Celery is a well known, yet underestimated, vegetable that is found in many of our diets. It is often thought of as a boring side dish with no nutritional value, but in reality, celery is packed with vitamins and minerals, is low in calories, and is used as a base ingredient in many recipes. Once you understand all the benefits of this underrated vegetable, you’ll be adding it to your grocery list on a regular basis!
What is Celery?
Celery is a highly nutritious vegetable that belongs to the plant family Apiaceae. It is composed mainly of water and fiber, making it a low-calorie food. Celery is a popular ingredient in various dishes because of its mild, grassy flavour and crunchy texture. Available in green and white varieties, its crunchy stalks can be eaten raw, or cooked.
Celery offers an impressive array of vitamins and minerals, plus fibre. It is high in vitamins A, C, K, and folate; potassium, calcium, and magnesium; as well as antioxidants and polyphenols. It also contains phytonutrients, which are natural compounds found in plants that protect against disease.
In addition to providing vitamins and minerals, celery is rich in fiber. Studies suggest that the fiber content of celery can help support digestive health, lower cholesterol, and regulate blood sugar levels. Additionally, fiber helps keep you full and keeps you feeling satisfied for longer periods of time.
The rich concentration of vitamins, minerals, and polyphenols makes celery an incredibly healthy vegetable. Studies show that people who eat celery on a regular basis have lower blood pressure, better cholesterol levels, and improved overall heart health.
Celery is also believed to have anti-inflammatory properties, which can help ease joint pain and reduce the risk of arthritis and other conditions. Some studies have even suggested that celery may have cancer-fighting properties and could help slow the progression of tumors.
Finally, celery is packed with antioxidants and polyphenols, which can help protect against oxidative damage. Oxidative damage can cause inflammation as well as cell damage, both of which can lead to age-related diseases.
Cooking with Celery
Now that you know all of the health benefits of celery, let’s talk about how to use it in the kitchen. Celery adds a refreshing crunch to salads and it makes a great addition to veggie trays and party platters. You can also sauté it with other vegetables for a tasty and simple side dish.
In addition to being a healthy snack, celery is a great ingredient for recipes. Many soups and stews call for diced celery, as it adds flavor and texture. Celery also tastes great when paired with cream cheese and herbs, making it a versatile topping for sandwiches, wraps, and crackers.
You can even use celery to make creative and light desserts. Celery sorbet and celery mousse are two amazing ways to end any meal with a sweet, fruity, and healthy treat.
As you can see, celery is much more than just a boring side dish! Packed with vitamins and minerals, this crunchy vegetable is a great addition to any healthy diet. Whether you snack on raw celery sticks, add it to a sandwich, or use it as the base for a soup or stew, celery provides flavor, texture, and a ton of health benefits. If you’re not already adding celery to your meals, now is the time to make this nutrient-rich vegetable a part of your diet!