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Celery? I Thought That Was Decoration

By Tom Herrin

Have you been to those places where they serve short pieces of celery with peanut butter or pimento cheese?  I always thought they were just trying to be cheap, or invited a lot of people who were on a diet.  I remember the cajun cook and comedian, Justin Wilson, used to say to be careful with using too much celery in preparing foods because it made it too bland.  Celery, however, seems to deserve a much greater place in a menu than I ever gave it credit for.

I Thought It Just Crunched 

There is a lot more to it than that.  Celery contains antioxidants that can reduce inflammation.  It is also believed to be a stress reliever.  Non-soluble fibers, along with the high water content, in celery can aid in digestion.  Much like other high fiber foods, it might not be for you if you have problems with diarrhea.  However, if you suffer from constipation, it might be just what you need. 

What Else Can It Do?

Celery is believed to reduce blood pressure for much the same reason it lowers stress. It is also said to lower LDL or "bad" cholesterol.  Add to this list that it is considered a natural diuretic.  Celery has a pretty good mix of vitamins, especially Vitamin K.  K’s big job is promoting blood clotting for things such as wounds.  The list goes on and on.  

What Do You Do With It? 

A lot of people use celery green salads, tuna or chicken salads, appetizers, etc. They are frequently used with dips.  My mother always used it in making dressing at Thanksgiving, though I think it loses some of its nutrients through cooking. Some people put it in their juicers, then add some other vegetables to enhance the flavor.  You can get pretty creative.  It does contain sodium, so for those on sodium strict diets may wnat to limit the amount they eat. 

Speaking Of Diets

Celery still pops into my head as a diet food.  There are only 10 calories in a stalk, and with so much water content, it can get pretty filling pretty fast.  If you haven’t had it in a while, it's worth considering.  As for me, I might just add that peanut butter back on top of mine.  Somehow, it just seems a little better now that I think about all that.  That crunchy sound means a little more than I thought.


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