Celery root: useful properties and contraindications
Celery is one of the most useful plants for humans. Moreover, all of its parts are useful - and greens, and roots, and seeds (and petioles - in the appropriate varieties). However, especially valuable in dietetics is celery root, which contains many biologically active substances and fiber, normalizing the function of the gastrointestinal organs. It is available almost all year round, although the tastiest root vegetables are sold in stores and markets from September through April.
- Composition and calories
- Useful properties of celery root
- General benefits
- For women
- For Men
- In Pregnancy
- For children
- When losing weight
- Celery Root in Medicine
- Against the deposition of salts
- Against rheumatism and joint pain
- Against Insomnia
- Against allergic reactions.
- Harms and Contraindications
- How to choose and store
- Can I Freeze?
- How to Dry
- How to eat celery root
- How much can I eat per day?
- How to peel it
- What you can make from celery root: Recipes
- Celery root puree soup
- Potatoes with celery
- Casserole of celery root, pumpkin and lentils
- Salad with celery root and remoulade sauce
- Fried celery root with spicy herbs
- Interesting facts about celery
Composition and Calories
The energy value of celery root is only 34 kcal per 100 grams. At the same time, it contains a lot of useful substances.
There is almost no fat in celery root, and sugar in it is only 2-4% (for comparison, in greens - no more than 1%). Most of the volume is dietary fiber, which normalizes digestion. In addition, root vegetables contain:
- Ascorbic acid, which normalizes the immune system and improves vascular health.
- Choline and vitamins B and PP, which are necessary for both normal functioning of the central nervous system and active metabolism.
- Organic acids, including oxalic acid, some of them have antioxidant properties, that is, have anti-inflammatory effect and slow the process of premature aging.
- Minerals - salts of potassium, phosphorus, calcium, sodium, without which metabolic processes could not take place at all.
- Glycosides and essential oils.
The properties of all these substances (and their combinations) are very versatile, so many are inclined to consider celery a cure for all diseases. This is certainly not true, although research on the properties of the root crop is very active, and it is considered a promising raw material for the pharmacological industry.
However, everything has a downside, and celery is no exception. In particular, it contains very strong allergens that are not destroyed even by heat treatment. Moreover, the root contains more of them than the greens (although less than the seeds). These substances can provoke extremely severe allergic reactions, even anaphylactic shock.
Useful properties of celery root
These root vegetables have a variety of useful properties. For example, they have a mild diuretic effect, so celery is recommended to include in the diet of people suffering from edema, as well as with certain problems with urination and even with small stones in the kidneys. The root in such cases can be consumed raw or squeeze juice from it.
Its useful properties are not limited to these. It should be mentioned that celery root:
- Improves digestive processes due to its high dietary fiber content. At the same time, there is research evidence that proves that in large quantities, fiber protects against intestinal cancers. But that's not all - fiber also creates a favorable environment for the development of beneficial intestinal bacteria that help prevent diseases such as diabetes and obesity.
- It prevents the development of atherosclerosis. In general, celery root is recommended for use in various cardiovascular diseases, including arterial hypertension, that is, high blood pressure. That said, celery extracts are not as useful as eating its root.
- It contains antioxidants that inhibit inflammation and protect the body at the cellular level, which is the prevention of many ailments, including malignant tumors, cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer's disease. The ferulic and caffeic acids and flavonoids (such as quercetin) in celery root are considered particularly beneficial.
- Improves brain function and is beneficial for cognitive abilities.
- Helps the body recover from surgery and serious illness.
- Suppresses the effects of stress hormones and has a beneficial effect on the nervous system in general. It can be compared to a mild sedative of plant origin.
- It supports the work of the heart muscle due to its high potassium content. This element also helps to neutralize the effects of salt abuse.
- Protects the liver from the development of fatty hepatosis.
- Is quite a strong aphrodisiac.
The anti-inflammatory properties of celery root allow its use in the treatment of infectious and skin diseases and even such pathologies as gout and arthritis - antioxidants seriously alleviate such conditions.
The anti-tumor properties of celery root have not yet been sufficiently studied. However, there have been several large-scale studies that have shown that the antioxidants and vitamin composition of celery make it a promising tool in the fight against cancer.
Also, a number of studies allow scientists to believe that the consumption of celery root could prevent the development of peptic ulcer disease. In particular, the root vegetable contains a specific type of ethanol alcohol, which helps depleted mucous membranes. But how to use this property in practice, given that celery essential oils are contraindicated for gastritis and ulcers, is still unclear.
Representatives of the fair sex are interested in celery root because it contains fiber, which helps to establish digestion and at the same time contributes to weight loss. But this is not its only advantage.
