Benefits of Celery – You’ll often find celery stalks in cocktail parties offered with tasty creamy dips. You’ve always loved the crunch and the texture and yet, you haven’t found the time to serve it at home. How come? Celery isn’t only a party food. It should become a more regular diet staple, being low in calories and rich in fiber.
According to the Institute of Medicine, men should take in 38 grams and women 25 grams of fiber every day. Why? Take note of the following functions of fiber to the body:
- Maintains proper levels of cholesterol
- Protects against certain forms of cancer include uterine, ovarian, and breast
- Improves digestive health
- Slows down sugar absorption, which in turn balances blood sugar levels
- Reduces heart disease
- Improves appearance of the skin
- Helps in weight management by making one feel full longer
Unfortunately, the recommended daily allowance for fiber isn’t usually met. In fact, most Americans only consume 15 grams, as reported by the Harvard School of Public Health. Eating whole grains and vegetables like celery can certainly increase your intake.
How does the fiber in celery do its magic?
The soluble fiber that you can find inside a celery stalk is made up of gum, pectin and mucilage. Whenever you eat a stalk of this veggie, the fiber absorbs water to form a bulky mass inside the digestive tract. By slowing down the movement of food in the digestive tract, cholesterol and glucose are absorbed more slowly. This fiber also attaches grabs heavy metals, toxins, and other unwanted elements and flushes them out of the body, leaving the system cleaner and healthier.
How much fiber does celery have?
One serving of chopped fresh celery has about 1.7 grams of fiber—1 gram insoluble and 0.7 gram soluble. Of the recommended daily allowance for fiber, 20 to 30 percent should be of soluble fiber. That’s about 9.5 grams of soluble fiber for men and 6 grams for women. A cup of celery provides 7 percent of a man’s soluble fiber needs while 11 percent for women.
1. Packed with nutrition
Apart from the numerous benefits of the fiber in celery, this vegetable is also rich in other nutrients like the antioxidant called phytonutrients, which protect the body from the oxidative stress and inflammation. It also has vitamin K, which promotes healthy formation of bones and maintenance of balance of potassium, sodium and other electrolyte minerals.
2. Fights bad breath
Are you having problems with your breath? Munch on a bunch of celery that can help fight this problem. The rough texture of celery can scrub bacteria off the tongue and teeth. As you know, food particles that get stuck in between the teeth and at the back of the tongue are the main culprit for foul mouth odor.
3. Protects against bladder infections
Celery, particularly the seed extracts, can treat and protect against bladder infections, having anti-inflammatory and analgesic capabilities. Celery is also a diuretic, which can be helpful for people with urinary tract infections (UTIs).
4. Improves digestive health
This veggie can ward off numerous health problems associated with the digestive system including hemorrhoids and colon issues.
5. Lowers risk of diabetes
Since fiber slows down the absorption of sugar in the bloodstream and helps maintain proper glucose levels, celery can tone down the risk of diabetes or help people suffering from this condition.
6. Wards off heart disease
In a study that was published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology Foundation, it was found that among the nearly 40,000 women evaluated over the course of six years, those that regularly consumed fiber of about 26 grams a day had significantly lower risk of heart disease than those who didn’t. It’s safe to say that with constant consumption of celery, you will be less prone to heart attacks, hypertension and other cardiovascular ailments.
7. Promotes weight management
Have you noticed that in diet websites you’ll always find a photo of a celery stalk? That’s because this veggie can help in your weight loss program. How? By adding bulk less the calories to your diet, you’ll feel full for a longer period. You’ll have fewer cravings for foods and will have better chances in sticking to your diet.
8. Some celery recipes to try at home
Here are two simple but yummy recipes that you should definitely try cooking at home:
9. Celery stir-fry
Ingredients: canola oil, 3 chile peppers, 4 cups of julienned celery, salt and pepper
Heat the oil in a frying pan. Saute the chiles. Once the chiles are toasted, put the julienned celery. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve it while it’s hot.
10. Celery ham wraps
Ingredients: celery sticks, 200 grams of cream cheese, strips of ham
Preheat the oven to 190 degrees Celsius or 375 Fahrenheit. Fill up the celery sticks with cream cheese. Wrap a ham around each celery stick. Place them on a baking tray and then bake for about 20 minutes or until a little brown.
Take advantage of the nutrients and fiber in celery and you’ll never again experience any digestive trouble.