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.