All parts of the plant, and the root too, contain the element apiol. It is a hormone-like substance that acts much like estrogen. Therefore, the regular use of celery root helps to adjust the menstrual cycle and eliminate the most unpleasant manifestations of PMS, and also greatly improves the condition during menopause.
For women during the menopause, celery root is especially useful because it contains a lot of vitamin K and phosphorus. Both of these elements are very important for strengthening bones, and their regular intake significantly reduces the risk of osteoporosis, the development of which threatens ladies during this period.
In addition, celery root contains antioxidants, which have anti-inflammatory properties and can slow down the aging process. The rich vitamin composition of the root helps to improve the condition of the skin, hair and nails.
Celery root is a must in the diet of men, because it contains plant hormone-like substances - in this case, affecting potency. In fact, celery is a safe counterpart to the drug Viagra. You can add raw celery root to your diet or prepare freshly squeezed juice from it, and both will have a good effect.
Men are at greater risk of cardiovascular disease than women. For them, eating celery root is also good because it helps reduce "bad" cholesterol levels in the blood. Studies have shown that this root vegetable contains a compound called 3-n-butylphthalide, which has a hypolipidic effect. Simply put, it lowers levels of low-density lipoproteins and thus reduces the risk of cholesterol plaques, which could lead to extremely negative consequences.
Despite the fact that in general celery is useful, during pregnancy it can be consumed only in very small quantities, especially this applies to the first and third trimester. The fact is that the aforementioned substance apiol acts as estrogen, the level of which is just reduced during pregnancy. This means that it stimulates uterine contractions, which is fraught with miscarriage or premature birth. However, you can eat it in small quantities - it will give the body enough fiber and vitamins.
Young mothers during the lactation period, celery root is useful in that it will quickly get into shape. But it contains a lot of essential oils, so at least the first two months when breastfeeding it is better not to use this product, so that the milk did not have an unfamiliar taste, and the child did not develop an allergy.
Celery contains many vitamins and minerals that are useful for a child. For example, it is calcium, which is necessary for strengthening teeth and bones, as well as potassium, which is beneficial for the cardiovascular system in general. In addition, celery root contains a lot of sodium, which allows you to reduce the use of salt in the child's diet. And this vegetable also has a lot of phosphorus, which is necessary for improving cognitive function.
However, pediatricians advise introducing celery root into a child's diet only from the age of one and a half. In this case, at first it is worth adding only a small piece of root vegetable in soup and checking the reaction, since this vegetable contains potential allergens, and the pronounced smell of celery may not like the baby. It is necessary for the child to get used to it. At first, this piece of celery is chopped in a blender along with the rest of the vegetables, then simply cut into small cubes.
When the child is two years old, you can offer him mashed celery. The dish is prepared as follows - for 100 g of celery root take 20 g of white bread crumbs, 50 ml of milk, 1 tsp. soft butter, 1 egg and salt to taste. The celery is peeled and diced, then boiled in lightly salted water. Soak the bread in milk, then whip it all with a blender together with butter. A hard-boiled egg is boiled, sliced and used for decoration.
For losing weight
Celery, unfortunately, does not have fat-burning properties, but it can also be useful for weight loss. It is often said that it is a product with negative calories, they say that when you eat it, a person loses more calories during digestion than he gets with the product. This is not entirely true, because the human body knows how to extract energy from any product, even a low-calorie one. It's just that unlike potatoes, celery contains almost no starch (only 5-6% of the total amount), but it has a lot of fiber. This helps to cleanse the body of toxins, and at the same time it stimulates the intestinal activity and activates the metabolic process. All of this together helps to get rid of excess weight.
Those who are seriously engaged in a healthy diet can include celery root in their diet as a garnish to meat, because it will be better absorbed this way. From a dietary standpoint, this would be a great option - boiled chicken breast and celery and apple salad, or rabbit stewed with celery root and onions.
Also a good effect is given by a diet on celery soup. The essence of it is that during the day you can eat only this soup, but in any quantity. Cooked soup as follows: 300 grams of celery root take 5 tomatoes (in winter can take canned, but not pickled), 300 grams of white cabbage, 2 bell peppers, 1 carrot and greens. The vegetables are chopped and thrown into the boiling water, again brought to a boil (it takes about 10 minutes), and then cooked over low heat until tender. A couple of minutes before turning off the heat, chopped herbs are tossed into the pot.
Stick to this diet for a week. During this time, you can lose 3-4 kg of extra weight.
Celery root in medicine
Celery root is widely used in folk medicine. For example:
Against the deposition of salts.
Take 40 grams of peeled root per 1 liter of cold water and insist for eight hours (it is best to leave it overnight). Then strain the infusion through gauze and take 1 tbsp. spoon three times a day. There is another option - three times a day for half an hour before the main meals take freshly squeezed celery juice.
