DID YOU KNOW... Celery

DID YOU KNOW … CELERY has been grown and used by humans for over 3000 years.

Health Benefits:

• The natural organic sodium (salt) in celery is very safe for consumption. In fact, it is essential for the body. Even individuals who are salt-sensitive can safely take the sodium in celery, unlike table salt (iodized sodium) which is harmful for those with high blood pressure.

• The health benefits of celery are more than just lowering blood pressure. They also contain at least eight families of anti-cancer compounds to combat cancer.

• Celery is low in Saturated Fat, and very low in Cholesterol. It is also a good source of Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Pantothenic Acid, Calcium, Magnesium and Phosphorus, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Folate, Potassium and Manganese.

• While many foods lose nutrients during cooking, most of the compounds in celery hold up well during cooking.

• It has anti-inflammatory health benefits, especially its protection against inflammation in the digestive tract itself.

• The natural laxative effect of celery helps to relieve constipation. It also helps relax nerves that have been overworked by man-made laxatives.

There is a recommended period of 5-7 days as a window of time for consuming fresh celery.

• To preserve its maximum nutrient potential wait to chop up your celery just before you are adding it to a salad or cooked dish (rather than chopping it up the night before and leaving it stored in the refrigerator overnight). This will help to preserve its maximum nutrient potential.

History:

• It was first grown around the Mediterranean Sea and was used by Greeks and Romans as medicine to treat toothache, insomnia, gout, rheumatism, anxiety and arthritis.

• The ancient Greek physician Hippocrates prescribed celery as a nerve soother.

• The ancient Romans considered celery an aphrodisiac. They may have been right: it contains the pheromone androsterone, released by men’s sweat glands to attract females.

• Another use of celery by the Roman’s (hangover cure) was to use it as an antidote against the intoxicating effects of wine and the ensuing headache by wearing wreaths of celery leaves.

• Celery wasn’t used as a food until the 16th century in Italy.

Fun Facts:

• It takes only one ounce of celery seeds to grow 1 acre of celery

• To prevent celery from losing its crispness, soak it in ice water

• Celery is second to lettuce as a US salad crop

• California, Florida, and Michigan grow the most celery in the United States

• The most common commercially grown celery crop today is the Pascal variety.

• Celery is stringy because of its cell structure – the cell walls are tougher to help keep the plant upright, and that’s what gives celery its crunch.

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