The wonderful world of vegetables is a plethora of rainbow colored goodness, brimming with deliciousness and nutrient and health benefits. However, some veggies seem to get all the attention and much of the credit, such as kale, spinach and other leafy greens; beets, pomegranates and other red colored veggies, and so forth. But, what about some of those unassuming veggies, you know; the ones that we typically reach for in our grocery stores and natural food markets without even thinking twice….like celery! Celery has a subdued light green color which may not stand out as brightly in contrast to the other veggies, but it is packed with versatility AND nutrient and health benefits.
Celery is so incredibly versatile, that with the exception of desserts and some baked goods, it can be added to just about any other dish and cultural cuisine you can think of. For example: celery can be added to stir frys; potato salad; cold veggie salads; juiced alone or with other veggies; stuffed with a smear of nut butter or cream cheese; added to soups, stews and chilis, added to casseroles and sandwich wraps; added to egg salad or finely minced and sprinkled on top of deviled eggs. The opportunity to add celery into your favorite healthy dishes is endless. Now, why do I so highly recommend that you regularly add celery to your dishes? Take a look below for an amazing list of some of the powerful health benefits consuming celery can offer.
Colon and Digestive Health
* Celery is loaded with both soluble and insoluble fiber, making it a great natural remedy for constipation and keeping your digestive system running smoothly.
* Celery is a powerful diuretic, helping to relieve and prevent water retention while flushing stored toxins from ones body.
* Celery helps minimize the painful symptoms of gastric ulcers while simultaneously protecting the lining of your stomach from the formation of future gastric ulcers. This is accomplished via celery’s rich stores of apiuman and other pectins.
* Eating raw celery after meals containing fried and/or fatty foods can help offset the negative effects of intestinal bloating, cramps, gas and heartburn.
Heart and Vascular Health
* Celery is proven to effectively help lower blood pressure due to a unique compound found in celery called phthalides.
* The same phthalides that help lower blood pressure, also help to prevent one’s risk of heart attack due to the relaxing effects on the vascular system.
* Celery contains a combination of important compounds that are proven to help prevent atherosclerosis, and because celery is so highly alkalizing to the body, it helps to reduce harmful inflammation with the heart and vascular system, thereby reducing ones risk of heart disease, heart attack and stroke.
* Studies have shown that eating just 2 stalks of celery a day can help lower one’s levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) due to a plant compound found in celery called butylphthalide.
* Celery is brimming with vitamin A, important in maintaining good eye health and preventing the onset of age-related eye disease and conditions.
* Celery contains a compound called luteolin, and along with all the anti-inflammatory compounds and high fiber content found in celery, this combination has shown itself to be a powerful preventative against cancer.
* Celery helps protect against memory loss and stroke risk by preventing the buildup of plaque in the brain.
* Celery is known to help prevent and minimize the severity of menopausal symptoms.
* The compounds in celery flush dangerous uric acid from body tissues, helping to minimize and/or prevent pain, stiffness and other symptoms of gout and arthritis.
* Celery is rich in Vitamin’s A, B, C and K, making it a great dietary source for natural energy production, as a natural mood booster, and as a natural blood clotting agent.
Additional Health Benefits
* Celery’s low calorie, high water content, high nutrient content and high fiber content make it a great addition to a healthy weight loss diet plan.
* Celery and celery seeds help relieve and prevent bad breath by killing the bacteria that causes halitosis.
* Celery is rich in electrolytes, and either eaten raw or juiced, makes it a great electrolyte replacement for athletes, a day out in the sun or after exercise or other heavy physical exertion.
So, don’t let the simple celery stalk lead you to believe it’s low on the nutrition and health scale because nothing could be further from the truth. Make celery your family’s go-to easy snack, and try to incorporate it into more of your favorite dishes to extract its amazing health benefits.
Bon Veggie Appetit!
Gina “The Veggie Goddess” Matthews