Against rheumatism and joint pain
Take 1 tbsp. crushed celery root for 2 cups boiling water and leave to infuse for 4 hours, then pass through a folded gauze. Take the infusion three times a day for 2 tablespoons half an hour before a meal. This remedy is also considered effective against gout.
Take 3 tbsp. grated celery root per 1 liter of cold boiled water and insist for eight hours, and before use, strain. Drink three times a day, 1 tsp.
Against allergic reactions.
Freshly squeezed juice from the root is taken 2 tsp. three times a day for half an hour before the main meals, but only if there are no allergic reactions to celery and cross-allergies.
Celery root is also used to treat frostbite. To do this, 200 g of dried root crop is poured 1 liter of water, brought to a boil and kept on the fire for 10 minutes. After this it cools to a reasonable temperature and place in this liquid frostbitten limb for about 15-20 minutes. After that the skin is treated with children's cream. The procedure shall be repeated for seven days.
Harm and contraindications
In some cases, the use of celery root is contraindicated. As noted above, this root vegetable should not be consumed during pregnancy. In addition to the fact that celery can cause uterine contractions, the large amount of fiber can provoke increased gas formation, since during pregnancy the intestines are already under pressure from the enlarged uterus.
If you have kidney stones, celery juice is prohibited, as it can cause the movement of the concrements. But it is possible to eat celery in its fresh form, since in this way its active substances get into the body in a lower concentration.
With renal insufficiency, the use of root celery is contraindicated due to its high content of potassium and phosphorus. In addition, because of its diuretic effect, it can not be used in conjunction with diuretics.
Poor blood clotting is also a contraindication to use. And if this pathology is combined with taking warfarin, then it is definitely better to give up celery.
With caution, eat celery with increased stomach acidity, because with such a content of essential oils, it only increases the production of gastric juice.
How to choose and store
Celery can easily be found in stores and markets from September through April, so you don't have to freeze it for the winter. Unless you can consider it as a way to store it when processing the harvest from your own cottage.
Can I freeze it?
Like any other vegetables, quality celery can be frozen. To do this, the root vegetables are washed, dried, and cleaned of peels, knots, and roots. You can freeze celery grated or chopped into small pieces. In any case, it is packed in plastic bags or plastic food containers, and then put in the freezer.
How to dry
To dry celery root, you must first shred it, either grate it with a coarse grater, or use a sharp knife to cut it into long straws, or peel and slice it into thin slices using a vegetable peeler.
Shredded celery can be dried naturally, without interfering with the process, laying it out on grates or trays. It is not recommended to expose it to direct ultraviolet rays, it is better to keep under a roof and from time to time stir the shredded mass. Drying will take at least two weeks. You can speed up the process if you dry it in the oven at a temperature close to minimum, slightly opening the door. The most convenient way to dry it is in a special dryer. The temperature in it is the same as in the oven - 50 degrees. The drying process takes 10 hours.
How to use celery root
For all its useful properties, celery requires a careful approach because of the excess fiber, which causes gas and essential oils.
How much you can eat per day
Of course, the rate will be individual for each person, but in general, 300 grams per day in raw, cooked and fried form will be quite enough.
How to clean
The answer to this question depends on how economical the hostess wants to peel celery. If speed is the main thing, then you can quickly cut the root vegetable into two parts, and then from each of them cut off the skin and knotty roots with literally a few movements. But then a lot of pulp will go to waste.
For a more economical peeling, you should first cut off the top, to which the stems of the greens are attached. Then carefully cut off the peel with a thin layer, and where there are knotty roots, remove only them, and all the "hollows" between them clean out with a knife and then also try to peel there with a thin layer of peel. It will take much longer, but most of the pulp will remain.
If the root is not going to be used completely, you need to cut off a small piece and peel only it, and wrap the rest in clingfilm.
What can be cooked from celery root: Recipes
Many dishes can be prepared from celery root. Its pulp has a strong flavor, but it is not eaten by itself, except in a salad, with herbs and dressing. Raw celery root goes well with apples and spicy herbs, as well as with carrots and pumpkin, which allows you to prepare from it many salads and appetizers.
In boiled and stewed form it is good in combination with potatoes, mushrooms, meat and even seafood, it all depends solely on the sauce and additional spices. Celery can be added to soups, vegetable stews, pickles. From celery, even without additives, you get a delicious cream soup. But you can also try other options for dishes:
Celery root puree soup
Take 1 root vegetable, 2 stalks of leeks (only the white part), a cup of 33% cream, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 tablespoons of linseeds or sesame seeds. Rinse celery and leeks thoroughly A deep longitudinal cut is made on the leeks to get rid of all impurities. Both the root and onion stems are coarsely chopped and put in a saucepan so that the water covers the vegetables. Bring the mixture to a boil, then turn down the heat to minimum and leave under a closed lid for 20-30 minutes. When the celery becomes soft, it is whipped with a blender to a purée, add the cream and mix everything. Salt and pepper are added to taste. When serving, sprinkle with seeds and chopped herbs.
