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Stick celery on the shopping list

AT just 10 calories a stalk, celery’s claim to fame may be that it’s long been considered a low-calorie “diet food”.

But crispy, crunchy celery actually has a number of health benefits that may surprise you. Here are five reasons you should consider adding celery to your diet.

Important source of anti-oxidants

Anti-oxidants protect cells, blood vessels and organs from oxidative damage. Celery contains Vitamin C, beta carotene and flavonoids, but there are at least 12 additional kinds of anti-oxidant nutrients, found in a single stalk.

It’s also a wonderful source of phytonutrients, which have been shown to reduce instances of inflammation in the digestive tract, cells, blood vessels and organs.

Reduces inflammation

Chronic inflammation has been linked to many illnesses, including arthritis and osteoporosis. Celery and celery seeds have approximately 25 anti-inflammatory compounds, which can offer protection against inflammation in the body.

Supports digestion

While its anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrients offer protection to the entire digestive tract, celery may offer special benefits to the stomach.

It has a high water content, almost 95%, plus generous amounts of soluble and insoluble fibre. All of those support a healthy digestive tract, and keep you regular.

Rich in vitamins and minerals

Vitamins A, K, and C, plus minerals like potassium and folate, are present in celery. It’s also low in sodium. Plus, it’s low on the glycaemic index, meaning it has a slow, steady effect on your blood sugar.

Buying and storing celery

*Sturdy stalks: look for celery that has sturdy, upright stalks. They should snap easily when you pull them, not bend

*Crisp leaves: leaves should be crisp and fresh, ranging in colour from pale to bright green. Avoid celery with yellow or brown patches

*Wait to chop: chop celery just before cooking or serving to maintain nutrients. Even celery that has been chopped and stored for just a few hours will lose nutrients

*Steam it: steamed celery will retain its flavour and almost all of its nutrients

*Eat within 5-7 days: eat fresh celery within 5-7 days, to enjoy its maximum nutritional benefits

*Eat the leaves: don’t discard the leaves, because that’s where celery has the most calcium, potassium and Vitamin C. Because they don’t store well, consume celery leaves within a day or two of purchase.

In addition to its many health benefits, celery is versatile. You can eat it raw or cooked, and it makes a great addition to smoothies, stir-fries, soups and juices. Celery can also be steamed or baked.

Celery soup

Smooth and flavourful, this soup comes together quickly.

¼ cup butter

1 small yellow onion, finely chopped

2 cups celery, finely chopped

1 large garlic clove, minced

A third of a cup of flour

1½ cup chicken stock

1½ cup whole milk

1 tsp salt

½ tsp sugar

One eighth of a tsp freshly-ground, black pepper

Melt butter over medium-high heat in a heavy-bottomed pot. Cook onions, celery, and garlic until translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Add flour, and cook one minute.

Add chicken stock and milk, stirring until smooth. Increase heat, bringing mixture to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium, adding remaining ingredients, and simmer, uncovered, for about 15 minutes.

Add salt to taste.

 

Short URL: http://www.canarianweekly.com/?p=49946

Posted by on Sep 13 2019. Filed under Food. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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