Nutritional Benefits of Celery

Learn to Love: Celery

You can find celery pretty much year round, but did you know that it's in season right now? I used to think of it as a rather dull vegetable, but lately, I've cultivated a new appreciation for its flavor and function.

I've heard that you actually burn more calories chewing celery than you consume by eating it, which is almost true. One large stalk contains just 10 calories, but four percent of your dietary fiber RDI. It is also very low in cholesterol but rather high in sodium, something to be aware of if you're watching your salt intake.

The thing I love most about celery is how satisfying it is to eat. The crunch factor means it takes a while to munch on, keeping your mouth occupied for a long snack break. Plus, the hearty, fibrous texture really keeps me full. And since it has diuretic properties and lots of fiber, it keeps all your systems moving right along. Other healthy benefits include lots of vitamin A, C, and K (23 percent of your RDI for vitamin K in one stalk!), as well as folate and potassium.

I love to eat it plain, but this green veggie is also great in a healthy Waldorf salad, as a garnish for a Bloody Mary, or mixed into a mayo-free tuna salad. And, of course, there's always the classic ants on a log. How do you like your celery?

Source: Thinkstock
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