Celery is a vegetable that people seem to either love or hate – but if you are in the latter group, you are missing out! celery is in the same family as carrots, dill and fennel. Why should you add it to your meals?
- It is an excellent source of vitamins C and K, and its active compounds, phthalides, may help lower blood pressure.
- It has long been associated with dieting due to its fiber content and low-calorie count.
- It is rich in potassium (see below) and sodium – important in regulating fluid balance and stimulating urine production.
- It lends itself to soups, stews and stir-fries as well as salads, or spread with natural nut or seed butters as a snack.
When buying celery, try to get the organically grown type, as pesticides are commonly used on conventionally grown varieties.
So, why is potassium so important? Potassium is essential for the heart, kidneys, muscles, nerves, and digestive system to operate normally, and is required for regulating fluid balance, the body’s acid-base balance, and blood pressure.
What are the signs of a deficiency? Deficiency symptoms include irregular heartbeat, muscle weakness and mood changes, as well as nausea and vomiting. People with kidney disease, gastrointestinal disease and those who take diuretics may have lower levels of potassium.
How much, and what kind, does an adult need? Although daily multivitamin supplements may contain tiny amounts of potassium as part of their multi-mineral complexes, the best way to get adequate amounts of potassium is through the diet. Most fruits are good sources, especially bananas, as are dark leafy greens, potatoes and legumes. Talk with your physician before taking potassium supplements if you have any health conditions.