Apium graveolens sounds like something out of Harry Potter. It’s also the scientific name for celery. Recently I’ve noticed a lot of fad health infographics and articles touting celery as a ‘negative calorie food’, meaning it takes more calories to process than it contains as body fuel. I’m going to say firmly that that is not really a thing. Sorry.
That is not to say, however, that celery is not very beneficial for weight loss and general health. Cultivated originally for medicinal purposes in the Mediterranean basin with documented references as early as 850 BC, it has many benefits.
Celery is a great liver cleanser and can reduce liver fat, a dangerous but nearly asymptomatic condition resulting from too much alcohol, rapid weight loss, high cholesterol or excessive acetaminophen consumption. It also contains an amazing little oily compound called *NBP, which has a diuretic effect that reduces bloating and eases digestion, making it great after a hedonistic holiday, long-haul flight or regrettable bout of drinking.
Until I started experimenting with celery, I was bored by it, eating it begrudgingly as raw crudité or finally, when it was sad and wilted in my vegetable drawer, boiling it for soup broth. Snooze. These recipes give celery a few twists and get me excited about celery season from September to November, though it is available almost year round in western Europe and North America.
Celery & Warm Kale Salad with Spicy Peanut Dressing
Guacamole Au Celery
California Celery Research Advisory Board – www.celeryresearch.com
*NBP, also known as 3-n-butylphthalide