Celebrating Celery

Celery 1I used to think that celery was the dullest of all of the vegetables. I used to resent its mild, watery flavor. Who knows, perhaps it was an immature palate that steered me away from celery. But boy things have changed. April is National Celery Month and a great time to start making healthy food choices this spring. Get to know a little background info about this veggie and find more ways to incorporate more celery in your life.

 

Celery is certainly known for its crunch. Chopped celery or whole stalks are a great way to get that crunch in any type of dish! From tuna salad to tacos, celery adds more than just flavor, it adds texture and character. This crunch is a result of its high water content. Celery is 95% water. That makes it a great contributor to the water you get throughout the day. No wonder it’s used as a refreshing side to Buffalo wings.

 

Another thing that celery is known for is its stringy texture. You can peel the layers of celery back like a cold mozzarella stick. Part of the reason for this characteristic is its high fiber content. The kind of fiber you’ll find in this vegetable is insoluble fiber. Insoluble fiber makes up the structure of plant cells and passes through your digestive tract undigested. For that reason, it adds bulk to your stool and helps carry toxins out of your body.

 

Since celery is a vegetable, it is full of polysaccharides such as pectin and apiuman. These polysaccharides have implications on your gut health. What they do is improve the integrity, flexibility and strength in the stomach lining and decrease your risk for developing stomach ulcers. They also better control stomach secretions and acidity.

 

If you plan on going out to stock up on celery, here are a few purchase and storage suggestions. Choose straight, stiff stalks with fresh leaves. Avoid limp stalks as they have lost some water content and thus nutritional value. Keep celery in the refrigerator. You can keep it in a plastic bag or upright in a glass of water. Celery stays fresh for one or two weeks.

 

Celery is one versatile vegetable that can be paired with almost anything. It’s refreshing and crunch qualities make it perfect as a side for all kinds of dishes. Make a point to increase your daily dose of celery while it’s still in season!

 

Your Turn to Take Action: What is your favorite celery recipe? Comment below.

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