How to Choose
When choosing celery it is important to look for stalks that are crisp and snap easily when pulled apart. The stalk should be tight and compact, and the leaves should be pale to bright green in color with no yellow or brown spots.
How to Cook
Celery can be eaten raw and is one of the few vegetables that can be cooked without a significant loss of nutritional value of celery. Remove the leaves and scrub the stalk well. Chop and cook covered in a small amount of boiling water or steam until crisp tender for about 5 to 6 minutes.
Celery health benefits are numerous because it is high in Vitamins C and K, potassium, folate and fiber. Eating every day may reduce swelling and pain around your joints and prevent urinary tract infections. It is also a diuretic and may help clean the kidneys and regulate fluid balance. Celery can boost the ability of your immune system to fight colds and flu and it promotes good cardiovascular health. It is also helpful in weight loss diets because it is low in calories and high in fiber. In certain situations, celery leaves can be eaten to control diabetes.
Celery contains coumarins which have the ability to stimulate white blood cell activity and reduce the severity of migraines. The Vitamin C helps prevent free radical damage and can help prevent inflammatory conditions such as arthritis and asthma. It also contains cancer fighting components that detoxify carcinogens. Eating celery on a regular basis can also help prevent high cholesterol and gall stones.
High Blood Pressure
Scientists have recently discovered compounds called phthalides which add a big punch to the nutritional value in celery. These compounds relax the muscles around the arteries which lets your blood vessels dilate. This process then opens up more space inside the arteries and allows your blood to flow at a lower pressure. Ironically, celery has a reputation as being a high-sodium vegetable with about 50 mg of sodium per stalk. However, two stalks of celery only provide about 4% of a person’s daily recommended amount of sodium. Therefore, a person would need to eat almost 50 stalks of celery to reach that amount. The pthalides, potassium, calcium and magnesium in celery all combine as a powerful blood pressure reducer.
As you can see clearly, celery health benefits are numerous and this is a vegetable you may want to add to your daily faire.
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