Food For Thought: Celery Delivers Crunch and Nutritious Punch

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Many think of celery as something you throw into a crock-pot or stew to enhance flavor, or as a tool to eat creamy dips. But you may not be aware of how healthy celery is. Because of its high potassium content and a compound called phthalides, celery has long been known to lower blood pressure. It’s also a natural diuretic helping the body reduce excess water retention. Celery is a good source of insoluble fiber. It’s those long stringy strands of celery that remain unchanged as it moves through the digestive track.

Insoluble fiber is so beneficial for us. For example, it can help with regularity, because it absorbs up to five times its own weight in water, moves waste through the intestines faster, and reduces the risk of colon cancer.

Insoluble fiber, like that found in great abundance in celery, can reduce appetite and help with weight loss because it soaks up water, and expands creating a sense of fullness. Did you know that celery is ONLY 19 calories per cup? That’s a lot of celery for so little calories!

Peak season for celery is the summer months, although in California it grows year round.

Add diced celery to tuna or chicken salads for that extra crunch. Slice and toss with a green salad. Or spread stalks with hummus for a nice snack. Try using celery stalks instead of tortilla chips for guacamole. And of course, the old stand by is peanut butter, or I prefer almond butter spread on a celery stalk for a snack. Spread with some cream cheese and sprinkle some capers, or cranberries or raisins. Save yourself some calories and spread tuna salad onto celery stalks instead of bread.

Just remember to always purchase Organic celery. It’s the number one most heavily contaminated crops in pesticides. For the complete list visit: www.foodnews.org.

Summertime screams for lemonade. But I’m not talking those bottled ones with high fructose syrup and lemon “flavor.” Nothing is better than fresh lemonade. Lemons are an excellent source of Vitamin C a potent anti-oxidant and immune booster.

Although we think of lemons as acidic, the juice of a lemon is actually alkaline. If taken in the morning on an empty stomach diluted with water, lemon juice is known to improve liver function and has been used to help eliminate kidney stones, and can relieve constipation very quickly. Lemon Juice mixed with water helps relieve colds, coughs, and sore throats. If you have dry mouth, sipping unsweetened diluted lemon juice can stimulate saliva flow.

Juice several lemons and pour the juice in ice trays, then pop out the lemon cubes and store in a zip lock for later use. I like to put 2 lemon cubes in a glass of water and let it dissolve, and then I stir in a TBS or so of Xylitol and drink this amazing home made lemonade. Find Xylitol at http://www.myhealthysugar.com

It is not going to look as yellow as the store bought version, but who needs that nasty yellow dyes anyway. It’s a great way to get this in your diet and it’s extremely low in calories, a ¼ cup has 15 calories.

About Karen Roth

Hi. My name is Karen Roth, www.karenrothnutrition.com and I’m a Holistic Nutritionist. Okay, I know what you’re thinking… quick, hide the food; the snack police is here! No need to panic. I describe myself as a “practical” nutritionist, one who doesn’t go to extremes one way or the other and understands that life is challenging enough without having to torture yourself by cutting out many of the things you enjoy. Most of us have limited time to shop for food and to cook healthier meals. And a one-size-fits-all approach does not work when it comes to what and how we all eat. Trust me, I get it.

In my early years out of college when I was bartending, my eating and drinking habits were anything but healthy. But, then you grow up and start thinking about the bigger picture and listening more to what your body is telling you. My pre-nutritionist days were on the corporate treadmill where stress and snacking at the desk was part of my daily routine. Never enough hours in the day and proper eating was always at the bottom of my list.

It wasn’t until I broke my jaw in a freak accident that my food life really changed. When you’re wired shut for two months and denied the food you need for your very existence, you begin to look at the world a little differently. When I healed myself, primarily by creating my own foods I could sip through a straw, I decided to pursue something that was always of interest to me… nutrition. Pulling the plug on the corporate treadmill, I went back to school for three years to get my Masters Degree in Holistic Nutrition. I then opened a practice in Valencia, California, and I’m pleased to say that over the years I have helped so many people improve the quality of their lives by helping them make simple changes in their diets and lifestyle.

Eating healthy doesn’t have to be time-consuming or tasteless, and it is my intention to bring you practical tips each week on how to fit in nutrition one bite at a time. In addition to being practical, I’m also positive so you don’t have to worry that I am going to be Debby Downer and tell you that everything you put in your mouth is going to kill you. Instead, I will offer you easy to implement, simple strategies to help you improve your health. I’ll be introducing new foods (that taste good – because I don’t eat anything that tastes like sawdust or is unappetizing) and new habits that are realistic. I hope you’ll join me as a regular reader and together we’ll build the healthier you with FOOD FOR THOUGHT.

(Karen Roth, MS, NC is a graduate of Hawthorn University’s Master of Science in Holistic Nutrition training program. She helps her clients to take control of their health with foods choices that best support their specific health condition and specific metabolic type and believes that every ill health condition can benefit and possibly improve from a solid foundation of healthy foods choices. Visit her website at www.karenrothnutrition.com

  • Hayabusa Gurl

    My fiance and I were arguing about this! Now I know that I was right. lol! Thanks for making me sure!

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