Tis’ the Season to Enjoy Celery

Photo credit: Keeping the Peas (www.keepingthepeas.com)

Celery is a recognizable vegetable known for its long, fibrous stalk that branches out to a fairly leafy tip. And for a vegetable that could be considered bland in flavor, many do not hesitate to include the Apium graveolen (its scientific name) in their diet.

Some individuals may decide to dip the green, leafy stalk in peanut butter, salsa, or hummus. Some may decide to dice it up to add to soup, a salad, or stir fry. And in the spirit of the holiday season, some may decide to create a morsel that certainly would be a healthier option compared to its sweeter, calorie-dense, holiday counterpart. However they choose to consume this popular vegetable, they’re bound to have a treat that is tasty as well as nutritious.

While it’s quite likely many of you freely indulge yourself with this leafy plant, have you ever found yourself unknowingly eating certain meals that included celery as an important ingredient? If your answer is “yes” or you’re unsure, consider certain popular dishes you have likely consumed where celery provided the flavorful kick it needed.  

There’s potato salad, for instance, that is joyfully prepared by your favorite aunt or eagerly picked up at a local deli. Chances are, it includes diced, green bits that add a nice, mildly bitter flavor in addition to a satisfying crunch with every bite. And for any of you who are lentil soup fans and have savored every drop with every appetizing bowl you have ever consumed, it may be safe to say that you were also savoring minced pieces of celery (perhaps without realizing it).

Yes! This ubiquitous produce it’s quite popular and arguably one that is hard to avoid. But it’s ubiquity is not the only reason to seek out this edible plant. In a recent online article, Dr. Axe noted antioxidants, enzymes,  and fibers along with vitamins and minerals among the many benefits of celery. It is specifically “a good source of vitamin K, vitamin C, potassium, folate, and vitamin B6.” He added that it seems to “help with detoxification thanks to its hydrating qualities and nutritional content.” These are good things especially if you consume this vegetable regularly.

Dr. Axe also offers practical ways to use celery, including the best way to store the vegetable and ideas for meals. And he provides a detailed list of potential health outcomes for considering a celery-filled diet. 

For those prone to food allergies, he does not forget to address possible side effects. Yes!  This Apium graveolen could also have side effects. Did you know, for instance, that it contains oils that could cause some individuals to suffer from a severe allergic reaction similar to those who suffer from peanut allergies? If you are unsure of whether you are allergic to celery (or any other type of food), consult your primary care provider. Hopefully, you’ll be able to indulge in this produce without any concerns of having an allergic reaction. (Here’s a worthwhile read on whether you are allergic or intolerable to certain foods.)

In the meantime, consider stopping by your local grocer and grab a bundle of celery. Then search for fun recipes for this stalky plant.  Perhaps you’ll find one for a mouth-watering, holiday snack. (Check out this easy-to-make holiday recipe). But whatever recipe you settle on, you’re bound to find a delectable idea for this health-promoting, green treat.

Happy holidays!

© 2020 The Health-promoting Bandwagon. All rights reserved.

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