Out of all the vegetables, celery tends to get the short end of the stick (or should I say stalk?).
COBS Online held a survey on what were the most disliked vegetables amongst adults—and shocker, celery took first place. I’ll admit, celery may be somewhat bitter; it may even be slightly boring to look at, compared to the “beauty” of a bright orange carrot or a juicy red pepper.
But I bet you didn’t know that celery is one of the healthiest foods on the planet—I would go so far as to say that celery is a super green!Celery has a host of benefits—it helps lower blood pressure, assist with weight loss, it’s completely organic, and it goes great with ranch dip. Let’s take a further look at this green superfood.
Celery Shopping 101
When you go grocery shopping, make sure to purchase celery stalk that is crisp and firm when you pick it up—it should easily snap when you break it apart. Always look for celery stalks that have pale or bright green leaves on them; avoid the ones that have yellow or brown leaves.If you won’t be eating the celery right away, it is a good idea to store it as soon as you get home. Put the celery in a produce bag and store it in your refrigerator for anywhere from five to seven days—this will preserve the flavonoids and antioxidants.
Celery is packed with nutritional value that should not be ignored:
- Low in calories:The calorie intake from one serving of celery is almost invisible—it accounts for approximately one percent of your daily intake. There are about 17 calories in each serving of celery, which is why it is considered a healthy powerhouse.
- Vitamins: Celery contains a whopping 32.2 mcg of vitamin K, which works out to about 40% of your daily intake. Celery also contains 494 IU of vitamin A (10% of your daily intake) and 3.4 mg of vitamin C (about six percent of what your daily intake should be).
- Minerals: Celery contains valuable minerals including calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, and sodium, just to name a few.
Top 10 Health Benefits of Eating Celery
Celery has plenty of health benefits and fantastic nutritional value, but it tends to fly under the radar because of the many other fruits and vegetables that are also high in nutrients.
Here are 10 super health benefits celery carries that proves why it is considered one of the healthiest foods in the world:
1. Weight loss: One large stalk of celery contains only 10 calories—I recommend that you immediately add this vegetable to your diet. Feel free to throw it in a soup, salad, or stir fry—or munch on it throughout the day with hummus.
2. Reduces inflammation: If you’re prone to joint pain, lung infections, asthma, or even acne, eating celery on a daily basis can bring you some relief.
3. Keeps you calm: The minerals in celery, specifically the magnesium, actually help soothe the nervous system. I recommend that if you also usually have anxiety before going to bed, try eating some celery. It will help you sleep better.
4. Aids your digestive system: The high water and fiber content found in celery can aid your digestive system.
5. Contains “good”salts: There is sodium in celery, but it is not the same as what is found in table salt. Celery contains organic sodium, which is natural, safe to consume, and essential for your health.
6. Helps your eyes: The vitamin A that is found in celery protects the eyes and can help prevent age-related vision loss.
7. Reduces bad cholesterol: A component called butylphthalide gives celery its color and flavor. That same component also reduces bad cholesterol. If you eat two stalks of celery every day, you can actually reduce your cholesterol level by seven points.
8. Lower blood pressure: Phthalide is another compound found in celery—it has been proven to increase circulatory health.
9. Increase your sex drive: Dr. Alan R. Hirsch, Director of the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation, states that two pheromones found in celery, androstenone and androstenol, can actually boost your arousal levels.
10. Helps fight cancer: Two studies that were conducted at the University of Illinois show that the flavonoid luteolin found in celery actually decreases the growth of cancer cells. Another study also shows that consuming celery on a regular basis can delay the formation of breast cancer cells.
Delicious Celery Recipe
The best way to get the key nutrients from celery is to have fun with it! Below is just one healthy recipe that you can try with celery:
Parmesan Celery Salad (Serves 4-8):
- 8 celery stalks, with loose strings stripped
- 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
- 4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for topping (optional)
- 1 1/2 cups (10 oz.) of cooked garbanzo or cannellini beans (heated)
- 3 tablespoons of golden raisins or currants
- 1/2 cup (1.5 oz.) of sliced almonds, toasted
- Pinch of sea salt (to taste)
- Fresh herbs, herb flowers, or reserved celery leaves (finely chopped)
- 1. Slice the celery into thinner stalks, about 1/8-inch or so.
- 2. In a small mixing bowl, combine the parmesan, olive oil, and lemon juice to make a paste.
- 3. In another larger bowl, toss the beans with the parmesan mixture.
- 4. Then add the celery, raisins or currants, and most of the almonds.
- 5. Taste and add a bit of sea salt if required.
- 6. Before serving, sprinkle the rest of the toasted almonds and a little bit of grated Parmesan on top.
Celery may be a somewhat bland vegetable to look at, but with all of the healthy, nutritious benefits that come along with it, you’ll be too full of energy to even notice.
“Celery most disliked vegetable among adults: survey,” Japan Today web site, November 1 2011;
Krishan, S., “11 Super Health Benefits in Just One Celery Stalk,”Care2 website; http://www.care2.com/greenliving/11-super-health-benefits-in-just-1-celery-stalk.html, last accessed April 28, 2015.
Nordqvist, J., “What are the health benefits of celery?” Medical News Today website,August 30, 2014; http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/270678.php.
Staudacher, A., “March is National Celery Month!”Meals to Heal website; http://meals-to-heal.com/blog/march-is-national-celery-month/, last accessed April 28, 2015.