California Celery Crop
With its distinctive flavor and satisfying crunch, celery is a fabulously healthy snack or ingredient, perfect for use in salads, soups, casseroles and more. Celery is a great, all purpose vegetable that’s just as tasty and nutritious raw as cooked. Kids love its crunchy sweetness, adults love the zesty flavor it adds to almost any recipe.
California produces 95% of the celery grown in the United States.
Freshly chopped celery retains its nutrients much better than if you chop and store it even for a few hours. Steamed celery not only retains its flavor, but also most of its nutrients–up to 99 percent of them, in fact! When selecting celery, remember this rule of thumb: The darker the color, the stronger the flavor.
California Celery Health Benefits
Choosing to snack on celery guarantees a fabulous amount of antioxidants – it’s packed with vitamin C, potassium and iron; providing a good dose of folate too. And don’t forget the leaves either, and the darker the better, as they contain carotene and more minerals and vitamin C than the paler leaves.
To top it all off, celery is low sodium and cholesterol free as well as being virtually fat free too, but if you need any more reasons to eat celery, simply read on…
Celery is One of the Lowest Calorie Foods You Can Eat
Celery is extremely low in calories – 1 stalk contains just 2 calories – and is virtually fat free, making it a great snack or ingredient for weight management.
Eating Celery Helps You Feel Fuller For Longer
Celery’s high water and fibre content and crunchy texture are not only brilliant for helping you feel satisfied, but also for getting you to chew your food well and ensuring you stay fuller for longer.
California Celery Keeps Bloating at Bay
As well as containing fibre, celery is a prebiotic so can help keep bloating at bay.
Celery Reduces Blood Pressure
Celery is a good source of potassium which helps to control blood pressure and counteract the negative effects of too much salt on the diet. It also contains ‘3-n-butyl phthalide’ which helps to reduce blood pressure by relaxing blood vessels.
Celery Helps to Maintain a Healthy Digestive System
Celery contains dietary fibre which helps keep your digestive system healthy. A high fibre diet will protect against problems like heart disease, diabetes, constipation and haemorrhoids.
Celery Can Help to Slow the Progression of Dementia
Recent research indicates that the plant compound luteolin – found in celery – may help combat Alzheimer’s and other degenerative mental illnesses. This is because luteolin reduces age-related inflammation in the brain and related memory deficits by directly inhibiting the release of inflammatory molecules in the brain.
California Celery Can Help Protect Against Cancer
One of active compounds in celery is the phytochemical coumarin, which 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. In addition, the plant compound luteolin which is found in celery has been shown to function as an anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer agent with a study assessing the role of diet in the development of colon cancer finding a strong protective effect from luteolin.
Celery Aids a Good Night’s Sleep
Blended celery juice is thought to help a good night’s sleep because of the vitamins, mineral salts and nutrients it contains. Celery is also thought to have a calming effect on the central nervous system.
Celery is Bursting with Antioxidants, Vitamins & Minerals
California celery is a very rich source of antioxidants. The vegetable contains the following phytonutrients: phenolic acids, flavonols, dihydrostilbenoids, flavones, furanocoumarins, and phytosterols. Celery is also very rich in vitamin A, C & K and contains folate.
Fun Facts About Celery
- The name ‘celery’ is from the French word ‘celeri’.
- Celery is a member of Umbelliferae family, a cousin of parsley, carrots, caraway and fennel.
- Celery is stringy because of its cell structure – the cell walls are tougher to help keep the plant upright, and that’s what gives celery its crunch.
- Wild celery was used in the Middle Ages to treat anxiety, insomnia, rheumatism, gout and arthritis. While in Classical times it was believed to purify the blood.
- The Bloody Mary cocktail was invented in the 1920’s at Harry’s New York Bar in Paris. However, it wasn’t until the 1960’s that celery was associated with the drink, when a guest at a Chicago hotel was given a Bloody Mary but nothing to stir it with. He improvised with a stick of celery from the buffet!
- In traditional Oriental medicine celery was used to treat hypertension. This is because phthalide compounds in celery can act as a sedative as well as lower blood pressure.
- It takes only one ounce of celery seeds to grow 1 acre of celery.
- Celery seeds are the size of a period (.) typed in 12 point font.
- To prevent celery from losing its crispness, soak it in ice water.
- The “Chelsea Cocktail” is a pint of Guinness garnished with a stick of celery.
Resource via: Michigan Celery