If you take celery just as an afterthought and consider it only a crunchy and low-calorie vegetable, it’s time to think again and consider it a part of your healthy diet. This often-underrated vegetable is a good source of calcium, vitamins, potassium and magnesium. Almost every part of celery can be eaten and keeps your heart and your health perfectly well.

Today, over 1 billion pounds of celery are produced every year in the United States to be served as a “major plate vegetable”. Also, this unsung veggie is available in different varieties including Australian celery, Indian celery, Vietnamese celery, water celery etc.

Let’s check the 8 amazing benefits of celery below:

1. It combats cancer

One of the best benefits of celery is its anti-cancer properties. Studies by the University of Illinois surprisingly found that celery being rich in a compound called luteolin helps to lower the growth of cancer cells in pancreas. Another study reported that a regular intake of celery is related to lower risk of breast cancer as it inhibits the formation of breast cancer cells.

2. It lowers blood pressure

High blood pressure or hypertension is a gateway to serious health conditions including fatal heat attack, and disability. To reduce the risk of suffering from these life-threatening diseases, choosing a proper diet effective in controlling blood pressure is of paramount importance. Among all superfoods, celery is the option you can’t miss!

Celery contains a compound called phthalide which reduces the production of stress hormones, thereby relaxing muscles around the arteries and facilitating blood circulation. Also, potassium in celery helps stabilize heart rate and lower blood pressure.

3. It lowers cholesterol

High cholesterol in the body is a serious issue as it leads to problems like gallstone. Taking celery regularly helps maintain normal cholesterol level to produce hormones and and regulate vitamin D in our bodies. What’s more, a unique compound called 3-n-butylphthalide (BuPh) with the function of lowering cholesterol and maintaining heart-health is present in celery.

An animal test conducted by the University of Singapore showed that celery extracts helped rats to lower their level of lipids significantly, thereby lowering cholesterol. On a similar note, another research by the Chicago University showed that two stalks of celery a day can reduce bad cholesterol (LDL) by up to 7 points.

4. It keeps eye healthy

Vitamins are one of the most important nutrients our bodies need. Fo example, they are important to our eyes to keep our vision intact. The consumption of only one big stalk of celery can contribute up to 10 percent of our daily need for Vitamin E. Also, the presence of antioxidant like flavonoids and polyphenol phytonutrients in celery helps to moisturize our eyes.

5. It reduces inflammation

Despite acute inflammation being important to the body, chronic inflammation might lead to serious issues including Alzheimer’s disease and diabetes. This is where celery comes in handy.

Hippocrates, the father of medicine, wrote that this vegetable can be used to calm our nerves and provide a great relief to joint pains, asthma, acne or lung infections.

6. It boosts man’s fertility

Many experts believe the era of “sperm crisis” has come because the sperm count in young men today is much lesser than their fathers. The decrease in sperm concentration and semen production has made fertility a pressing problem for the current generation.

Dr. Alan R. Hirsch, Director of the Smeel and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation, says two pheromones in celery–androstenone and androstenol–can boost your arousal levels. Another good news is celery oil has been found effective in boosting the number and motility of sperm, when it is used together with vitamin E.

7. It improves digestion

Your body can absorb nutrients well only when your digestive system functions properly. Having hard stools or constipation are signs of improper digestion. The high water content of celery facilitates digestion and eases excretion. Similarly, a compound called NBP in celery improves circulation within the intestines, thereby helping the body to detox.

8. It helps to lose weight

Obesity is another day-to-day problem that bother us. People fight to pick the best diet for themselves in order to lose weight. During this process, it is sometimes difficult to pick foods low in calorie, but rich in nutrients. This is where celery places itself as a perfect diet for losing weight.

While being able to provide vital nutrients like magnesium and potassium, one large stalk of celery contains only 10 calories. It also helps to regulate lipids and fats in the body to control the metabolism and restrict obesity.

How can we include celery in our diet?

Together with these amazing health benefits of celery, there are some recipes that you want to try out and make for yourself to include in your daily diet. Here are 5 best celery recipes:

Buffalo Style Celery Sticks

Buffalo style celery sticks

Required:

  • 4 ounces blue cheese
  • 2 ounces cream cheese
  • 6 large celery stalks
  • Cayenne pepper

Get a small bowl and mix 2 ounces of blue cheese and cream cheese together until they become smooth. Rinse and dry the celery sticks and stuff them with cheese mixture. Take another 2 ounces of blue cheese and crumble on the top and sprinkle cayenne pepper around it.

Minty green olive-celery salsa

Minty Green Olive salsa celery

Required:

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, lightly smashed and peeled
  • 1 cup finely diced celery (3 ribs)
  • 1 cup finely chopped pitted green olives (5 ounces)
  • 2 tablespoons drained capers
  • 2 tablespoons chopped mint
  • Freshly ground pepper

Start heating olive oil in a small skillet and add garlic cloves to it until it turns golden for about 2 minutes. Let it cool for sometime and transfer it to a bowl. Add some diced celery, chopped green olives, capers and mint to the bowl. Season the tossed salsa with freshly ground pepper and you’re ready to serve.

Italian Celery and Mushroom Salad

Italian celery with mushroom

Required: 

  • 7 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided
  • 1 pound mushrooms, delicate varieties such as cremini, oyster, or shiitake are best, wiped clean as sliced as thin as possible
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 8 ribs celery, shaved paper thin (use a mandolin if you have one)
  • 1 cup shaved parmigiano reggiano cheese
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley

Take a skillet and heat 3 table spoon olive oil over medium high heat. Add mushroom and saute after the oil gets hot until they turn golden brown, for about 5-6 minutes. Season the mixture with little salt and pepper and let it cool for sometime. To prepare the salad, take 4 table spoon of olive oil and whisk it with lemon juice. Add a little salt and pepper and mix it with celery, cooled mushrooms, cheese and parsley.

Celery soda

Celery soda

Required:

  • 7 – 8 large stalks celery (about 3/4 lb) (plus inner stalks for garnish)
  • Large lemon
  • 1tablespoon black pepper corns
  • 8green cardamom pods
  • 1 1/4cups water (12 oz)
  • 1cup sugar (7 oz)
  • Seltzer water (about 2 quarts for the entire batch of syrup)

Clean celery stalks and slice it to thin pieces and set it aside. Next, add water and sugar to a sauce pan and start boiling. After it reaches a boil, add the celery stalks and keep the heat for about 1 minute. Add pepper, cardamom and lemon zest to the mixture and stir the solution. Let the mixture cool for sometime and extract the syrup from it by pressing the celery. Juice the lemon, and add 3 tablespoons of the juice to the syrup. Stir to combine and keep it in the refrigerator, covered. Mix the syrup with seltzer water and serve over ice with a tender inner celery stalk as garnish if desired.

Braised celery

Braised celery

Required:

  • 8 stalks of celery, scrubbed and ends trimmed (chop and reserve leaves)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup of vegetable stock

Cut celery stalks into 1-inch slices diagonally. Take a skillet and heat the butter over medium heat and add the cut slices along with pepper and salt. Cook it until it becomes tender and add broth to it. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer the mixture for around 5 minutes. Taste for seasoning and serve immediately, garnished with reserved chopped leaves.

Featured photo credit: mama_mia via shutterstock.com

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