Celery: A Key Ingredient To Good Health
Posted by Kate W on Tuesday, June 12th, 2012
When people think of celery, they typically only think of the green crunchy vegetable that accompanies their buffalo wings or serves as a vessel for a delicious scoop of peanut butter. However, what they may not know is that the roots, leaves and seeds of celery have often been used for medicinal purposes, even dating as far back as ancient Greek and Roman times.
You’ve probably seen celery seed in the spice section of your grocery store. Its intense herbal flavor can really add some zing to a chicken breast or add an earthy quality to stuffing. But if you head a few aisles down, you can also find celery seed in a tablet form alongside other vitamins and supplements. Just as it can be used to enhance the flavors of a variety of foods, it can be used to treat a variety of ailments. For starters, it has incredible diuretic properties which can help people who suffer from water retention. Because it helps flush water from the system, people who take it might experience higher than usual urine output. This increased urine output will flush toxins from the body, which in turn will decrease the uric acid levels in the body. Accordingly, people who suffer from gout may be greatly benefited by taking celery seed supplements.
Celery seed also contains linoleic acid (also known as omega 6), a natural anti-inflammatory agent. This serves to promote joint health and reduce inflammation around joints. As a result, celery seed is often used as an alternative to conventional rheumatoid arthritis medications.
And celery seed isn’t just for easing joint pain and swelling. In addition to omega 6 fatty acids, celery seed also contains flavonoids (similar to antioxidants) and a substance known as apigenin, the combination of which can help to lower both blood pressure and blood cholesterol, which contributes overall to better heart health.
Finally, though scientists have not been able to determine precisely why, celery seed can be beneficial to stomach and digestive health. It has long been used as a folk remedy to treat such widely varies symptoms as heartburn, gas, indigestion, cramping, and spasms.
In cooking, there exists something called mirepoix, which is a combination of onions, carrots and celery. Mirepoix is the flavor base for a variety of recipes, including soups, stews, stocks and sauces. In Creole cooking, a variation on this combination is called the holy trinity, and forms the basis for classic Creole-Cajun dishes including etoufee, gumbo, and jambalaya. Celery plays an important and equal role in contributing something to make these dishes special. Accordingly, when taken as a supplement along with other vitamins, it can contribute to an overall improvement in your health.
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