Celery is a vegetable that boasts numerous properties: it is diuretic, purifying and is good for bronchitis. Let’s find out more about this food.
Celery (Apium graveolens) boasts strong therapeutic properties. It is a biennial herbaceous plant widely cultivated and commonly used in the kitchen. It grows spontaneously in grassy and marshy places and can reach 80/100 cm in height.
The leaves are composed of 3-5 serrated segments, dark green in color and a fleshy petiole, which forms the edible part of the plant. However, the seeds, roots and fruits of the celery are also used, collected at the end of August
The celery species are numerous and are distinguished by several particularities including the color, the flowering period and the method of conservation.
The properties of celery: calories and nutritional values
Nutritional values per 100g of celery:
- Waterfall: 95.43 g
- kcal: 16
- Proteins: 0.69 g
- Fat: 0.17 g
- of which saturated: 0.042 g
- Carbohydrates: 2.97 g
- of which sugars: 1.83 g
- Fibers: 1.6 g
- Potassium: 260 mg
- C vitamin: 3.1 mg
- Glycemic index: 15
- Cholesterol: 0 g
Celery has few calories : it provides about 16 Kcal per 100 grams and is fully included among the foods to be included in low-calorie diets. Celery stalks (or stalks) contain important amounts of potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, vitamins C, E, K and some B vitamins, while the leaves contain good amounts of carotenes. The roots, leaves and seeds of celery are used for therapeutic purposes. This vegetable also contains luteolin, an antioxidant that has a protective action on the brain.
A juice with great therapeutic properties is extracted from the leaves. The whole plant has in fact diuretic, purifying and carminative virtues. Celery is also renowned for its property of effectively fighting phlegm and bronchitis.
This vegetable is also an excellent natural diuretic, useful against water retention and, especially if taken in herbal tea, it helps to purify the kidneys and liver. Furthermore, celery is considered one of the most vigorous intestinal tonics, very effective against bloating and constipation. Let’s now see in more detail the main properties of celery.
The benefits of celery
Celery is one of the best known diuretics. Its properties are given by the large water content and the presence of potassium, a mineral with diuretic properties. Thanks to this property, celery is an excellent ally to fight cellulite and water retention. The consumption of celery can also be useful against kidney stones and liver disorders.
✓ Benefits for the digestive system
Some studies conducted on animals have shown an interesting virtue of celery: it protects the gastric mucosa and decreases the production of gastric acids, with considerable benefit in case of gastritis and ulcers. In addition, celery stimulates and improves digestion.
✓ Against meteorism
The fruits and leaves of celery are traditionally used for their carminative and stomachic properties and therefore facilitate digestion and help expel intestinal gas.
Thanks to its soothing properties, celery is a valuable aid against dry cough, phlegm and bronchitis, especially when combined with honey, cinnamon and ginger.
✓ Good for the heart
Celery, if consumed regularly, helps the cardiovascular system in several ways. First of all, like many other vegetables, it helps to counteract high cholesterol thanks to the good presence of fiber. Furthermore, celery favors the lowering of pressure thanks to the presence of some components called phthalides.
How much celery to eat
One serving of celery is equivalent to about 200 grams or, more practically, 2 or 3 ribs. It can be eaten raw or cooked and its regular consumption is sufficient to guarantee us the benefits we have seen above.
Some tips for using celery
Celery is a very common ingredient in our cuisine and is included in the preparation of soups, tomato sauce, salads or in the preparation of broth, but not only. It goes very well with fish, cheeses, legumes and cereals, while with other vegetables it can be combined with carrots, onions, fennel, peppers and tomatoes.
However, this vegetable has recently become an ingredient in numerous extracts or centrifuged. The celery juice (as well as the extract) turns out to be a very beneficial drink as it has diuretic, energizing and remineralizing properties. If you don’t like the pungent taste of celery in juices, you can successfully combine it with apple, kiwi and ginger.
If we want to benefit from its digestive properties, it would be advisable to eat raw celery before meals, however celery can also be consumed cooked. In this case, we recommend steaming or cooking in a pan for a few minutes.
How to store celery
The roots (mainly used for infusions), after having cleaned them are dried in the sun, then they are kept wrapped in a cloth. The leaves and ribs are used fresh while the seeds are kept in glass jars protected from light.
To keep celery longer, however, it is possible to freeze it. In this case it is advisable to freeze only the ribs and not the leaves. To freeze it, you first proceed by washing and drying the ribs well. Then they can be cut or left whole and placed on a tray, so that they are spaced apart, then the tray should be placed in the freezer. After a few hours, the frozen celery can be transferred to special food bags and placed in the freezer, where they will be kept for a few months.
Contraindications of celery
Despite being a very healthy food, celery has some contraindications that are good to know. First of all it is necessary to pay attention to possible allergic reactions, especially if there is already an allergy to birch (in this case we are talking about cross allergies).
Furthermore, due to the high potassium content, it is good to limit its consumption in case of chronic renal failure. For those with digestive problems, it is advisable to consume mainly cooked celery or take its seeds in herbal tea. In the event that anticoagulant drugs are taken, moderation in the consumption of celery is recommended. Finally, remember that it is important to choose an organic product to avoid taking harmful pesticides accumulated on the stalks and leaves of celery.
Celery seeds have effects similar to fennel seeds: they facilitate digestion and the elimination of gases. With celery seeds you can prepare a relaxing and anti-stress infusion.