Allow me to introduce one of my favorite foods: celery!
It really seems so humble, but I have found myself loving it more and more everyday. It is light, refreshing, has natural sodium and minerals (that we need), is great as a snack, in your salad, in your smoothie or soup. It is known as a wonderful cleansing and “diet” food because it is low in calories and high in fiber. In fact, you burn more eating and digesting it than you actually take in. I use it a lot as a digestive aid for “denser” foods like nut butters, nuts and seeds or chicken. The high enzyme content helps to digest these foods meaning less indigestion, but also less fat storage. And the minerals and protein in cashews, for example are much easier to digest when paired with some fresh stalks of celery.
Below are some excerpts from an article from NaturalNews.com by Sheryl Waters:
“Fresh, light green celery with glossy ribs is the best for eating. Celery is truly economical; all parts of the plant are edible and one cup contains only about twenty calories. There is no waste. It’s a great food and has a number of known health benefits.
Celery can provide a sense of calmness. It can also help lower blood pressure. People with gout should be fans of celery because it lowers uric acid.
Drinking fresh celery juice is said to reduce appetite. Taken before a meal it may help with weight loss.
People seldom think of celery as a real food in and of itself. In today’s culinary world, celery is used as a seasoning, a garnish or a snack, but Hippocrates considered it a medicine and recommended it for kidney health.
High in calcium and Vitamin C, celery should be a part of your daily diet. It is an excellent finger food and best when eaten raw. Avoid the large, fibrous bottom ends and for best flavor, store celery in a part of the refrigerator where it won’t freeze.”
I have encountered some people who find celery boring or lacking in flavor. My suggestion is to pair it with more flavorful items. Fill celery ribs with almond butter and pair with an apple for a wonderful snack. They can be used for dipping sticks with guacamole, salsa, egg salad or chicken salad. Other options include pairing with artichoke dip or tapenade.
If you are fortunate enough to have a high-speed blender, blend celery, apple and coconut water for a post workout electrolyte boost.
I have even processed celery, zucchini, cilantro and garlic in the Vita-Mix or food processor, then combined it with mashed avocado for a tasty veggi-guac dip or wrap filling.
Ryder, E. J. 1979. Leafy Salad Vegetables. AVI Publishing.
Newall, C.A., Anderson, L.A., & Phillipson, J.D. 1996. Herbal Medicines: A Guide for Health-care Professionals, The Pharmaceutical Press, London.
Bartram, T. 1995. Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine, 1st edn.,Grace Publishers, Bournemouth.