Celery is a cultivated plant, commonly used as a vegetable. Depending on location and cultivar, either its stalks or its hypocotyl are eaten and used in cooking.
In North America the dominant variety most commonly available in trade is “celery”, Apium graveolens var. dulce, whose stalks are eaten raw, or as an ingredient in salads, or as a flavoring in soups, stews, and pot roasts.
Over 1 billion pounds of celery are produced each year in the United States, with California, Michigan and Florida accounting for about 80% of all celery production. The average U.S. adult eats about 6 pounds of celery per year. A substantial amount of celery in the U.S. comes from Mexico, and the U.S. exports about 200 million pounds of celery to Canada each year.
On a worldwide basis, celery is often served as a “major plate vegetable” rather than an additive to salads or soups. In addition, root celery varieties of this food (chosen for their large root balls rather then their stalks) are often cultivated over the large stalk Pascal varieties that have become most popular in the U.S.
Weight loss – One large stalk contains only 10 calories! So, add celery to your shopping list and enjoy it in your salads, soups and stir-fries.
Stress-relieve – Oh yes! The minerals in celery, especially magnesium, and the essential oil in it, soothe the nervous system. If you enjoy a celery-based snack in the evening, you will sleep better.
Reduces “bad” cholesterol – There is a component in celery called butylphthalide. It gives the vegetable its flavor and scent. Guess what: this component also reduces bad cholesterol! A Chicago University research shows that just two stalks of celery a day can reduce bad cholesterol (LDL) by up to 7 points!
Better sex life – and this is not just hearsay. Dr. Alan R. Hirsch, Director of the Smeel and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation, says two pheromones in celery–androstenone and androstenol–boost your arousal levels. They are released when you chew on a celery stalk.
Preventing cancer – Celery contains a flavanoid called luteolin. Researchers believe that this particular flavonoid may posses anti-cancer properties.
A study published in Current Cancer Drug Targets said that “recent epidemiological studies have attributed a cancer prevention property to luteolin”. The
authors of the study say that “luteolin sensitizes cancer cells to therapeutic-induced cytotoxicity through suppressing cell survival pathways.”2
Digestive tract support – In addition to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrients that help protect the digestive tract as a whole, celery contains pectin-based polysaccharides that can provide the stomach with special benefits. Celery regulates the body’s alkaline balance thus protecting you from problems such as acidity