Celery is a vegetable with diuretic, purifying and digestive properties. It also acts against inflammation and reduces nervous hunger, which is why it is widely used in slimming diets. Here are all its benefits for our health.
Properties and benefits of celery
From a nutritional point of view, celery is a vegetable rich in water (about 95%), it also provides only 16Kcal per 100 grams and it is free of fats and cholesterol. Its stems are rich in important mineral salts such as potassium, magnesium, calcium and phosphorus as well as vitamins of group B and vitamins C, E, K, and leaves contain vitamin A. Celery also contains luteolin, an antioxidant that helps to protect the brain. The whole plant possesses purifying and diuretic virtues; the celery juice, in particular, purifies the body, thanks to its alkalizing action, fights water retention, and therefore cellulite, and it is useful in case of kidney and bladder problems. The diuretic action is due to the large amount of water and its essential oil that acts as vasodilator of the renal blood vessels, favoring diuresis. Celery also helps to protect the gastric mucosa, promoting digestion and bringing benefits in case of gastritis or ulcer. Its carminative properties make it effective to fight meteorism and constipation. If consumed regularly, celery also helps to lower bad cholesterol (LDL) in the blood and regulate blood pressure, protecting the body from cardiovascular disease, it has also an anti-inflammatory and expectorant action, useful in cases of catarrh, bronchitis and dry cough, also thanks to its soothing properties.
Celery also contains antioxidants and substances that provide an anti-tumor action, such as flavonoids and phenolic acid, as well as lutein and apigenin which prevent the spread of cancer cells in the body. This precious vegetable can also be helpful for weight loss, in fact it has a low caloric intake and contains fibers that increase the sense of satiety. In ancient times aphrodisiac properties were also attributed to celery, the sexual benefits of this plant would be due to the presence of delta-16 steroid hormones, which would stimulate the activity of the sexual glands.
How to consume and store celery
Celery is a vegetable that can be eaten both cooked and raw; in the first case it is preferable to steam it, so as to leave intact its properties. The raw celery is excellent to placate hunger, but also as a digestive: you can add it to salads or to pinzimonio, or consume it as a juice. Of the celery you can use the leaves and the stems, that must be consumed fresh, the roots must instead be cleaned, dried in the sun and then stored wrapped in a cotton cloth. Finally, the seeds must be preserved in a jar protected from sunlight, they promote digestion and the elimination of gases, just like fennel seeds. You can also use celery seeds for the preparation of relaxing infusions.
You can buy fresh celery all year round, although in spring it is particularly appreciated for its tenderness. Make sure the leaves are green and the stem is firm. After purchasing it, keep it in the fridge in the vegetable drawer and consume it within 5 days because this is the period in which it maintains its nutritional properties.