If you asked a random person on the street if celery had any REAL nutritional value, the answer would probably be no.
Most people assume that celery, which is made of about 95% water, is a good crunchy filler for weight loss diets and a simple low-cal vehicle for their favorite peanut butter.
And that’s about it.
In fact, nothing could be farther from the truth.
Here are a few amazing facts about celery you are probably not aware of:
- Three medium stalks of celery have about the same amount of potassium (325mg) as a small banana. We kid you not! This may help explain why celery should be part of any blood pressure lowering plan (hint: potassium helps regulate blood pressure).
- Celery actually makes a wonderful electrolyte replacement post exercise. That’s because in addition to its high water and potassium content, it also contains small amounts of natural sodium (about 96mg in 3 stalks). Bonus . . . you won’t have to worry about the artificial colors or sugars found in most recovery drinks. Phew.
- Celery contains compounds that repel cancer cells. Repel! They are known as apigenin and luteolin, both of which help block something called angiogenesis, the process by which tumors form new blood vessels. Apigenin is also an aromatase inhibitor. Aromatase is an enzyme that helps produce estrogen, which promotes the growth of certain types of cancer.
- Due to the water and fiber content (about 2 grams fiber in a cup), celery can help “move along” sluggish bowels.
- Juicing celery has even more added benefits as you can fit a ton of nutrients in one glass; celery juice also has significant anti-inflammatory properties so it’s wonderful for heart health and autoimmune conditions (and is part of many cancer protocols).
Wow who knew celery delivered such an amazing nutritional punch? Now that you are revved up to eat more celery, here are some ideas for how to work them into your weekly meals and snacks:
- Juice celery alone, or with carrots, beets, and apple to make a delicious alkalizing powerhouse elixir (though feel free to use celery in any juice recipe)
- Add chopped celery to tuna or chicken salad (or any green salad)
- Spread with hummus or guacamole, or dip into your favorite salad dressing
- Blend into a smoothie (see awesome recipe below)
- Saute with onions and garlic and add to brown rice or quinoa
- Roast it! We so often think of eating celery raw but it’s absolutely delicious roasted with a little olive oil (alone or with other veggies)
- Stir fry with ginger, garlic, water chestnuts using a touch of sesame oil and tamari
By the way, celery leaves are also packed with good nutrients. They can be used in recipes like pesto, salads or soup as a replacement for or along with herbs like cilantro or parsley.
Celery IS on the Dirty Dozen list so we do advise buying organic.
Citrus Celery Smoothie
This smoothie should be in the dictionary under the word refreshing! It also boasts about 6-7 servings of fruits and veggies in ONE drink. The combo may seem strange but the end result is amazing.
- 1 cup filtered water
- 2 medium-large stalks celery
- 1/2 grapefruit
- 1/2 cup cold mango or pineapple, fresh or frozen (both are delicious)
- about 5″ piece cucumber
- large handful greens like spinach or Romaine
- small knob peeled ginger (optional)
Put all ingredients in blender and blend for about 20 seconds. Enjoy!