Celery, like cucumbers and lettuce, is often considered a “negative-calorie” food. Meaning the the calories burned from eating and digesting celery are greater than the calories it contains. Despite this widely believed diet myth, there is no evidence to support this claim. Nonetheless, celery is still a low-calorie, high fiber food that is unlikely to halt any weight loss plan.
Nutrition Profile of Celery
Celery may be low in calories, at around 6 calories per medium stalk, but its not lacking in nutrients. Celery is a good source of vitamin K and fiber. It’s also rich in water, and contains a modest amount of vitamin A and potassium. Furthermore, celery contains phytochemicals, which may have antioxidant and anti inflammatory effects. In addition, some researchers believe that eating celery pre-workout may help improve endurance and enhance strength training. While not a concern for most people, those on a low-sodium diet should be aware that a medium stalk contains about 35 milligrams of sodium.
The majority of Americans consume celery raw (usually with dips or nut butters) or cooked in soups or roasts. Celery leaves have a bolder flavor than the stalk and may also be used in cooking, along with celery seeds. When choosing celery, look for stalks that are straight and rigid with fresh leaves. To clean, first slice off the stalks from the base. Then strip the leaves off of the stalks and cut the stalks in half. Next, add the cut celery to a glass bowl or container for storage. Finally, add clean water to cover the stalks and fill the container. Seal the container with a lid or plastic wrap and be sure to change the water every day to keep the celery fresh.
Simple Celery Apple Salad
In a large mixing bowl, combine 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil with 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice, 1/4 tsp. salt and pepper. Add 2 cups of thinly slices apple (recommend honey crisp or granny smith) and 2 cups of sliced celery. Top with 1/3 cup sliced red onion and fresh parsley and serve.