Celery is a vegetable belonging to the Apiaceae family. It is well known for its crunchy stalks, which people often consume as a low calorie snack.
However, celery is not only a good low calorie food. There are a number of other reasons why you might want to include this vegetable in your diet.
Celery is thought to be beneficial for the digestive tract and cardiovascular system.
In addition, the seeds of the plant are also commonly used in medicine to help relieve pain.
Nutritional breakdown of celery
Antioxidants – celery is a very rich source of antioxidants. The vegetable contains the following phytonutrients: phenolic acids, flavonols, dihydrostilbenoids, flavones, furanocoumarins, and phytosterols.
Vitamins and minerals – celery is very rich in vitamin K and also contains folate, vitamin A, potassium, and vitamin C.
Dietary fiber – despite being mainly water, celery also provides a fair amount of dietary fiber. The vegetable contains 1.6 grams of fiber per 100 grams.
Lowering blood pressure
There is no strong evidence to suggest that celery seeds may help lower blood pressure among humans. However, a study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food assessed the effect that celery (Apium graveolens) seed extracts have on blood pressure (BP) in normotensive and deoxycorticosterone acetate-induced hypertensive rats.
The authors of the study concluded that “celery seed extracts have antihypertensive properties, which appears to be attributable to the actions of its active hydrophobic constitutes such as NBP and can be considered as an antihypertensive agent in chronic treatment of elevated BP.”
It helps you calm down: Celery for stress-relief? Oh yes! The minerals in celery, especially magnesium, and the essential oil in it, soothe the nervous system. If you enjoy a celery-based snack in the evening, you will sleep better.
It regulates the body’s alkaline balance, thus protecting you from problems such as acidity.
Celery contains a flavanoid called luteolin. Researchers believe that this particular flavonoid may posses anti-cancer properties.
A study published in Current Cancer Drug Targets said that “recent epidemiological studies have attributed a cancer prevention property to luteolin”. The authors of the study say that “luteolin sensitizes cancer cells to therapeutic-induced cytotoxicity through suppressing cell survival pathways.”
Crunchy Pear & Celery Salad
4 stalks celery, trimmed and cut in half crosswise
2 tablespoons cider, pear, raspberry or other fruit vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 ripe pears, preferably red Bartlett or Anjou, diced
1 cup finely diced white Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
6 large leaves butterhead or other lettuce
Soak celery in a bowl of ice water for 15 minutes. Drain and pat dry. Cut into 1/2-inch pieces. Whisk vinegar, honey and salt in a large bowl until blended. Add pears; gently stir to coat. Add the celery, cheese and pecans; stir to combine. Season with pepper. Divide the lettuce leaves among 6 plates and top with a portion of salad. Serve at room temperature or chilled.
Per serving: 215 calories; 13 g fat (5 g sat, 4 g mono); 20 mg cholesterol; 20 g carbohydrates; 5 g protein; 4 g fiber; 240 mg sodium; 219 mg potassium.
Nutrition Bonus: Calcium (15% daily value)
Carbohydrate Servings: 1
Celery Rosti with Coriander and Poached Egg
4 sticks of celery cut into very fine strips 3cm
1 bunch of coriander, chopped
1 large potato, peeled and grated
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
Sweet chilli sauce
½ tsp chilli powder
Olive oil for frying
4 slices of goats cheese 1cm thick
Dash of vinegar
Preheat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas 7.
Mix the celery, coriander and grated potato together. Season and add a few drops of chilli sauce and the chilli powder.
Divide the mixture into 4 and shape into patties. Fry in the oil in a shallow pan turning over once they have set to lightly brown on both sides – about 5-6 minutes.
Transfer the rosti to a lightly oiled baking tray and place in the oven for 15 minutes to finish off the cooking.
Place a slice of cheese on top of each rosti and put under a hot grill until lightly browned.
Meanwhile poach the eggs in deep simmering water with a little vinegar for 3-4 minutes.
Place the rosti on plates, add the poached egg on top and drizzle with the chilli sauce. Serve with a green salad and baby new potatoes.