It wouldn't be a stretch of the imagination to say that when most people think of celery, their brains automatically take them to a world of Bloody Marys and buffalo wings. But our green, stalky friend is so much more than something to munch on after you've finished your drink at Sunday brunch or when you're waiting on another plate of wings while watching a football game.
Celery is full of nutrients and other properties that make it not only one of the healthiest vegetables at our disposal, but also one of the most versatile and accessible options for a quick snack or even meal. With a package of celery and a handful of spices, you're only limited by your imagination when it comes to incorporating it in any number of dishes.
Here are just a few ways you can get the most of out of the package of celery that's been idly waiting in your refrigerator's crisper drawer:
There's more to celery than just taste, however, as the green vegetable has so many health benefits you'll be running to your local market to stock up.
Some will say that celery doesn't have any nutrients and that enjoying the vegetable won't do anything for diet, but that couldn't be further from the truth.
If you were to take, say, a medium stalk of celery, it would contain contain a small amount of carbs (1.2 grams) with half of those carbs coming from fiber, making it a tremendous source of fiber without having to load up on carbs or calories (6 calories per stalk). A study released by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that people with fiber-rich diets have a decreased chance of developing diabetes or heart disease.
Celery also contains Potassium (helps regulate blood pressure), folate (key to fetal development), and vitamins A (key for eye health) and K (helps with blood clotting and bone strength).
Now that we know that celery is actually pretty good for our bodies, let's take a look at some of its health benefits.
It may come as a surprise, but celery can help prevent and treat a long list of ailments affecting the human body. Let's take a look at some of the most common medicinal uses of celery, celery juice, and celery seed.
We've already covered that celery contains a decent amount of fiber per medium stalk, but now we can take a deeper dive into why that's such a good thing. Fiber can help lower cholesterol levels because the nutrient picks up excess cholesterol compounds in the gut and then carries those compounds and pushes them out with the rest of the bodily waste.
According to a study by the University of Chicago, phthalide, a chemical found in celery, can not only lower cholesterol levels by up to 7 percent, but can only lower blood pressure in patients by 14 percent. The study found that phthalide lowers stress hormones in the blood which allows blood vessels to expand and relax, providing better blood-flow throughout the body.
Celery is also used by people suffering from the effects of arthritis due to a high concentration of phytonutrients, anti-inflammatory compounds, and antioxidants found in the vegetable. All of these nutrients and compounds help with joint pain and inflammation that has long provided pain and immobilization for those suffering from the disease.
Urinary Tract Infections
Celery juice is touted as one of the best treatments for urinary tract infections as chemicals found within the makeup of celery help stimulate urine production while also aiding in the reduction of uric acid. This is also why celery is used to help fight off infections within the digestive system and reproductive organs.
Last, but certainly not least, celery is also instrumental in cancer prevention. Celery is rich in luteolin, which is believed to have cancer-fighting properties, according to the Molecular Biology and Lung Cancer Program, Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute. These components are able to seek out and neutralize certain cells before they become cancerous and begin to spread throughout the body.
Just about everyone and their mother (and grandmother) has a recipe for stuffing that has been passed down from generation to generation over the years, but for the few people who don't, here's a nice guide for the best holiday stuffing.
Stuffing not your thing? Try this delicious celery soup recipe. All you need is celery, potatoes, onions, and a little butter and you'll be well on your way to impressing everyone at your next family dinner.
It doesn't get much easier than this braised celery recipe. Just prepare your stalks of celery, add some seasoning, and then put these suckers in a skillet for a quick and easy side dish.
Roasted Salmon With Celery And Bulgur Salad
For those out there with a little more patience and skill, this roasted salmon with celery and bulgur salad might be right up your alley. You'll be able to taste the celery, salmon, and walnuts with every bite you take from this exquisite dish.
Celery And Lime Juice
And for all of the juicers out there, here's a little something to get your day started on the right foot.
But these aren't the only recipes involving celery. You can do just about anything with the crunchy green vegetable. And remember, celery is much more than just a stirrer for your Bloody Mary or garnish on your giant plate of wings.