Celery is a good source of potassium, magnesium, calcium and vitamins A, B, C and K and is abundant in phytonutrients. Here are some of the ways celery will benefit you and a super simple, delicious celery soup recipe (thanks to my Mum and one that my daughter loves!):
* Celery contains a compound called L-3-N-Butylphthalide. This compound may prevent the accumulation of the brain plaques and tangles that cause memory loss and Alzheimer’s disease.
* Because of its diuretic properties — also thanks to the L-3-N-Butylphthalide compound — celery has long been used in places like Trinidad and Tobago to treat urinary tract and bladder infections. Celery helps you expel water from your body without also losing a lot of potassium. Due to this diuretic effect, watch your consumption of celery if you are currently on blood-pressure medication.
* Most experts believe that the most common cause of bad breath is poor dental hygiene.
In the absence of proper brushing and flossing, food particles on the teeth and the back of the tongue breed pungent bacteria.
Munching on a stalk of celery is helpful in two ways: its roughness helps scrub bacteria from the back of the tongue and its natural fibres assist in cleaning the teeth.
In fact, if you ever find yourself without a toothbrush, chomping on a celery stick after a meal or first thing in the morning will do the trick.
* Two of the best natural sources of COX-2 inhibitors (instead of using NSAIDs) are celery and celery seeds, which contain high amounts of a natural painkilling substance called: apigenin.
So bursitis and many other inflammatory conditions will benefit from including celery in your diet.
* One active compound in celery has been proven effective in cancer prevention and capable of enhancing the activity of certain white blood cells that help fight cancer. They also help prevent free radicals from damaging cells.
Celery also contains compounds which block the action of hormone-like substances called prostaglandins. some prostaglandins are thought to encourage the growth of tumor cells.
* Celery is naturally resistant to pathogens during storage because it contains a melting pot of fungicides, with more than two dozen already identified.
If you're prone to fungal infections or currently battling one, eat a celery stalk a day to keep those microbes in check.
* The COX-2 inhibitors present in celery and celery seeds are also good at reducing uric acid levels, which are the cause of gout attacks.
Either eating four celery stalks or taking two to four tablets of celery seed extract daily can even eliminate gout attacks.
* Celery comes on top of the list for foods that alleviate allergy symptoms. Also on that list are carrots, ginger, peppermint, parsley, turmeric, chamomile and cabbage.
* A phytochemical compound present in celery is able to tone the vascular system, lowering blood pressure and may even be useful in cases of migraines.Celery contains compounds called phthalides, which have a two-fold effect on lowering blood pressure.These phthalides relax the smooth muscle surrounding the arterial walls, cutting the work your heart does to pump blood throughout your body. Phthalides also decrease the production of stress hormones, reducing symptoms of hypertension.
* Hungarians have long used celery to calm indigestion and Germany's Commission E, a government agency that evaluates the safety and efficacy of medicinal herbs, has approved its use for dyspepsia.
* Celery, along with dill, fennel, anise and all tasty herbs of the celery family, are amongst the list of mildly estrogenic herbs, they all have 40 to 50 phytochemicals and are a mix of anethole, apigenin, kaempferol, luteolin and quercitin.
All these compounds are very good at alleviating all menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes, and contribute to preventing heart disease and osteoporosis but without the side-effects of HRT treatment.
* Celery is a well known vegetable for stimulating the immune system to help fight disease. Celery is packed with antioxidants and compounds that fight bacteria, viruses and inflammation.
CLEAN AND SIMPLE CELERY SOUP
350 grams (12 oz) celery stalks, roughly chopped ( I used the PC organic celery - used all but 4 stalks that I munched on while cooking!)
1 Tablespoon butter
1 Tablespoon Grapeseed oil
110 grams (4 oz) potato, peeled and cut into chunks (2small)
2 medium leeks, white part cleaned and sliced
2 cups organic (or homemade)vegetable or chicken stock
1/4 teaspoon celery seeds
salt and pepper to taste.
In a large saucepan, melt the butter with the oil.
Add the veggies and stir to coat. Turn heat to low, cover and cook for about 15 minutes.
Add stock, seeds, salt and pepper. Bring it to a simmer and then cover again. Cook for 25 minutes, or until veggies are tender.
Blend the soup in batches or with a hand emulsifier.
Check seasoning and add more salt and/or pepper.