Happy National Celery Month!
Over the years, nutrition has become a major concern for patients. From fad diets to varying workout regimens, many of us are looking for ways to be healthy.
When patients pick up their prescriptions, they often have questions for their pharmacist.
For example, how it will affect their health and what foods they should eat or avoid while on the medication. As a pharmacist, it’s not your job to advise on nutrition, but the way we eat does have clear links to good health.
It’s National Celery Month in Canada and the U.S. What a great time to celebrate the virtues of this crisp, healthy vegetable!
It’s no wonder celery is such a favourite.
It adds an adventurous crunch to salads and gorgeous flavour to all dishes, and it’s truly a great addition to any meal.
But what you may not know about celery is that it also has many health benefits. At only 10 calories per stalk, this fibrous veggie is so good for the body.
What are some of celery’s other important health benefits?
We can think of at least five:
Celery is chock full of antioxidants.
Antioxidants remove harmful, oxidizing agents living in your body. They protect against free radicals released in the body during the breakdown of food. Free radicals are also produced through exposure to smoking or radiation.
These harmful molecules play a role in heart disease, cancer and a host of other illnesses.
Celery contains several substances which fight free radicals, including:
In fact, celery has at least 12 types of antioxidant nutrients in every stalk!
It also has anti-inflammatory properties.
Celery also contains phytonutrients or natural chemicals produced in plants. These chemicals reduce inflammation in the body, such as in the blood vessels, digestive tract and organs.
Both celery and celery seeds have over 20 anti-inflammatory compounds to protect the body.
Celery aids digestion.
Aside from being anti-inflammatory and antioxidant-rich, celery also benefits the stomach.
It contains special pectin-based polysaccharides, including apiuman. Apiuman not only decreases stomach ulcers, but it also improves the stomach lining.
Animal studies have also shown that apiuman regulates stomach secretions.
Celery also contains a high water content of close to 95% along with both very high fiber. In only one cup of celery, there are around 5 grams of dietary fiber.
These factors make celery ideal for supporting the digestive tract.
It’s low on the glycemic index and is overflowing with vitamins and minerals.
Celery contains a variety of vitamins essential to health, such as A, C and K.
It’s also chock full of minerals such as folate and potassium and it’s very low in sodium. Another bonus is that celery is very low on the glycemic index, which is a benefit as far as blood sugar.
Celery has an alkalizing effect on the body.
Celery contains a variety of minerals known to neutralize acidic foods, such as:
Aside from their ability to neutralize, these minerals are essential to the body.
While not a superfood, celery is an essential addition to any healthy diet. With its distinctive flavour and enticing crunch, it’s both healthy and delicious!
Plus, you can prepare celery in different ways to fit your cravings! You can eat it with peanut butter, avocado or cheese, sauté it for a healthy addition to stir-fry or casseroles, or add it to your soups.
Whichever way you choose to consume your celery, you’ll reap so many health benefits.
What to Look for When Buying Celery
Firm Stalks: Be sure your celery has firm stalks when buying. Stalks should not be bendy- they should be easy to snap.
Fresh Leaves: Celery leaves should be fresh, with a healthy green colour. Never buy celery with yellow or brown patches.
The Best Ways to Eat Celery
- Chop It Right Before You Eat: Waiting to chop your celery until before you eat it keeps nutrients intact. Chopping and storing celery even for a few hours ahead of time will reduce nutrients content.
- Steaming Celery: Steamed celery keeps its flavour as well as retains most nutrients.
- Eat It Within a Week: You should consume your fresh celery within 5-7 days for the most nutritional impact.
- Don’t Forget the Leaves: Instead of throwing out the leaves, eat them! Celery leaves are so good for you, full of Vitamin C, calcium and potassium. Unfortunately, they don’t store well though- you need to eat them within a day or two.
- Juice It: Celery juice isn’t just a juice, it’s a movement. If you’re familiar with Anthony William, the Medical Medium, you may already know his celery juice recipe. William swears by the healing properties of celery juice, and many people agree!
In addition to its many health benefits, celery is so versatile. Whether you choose to eat it raw or cook with it, it’s wonderful in any stir-fry, smoothie, juice or soup. It’s also a wonderful way to spice up your casseroles.
The Best Ways to Celebrate #NationalCeleryMonth
You can celebrate National Celery Month by adding celery to your diet every day. Whether as a healthy snack or a flavorful ingredient in a great meal.
Other ways you can celebrate are:
- Try out some new recipes with celery in them, or add celery to your everyday favourites.
- Have a vegetable garden? Try planting some celery this summer!
- Make gorgeous and healthy dips to enjoy with your celery.
- Try making a celery relish as a condiment for your favourite foods.
- Start adding generous amounts of celery to your salads.
To help get you started, we’re including a couple of #celery recipes.
You can try them or pass them along to your patients.
Proper nutrition is such an important part of supporting good health and wellness. Sharing National Celery Month with your patients is a good way to start the conversation.
You can also use #NationalCeleryMonth when sharing on social media.