The paint went up on the walls this week at Restorative Medical Center. It's a vibrant shade of celery green that exudes a feeling of rejuvenation. Color is a powerful force in our lives, and often something we take for granted. Take some time this week to appreciate the beautiful colors in your life and give some thought to how you could use color to add enjoyment to your plate.
The bright hues in our fruits and vegetables signal a plants abundance of antioxidants. While we may be attracted to the color of a plant, in the way a bee is attracted to a flower, we don't often give much thought to this response. It is nature's way of guiding us to the nutrition we need for our survival.
While the unique green of a celery plant may signify its antioxidant potential, it is also a sign of photosynthesis. The chlorophyll that results from this process is a type of phytochemical, and has been shown to have cancer preventative properties. Another phytochemical found in celery is coumarins which also help to prevent cancer. Coumarins are amazing in that they have the ability to enhance white blood cell activity. If you are looking to tone your vascular system, lower blood pressure, ease migraines, or improve detoxification, coumarin is the phytochemical for you.
Celery leaves were first noted for their medicinal properties in 900B.C.E. The Ancient Greeks even decorated their athletes with celery leaves. I wonder if they knew that drinking celery juice after a workout would replace electrolytes? They were probably also unaware of the specific vitamins that celery delivers. Celery will give you a great dose of vitamin C, folic acid, potassium, B6, B1, B2, calcium and natural sodium. It's no wonder that celery also has the ability to benefit people with arthritic and muscular aches and pains including osteoarthritis and gout by dissolving uric acid crystals.
The more I learn about celery, the more I want to eat some. I'm not a big fan of crunching on a giant stalk but that's the healthiest way to consume it and will allow you to benefit from all the goodness that celery has to offer. Personally I like to juice my celery or add it raw to salads. If you are using celery medicinally I recommend 4 to 5 stalks a day. (Please use organic celery as this is a crop whose conventional variety is often laden with pesticides.)
Reference: Murray, Michael & Pizzorno, Joseph & Pizzorno, Lara (2005). The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods. New York, NY: Atria Books.