Celery: A Great Snack To Keep
Celery is a very popular finger food served as snacks at parties, put in children's lunches, and, for the adults, it is sometimes added as a garnishment for Bloody Mary's. The stalks make an easy snack! Just fill them with peanut butter, sour cream, dips, or just use them as dipping sticks for salsas.
We eat this food and never even consider the health benefits that are associated with it. Celery is available to us year around but is at its best during the growing summer season and from a local area. If you have a garden, you can choose to grow your own. It will grow 12-16 inches in height, and will have nice green leaves that can be used as seasonings for soups and salads.
Which Vitamins And Minerals Are Found In Celery?
What Are The Benefits Of These Vitamins and Minerals?
There have been numerous scientific studies on vitamin C and has been recognized to help support the immune system, reduce cold symptoms, and reduce the severity of inflammatory conditions such as asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, and osteoarthritis. The free radicals can oxidize cholesterol that may lead to heart attack and strokes and lower cholesterol. As a diuretic the sodium and potassium are the minerals that are important in regulating fluid balance in our bodies and helps remove excess fluids. This vegetable contains pthalides, which can help relax the muscles surrounding the arteries causing them to dilate. With more space inside the arteries, the blood can flow at a lower pressure. The potential for reducing high blood pressure has long been recognized by Chinese medicine practitioners, and Western science researchers. There are compounds called coumarins that stop free radicals from damaging cells and mutant cell growth that might become cancerous.
How to Buy and Store
When buying, choose the stalks that are darker green with green leaves. Avoid stalks that are light green with yellow leaves. It should be crisp and easy to break, as well as compact without stalks that are loose and limp.
To store, place it in the refrigerator in the crisper bin. Use a plastic bag or a sealed container. When you store celery, wipe it dry with paper towels to keep it from being wet, since this can deplete some of its nutrients and vitamins. Freezing is not recommended.
Tips For Preparing:
Cleaning celery is easy! Simply cut off the top leaves and along the base. Gently wash the stalks using the spayer attachment on your sink, spraying the stalks with cool water. Use a sharp knife to cut into the lengths you want.
Don't throw out the leaves! Use them in salads such as tuna or chicken salads for a healthier sandwich. The leaves contain most of the vitamin C, calcium and potassium. When using the leaves, it is best to use them within a few days to prevent them from wilting. For celery that has wilted, sprinkle it lightly with water and place it in the refrigerator for several hours and allow it to become crisp again.
A Few Quick Serving Ideas:
Enjoy the delicious tradition of eating peanut butter on the stalks. Use celery leaves in salads. Serve topped with your favorite soft cheese, walnuts, pecans, bacon bits, or the all time favorite...peanut butter! Make your own V-8 juice using tomato juice, carrots, parsley, cilantro, kale, spinach, onions, garlic and other spices. This makes a very healthy drink! Chop it up and add it to your favorite tuna fish or chicken salad recipe. Add the leaves and sliced celery stalks to casseroles, stir fry, stews, juices, soups, salsas, and more.
Eating celery before or after vigorous exercise can trigger mild to severe allergic reactions in some people but for all the health benefits that it provides, it should become more of a staple in our daily diet. It is the perfect snack food since it is low in calories and high in fiber, minerals, and vitamins. Easy to prepare, celery is fun to eat and best of all its good for you...now, that is a winning combination!!!
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