Is Celery the Next “It” Vegetable?

Celery is one of those vegetables that doesn’t get too much buzz around it. Unlike Brussels sprouts or kale, both of which have become superstar veggies lately, celery just keeps going about its business without much fanfare. But the truth is, celery has health benefits that make it way more than a low-calorie snack for people on a diet. Sure it’s mostly water (95 percent in fact), but it’s also a great source of vitamin K, folate, potassium and fiber. It’s also super easy to work into your diet since you can use it in soups, stir fries, salads and snacks (ants on a log, anyone?).

Here are some other reasons why celery is a veggie that’s star is on the rise:

It can ease aches and pains. Eating more celery can reduce inflammation that’s connected to joint pain, lung infections, asthma and more.

It can chill you out. An essential mineral in celery, magnesium, can help reduce stress levels. If you choose to snack on it at night, it can even help you sleep better.

It can reduce “bad” cholesterol. The same component that gives celery its flavor and scent also may help lower your LDL cholesterol levels.

It boosts heart health. Researchers have found that eating raw celery is related to reduced blood pressure thanks to something called phthalides.

Here are a few simple ways to add celery to your meals and snacks:

  1. Dip celery sticks into a small amount of low-fat salad dressing, hummus or peanut butter.
  2. Add chopped celery to soups, stews and casseroles.
  3. Use celery leaves in soups, salads or any dishes requiring leafy greens (they’re packed with vitamin A and vitamin C, so don’t just throw them away!).

You may not realize it, but there is actually a lot of celery grown here in Michigan. You can often find it from mid-summer through the end of October (depending on the weather). For more ways to incorporate celery into your diet, check out these other blogs:

Photo credit: U.S. Department of Agriculture

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