Potatoes with celery
Take 400g of potatoes and the same amount of celery root, 1 large white onion, a handful of fresh thyme leaves, 2-3 tbsp. vegetable oil, salt to taste. Potatoes are washed in the usual way, peeled and cut into small cubes. The same is done with the celery. Then chop onions and fry them together with thyme in a non-stick pan for a few minutes. After 3-4 minutes, add the celery and potatoes and mix them. All this is stewed under a lid on low heat for 15-20 minutes until the vegetables are cooked. In order to prevent the dish to burn, it must be constantly stirred, in the extreme case it will be necessary to add a small amount of hot water, but best of all - dry white wine. It will give the dish a richer flavor. Salt and spices are added at the end of the cooking process and stir the ingredients once again.
Casserole of celery root, pumpkin and lentils
You will need the following ingredients for this dish: 1 large celery root, 300g pumpkin flesh and a couple of medium-sized carrots, 60-70g brown lentils, 1-2 onions, 2-3 garlic cloves, a couple of sprigs of thyme and rosemary, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 tsp balsamic vinegar and the same amount of soy sauce, 0.4l of vegetable broth. You also need 150g of good hard cheese, 50 ml of milk, salt and pepper to taste. Onion, pumpkin and carrot are chopped into small pieces, the leaves of spicy greens are shredded, and garlic is passed through a press. First, in a saucepan with a thick bottom slightly fry the onion, then add garlic, thyme and rosemary, a little balsamic vinegar, mix and leave on the fire for just a minute. After that, it's turn to add other vegetables, lentils and spices. After a few minutes, the vegetable broth is poured in, soy sauce is added, and it is brought to a boil. Boil the vegetables for 45 minutes until the lentils are soft.
Meanwhile, peel the celery root and cut it into cubes, and then boil it in salted water, adding garlic. After the celery is ready, it is transferred to the bowl of a blender, add olive oil and milk and whip the puree. In a greased form put the prepared vegetables and lentils, and celery puree on top. The surface is smoothed and sprinkled with grated cheese, then baked in the oven until crusted.
Salad with celery root and remoulade sauce
The latter is a traditional French sauce with capers, but you can do without them, especially since it exists in many versions. To prepare the dish you will need the following products: 1 large celery root, a glass of homemade mayonnaise, one hard-boiled chicken egg, 1 tablespoon each of chopped parsley and tarragon, a garlic clove, 0.5 tsp. Spoonfuls of Dijon mustard with grains. The sauce is prepared as follows - separate the egg whites and yolks. The egg whites are chopped and the yolks are rubbed with a spoonful of mayonnaise, then added to the remaining mayonnaise and chopped garlic, parsley, tarragon and mustard. Celery is peeled and cut into thin slices, then it is thrown into boiling water and boiled for 3-4 minutes. Then drain the water, cool the celery, cut it into thin slices and dress with remoulade sauce. Before serving sprinkle with greens.
Roasted celery root with spicy herbs
Prepare a large celery root (about 0.5 kg), 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 2-3 cloves of garlic, a sprig of fresh rosemary and a handful of mint leaves. Salt and ground black pepper are added to taste. Celery root is first sliced into thumb-thick slices, then cut into wedges. Fry the vegetable in the preheated olive oil until golden brown. After that, turn the heat down to minimum, add chopped garlic and rosemary to the pan, fry all together for 4-5 minutes. When the celery becomes soft, add a little butter and mint, season with salt and pepper, stir without removing it from the fire. Drain off the excess oil before serving.
For any of these recipes you need a good celery root. It is desirable to choose it correctly: the root should be hard, with a smooth surface and without knots, of which later you will have to get rid of anyway. It is important that it be full inside, without voids. To check this, you need to knock on the root vegetable. A high-quality one will have a deaf sound, a ringing sound is characteristic of an empty vegetable inside.
Interesting facts about celery
In botanical terms, celery belongs to the Umbrella family and is related to parsley and carrots, although it differs from them in appearance, taste and flavor. Curiously, it was well known about its therapeutic properties back in ancient Greece. In his works, the legendary Hippocrates described the effect of celery on various diseases. However, it was not used as a food, because the wild varieties growing in the Mediterranean were bitter, and the first tasty varieties were brought out only 18 centuries later.
But in Russia celery only appeared under Catherine the Great, and at first it was a decorative plant, although even then the court beauties knew that it was incredibly useful for skin and hair. But for many years, celery simply decorated gardens as an overseas guest. And its name itself was derived from the German name, which in turn goes back to Latin. Now the memory of this is preserved only in the Ukrainian language, where celery is called "selera".
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