Celery is an underappreciated vegetable. Americans don’t use celery much. Usually we see it as a edible utensil for consuming dip or hummus. Celery is cheap and has so many nutritional benefits you may want to consider including it in your diet regularly. It can be used in lots of different ways
In its long history, celery first appeared as a medicine and then later as a food. The initial mention of the medicinal properties of celery leaves dates back to the 9th century B.C., when celery is mentioned in the Odyssey, the famous epic by the Greek poet, Homer. It was not until the Middle Ages that celery’s use expanded beyond medicine into the culinary world. Eating this delicious crunchy vegetable raw did not really become popular until the 18th century in Europe. Celery was introduced in the United States early in the 19th century.
Some people don’t eat celery because they think it is high in salt. Yes, celery is rich in sodium, but is very different than table salt which can cause many health problems. The sodium that is available in celery is soluble and organic (live), and is essential for the body. This organic sodium allows the body to use the other nutrients that are taken into the body. Every cell in our body is constantly bathed in a salt solution, and if the salt level is not in balance, dehydration occurs. This is why celery juice is a perfect rehydration drink for athletes.
Health Benefits of Celery
Lowers Blood Pressure
Celery contains pthalides, which have been shown to lower blood pressure by lowering the levels of stress hormones in your blood. This relaxes the muscles around the arteries allowing vessels to expand, giving your blood more room thereby reducing pressure. The calcium, magnesium, and potassium in celery also helps regulate blood pressure.
Laboratory studies also indicate that the phthalides, a chemical in celery, may help reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol. According to researchers at the University of Chicago, celery reduces cholesterol levels by as much as 7 points with as little as 2 stalks a day. The pthalides in celery may also lower cholesterol by increasing bile acid secretion.
Celery contains coumarins which have been shown to be effective in the prevention of cancer. A study at Rutgers University of New Jersey found that celery also contains a number of compounds that help prevent cancer cells from spreading.
Celery helps regulate fluid balance in the cells. Its well know diuretic effect comes from its balance of potassium and sodium which helps to flush out excess fluid from the body
Anti-Inflammatory for Healthy Joints
Celery provides relief for people suffering from arthritis, rheumatism and gout. Celery is believed to have anti-inflammatory properties helping to reduce swelling and pain around the joints. This is because celery contains a diuretic substance, which help to remove uric acid crystals that build up around joints.
Celery will not directly cause you to lose weight, but it is a great aid in weight loss because it is very low in calories and has a lot of filling fiber. Drinking celery juice will reduce your cravings for sweets.
Because of the high calcium content, celery calms the nerves. Also the very special essential oils that give celery its characteristic smell help to regulate the nervous system, and are very calming. Its high magnesium levels help people to relax into a soothing and restful sleep.
Balances pH – Water Containing
Celery juice one of the most hydrating foods we can put in our bodies. Because it is incredibly alkalizing, it equalizes the body’s PH, which is vital for peak health.
The high amounts of vitamin C in celery promote a healthy immune system.
Promotes Good Elimination
Celery contains special nutrients in the fiber which aid bowel movements. This makes celery a natural laxative that helps relieve constipation.
How to Use Celery
Grill – Brush celery stalks with olive oil & grill until slightly brown.
Serve with topped olives
Stir Fry – Cut into 2” long matchsticks to add to any stir-fry. You can
also use the leaves which are very flavorful
Braised – serve as a side vegetable with grains, fish or meat (recipe
Add to Smoothie – cut up 1-2 stalks, blend into any smoothie for
additional nutrition & fiber
Juice – Celery juice taste great so it is a great base for any vegetable
Stuffed – Stuff raw celery stalks with a little almond butter
and top with goji berries for a well balanced snack to balance your
blood sugar (photo above)
Salad – Chop or slice celery, add to salad for extra crunch
Soup – Sauté chopped celery with onions in almost any soup
- 4 stalks celery, rinsed and trimmed
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger
- ½ cup stock (veg or chicken) or water, divided
- ½ tablespoon dark sesame oil
- 1 ½ tablespoons gluten free soy sauce or tamari
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
- Pinch of Celtic sea salt
- Use a paring knife or peeler to remove the toughest outer strings from the stalks.
- Cut into 2 ½” long pieces and then cut in 3- 4 pieces the long way so you get medium size sticks.
- Heat coconut oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add celery, sauté 3 minutes.
- Add garlic and ginger and cook for 1 minute until garlic & ginger are fragrant and celery is just beginning to soften slightly.
- Add ¼ cup of the stock, soy sauce, sesame oil and red pepper flakes. Stir to combine.
- Cover and reduce heat to low. Cook until celery is beginning to get tender approximately 3 minutes.
- Uncover raise heat to medium and allow the celery to continue to cook for an additional 5- 8 minutes or until the liquid has evaporated and the celery begins to brown.
- Add remaining ¼ cup of stock. Stir scraping all the brown bits off of the bottom of the pan. Mixing thoroughly so all the celery gets coated with the brown bits and stock. Cook until celery is tender another minute or two.
- Transfer to a serving dish and garish with sesame seeds