Celery is often thought of as a crunchy low calorie option due to its high water content. However, this veggie is bursting with numerous vitamins and minerals including molybdenum folate, potassium, manganese, B vitamins and vitamin K. It is also rich in a range of antioxidants and this combination of nutrients can provide us with many surprising health benefits.
The special and varied phytonutrients in celery provide anti-inflammatory and antioxidant protection. New research suggests that some of these phytonutrients actually help to reduce certain inflammatory molecules in the blood, helping to reduce unwanted inflammation in the body.
The anti-inflammatory protection can be particularly helpful in the digestive tract. The pectin based, non-starchy substances contained within celery, protect the digestive tract against inflammation and new research suggests that these substances may decrease the risk of stomach ulcers.
There are specific nutrients in celery that can provide cardiovascular benefits. These nutrients are believed to help our blood vessel walls relax. Consequently the blood vessels may be more flexible and able to enlarge, helping to maintain low blood pressure.
Tip: Make use of the celery leaves as they contain the most calcium, potassium and vitamin C. However use the leaves within 2 days in order to avoid them wilting.
Celery can be thinly sliced and steamed to make celery spaghetti and it is great as crunchy crudités dipped in nut butter, tahini or hummus. Conversely, this fantastic veggie is just as delightful in chicken or minestrone soup, chopped in to salads, stir fried, roasted, braised or juiced!
My weekly ‘Nutritional Nugget’ written for Fields to Fork Organics
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