vegetables like celery, we can easily prevent such diseases from growing. The fiber makes sure excess cholesterol is egested out after it has been extracted from the bloodstream.
Another compound present in this green veggie, phthalides, also helps in lowering cholesterol levels by promoting the production of bile juice which is responsible for controlling cholesterol levels.
- Pain reliever
Celery’s anti-inflammatory properties once again has come to the rescue of those suffering from arthritis, rheumatism or gout. The result of these conditions is the swelling of joints accompanied by acute pain. However, the swelling and pain can be reduced drastically by consuming celery since it has anti-inflammatory properties. They also help to lessen muscular and arthritic pain since they contain 85% 3-n-butylphthalide.
In the cases of arthritis, rheumatism and gout, uric acid crystals may form in and around, surrounding the joints of the body. This once again can cause pain and aches. But as we had let you know earlier, celery has diuretic properties which means uric acid is expelled from the body through increased urination. This works out well for patients with swollen joints as the uric acid can no longer cause discomfort to the sufferer.
Celery – A Superfood?
A superfood is any food that is rich in nutrients and is extremely beneficial for health and well-being. Substances like vitamin B6, riboflavin, vitamin E and K, phosphorous, iron, phytonutrients are all present in considerable amounts in celery. They play major roles in keeping our bodies healthy and fit. It has properties that can beat cancer, dementia, ulcers and what not! So, if asked, then we can certainly say that while it may not be as nutrition-filled as other superfoods, it certainly is close enough!
Common Celery Recipes
Celery goes great with the meat sauce in your lasagna along with carrots and onions. But did you know that you can even enjoy delicious, healthy and creamy celery soup? Braised celery is yet another great choice for a side dish on your dinner table!
These were only a mere few of the health benefits of celery. It is undoubtedly a healthy option for a snack and definitely a much appreciated veggie to be used in soups or salads. From preventing major diseases from spreading their roots in your body to helping you shred those extra couple of pounds from last holiday, celery can do it all. So, on your next stop at the grocery store, do make sure you leave with a cart filled with celery!