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Different types of leafy vegetables are consumed by people all over the world in different forms. Certain leafy vegetables also serve the purposes of herbs and spices due their unique qualities. Celery is one such leafy vegetable where its stalk is mainly used in many culinary and medicinal purposes though its leaves are also used in certain preparations. The origin of celery is traced back to the early centuries. Historical evidences show that pharaohs of Egypt had give due importance to celery and in the tombs they used to keep celery. The reminiscence of celery mericaps of 13th century was found in the tomb of pharaoh Tutan khamun. It is popularly believed that wild varieties of celeries were used in Egypt. During the mid 16th century the domesticated variety began to be wildly cultivated in many parts of Europe. The word celery is derived from Italian word, “seleri” and French word “celeri”. Seeds are used for cultivation. Celery is scientifically classified as genus Apium in species A. graveolens in the family of plant variety Apiaceae. The celery stalk is considered as highly nutritious vegetable. Apart from the commercial cultivation it is also grown as garden or ornamental plant.
Celery is stalk is used in cuisines as flavoring agent in soups, broths, stews and in fried or baked spicy dishes as both flavoring and garnish. It is used along with other vegetables, meat, seafood and poultry with regional variations in the preparation of the dishes. The aromatic leaves are used either in raw, fried or blanched form in salads and soups. Since the leaves are intensely flavored dried leaves are also used in soups and other dishes. The fried celery seeds are also used in many dishes.
Celery is highly enriched with all vital nutrients that are essential for the promotion of health. Various researches conducted by several nutritional researching agencies have found amazing nutritional contents in celery. The nutrient data base of USDA gives the detailed nutrient content of celery. According to USDA nutritional value of celery has 16 kilo calories per 100 g. It has the higher water content of 95 g per 100 g. it is rich in dietary fiber and sugars. The fat and protein content is low and abundant antioxidants and other phyto nutrients. It is enriched with vitamin A and vitamin B complex compounds including thiamine or vitamin B1, riboflavin or vitamin B2, niacin or vitamin B3, vitamin B6, or folate or vitamin B9. It has other vitamins like vitamin C, E, and K. the mineral content includes iron, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, sodium and zinc.
The extreme health benefits of celery make it a popular health food in many parts of the world. It is enriched with several antioxidants like cetylenics, phenolic acids and coumarins that prevent the oxidation stress and several types of cancers like stomach and colon cancers as it prevents the excess cell growth that causes cancers. The dietary fiber cleanses the intestine from toxins and promotes intestinal health that promotes proper digestion. The low fat content reduces the cholesterol level in blood and there by promotes proper cardio vascular health. It reduces the blood pressure level in high BP patients. The alkaline mineral content like magnesium calm down the stressed nervous system and promotes sound sleep and it the intake of celery juice on daily basis is good for people having insomnia. It maintains the body fluids including blood and urine production and acts as great diuretic. Being diuretic it prevents formation and breaking of kidney and gall bladder stones. It eliminates the toxin deposits from kidneys and prevents kidney stones. The natural source of COX- 2 reduces the inflammation and a great pain reliever in many diseases like gout, arthritis and bronchitis. It prevents several infections like flu, cold and cough. The vitamin E, C and K contents are good for skin and hair health and are used in several cosmetics and skin care products. The regular intake of celery promotes internal and external health and prevents various ailments.