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Part of the parsley family, celery has been crunched on and consumed for more than 3,000 years, with humble beginnings in the Mediterranean region. Hippocrates prescribed it as a nerve soother. The Greeks placed it in the bouquets for their winning athletes in ancient games. The Romans revered it for its aphrodisiac properties — and believe it or not, they were onto something, as modern science has revealed that celery contains androsterone, a pheromone released by men's sweat glands that actually attracts females. Who knew?

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Every part of celery is edible — from its stalks and seeds to its leaves — and this mighty vegetable contains important vitamins, enzymes and minerals. By eating it, you’ll get a dose of potassium, calcium, folate, and vitamins A, B6, K and C. When it comes to consuming celery, most people just grab a piece from the veggie tray, enjoy its crunch in their tuna fish sandwich or dip a stalk into their Bloody Mary, but adding more celery into your diet is a smart idea. Celery has a high concentration of water and electrolytes, so it’s great for hydration.

Since it’s nutrient dense, celery will fill you up with its fiber, yet it has very few calories, so it’s an excellent food for weight control. You can add it to your stir-fry and soup (please don’t skip the healthy leaves), slather peanut butter on it, or eat it plain, as it’s great for digestion.

But most importantly, when it comes to celery, please be sure to only consume this vegetable if it’s organic. Conventional heads can have 19 different pesticides on them alone. It’s on the Environmental Working Group's Dirty Dozen list, so only buy organic.

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Another way to reap the benefits of celery is to juice it. Here’s any easy recipe to start the day.

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 celery stalks, including leaves
  • 1 inch ginger root
  • 1/2 green apple
  • 1/2 bunch parsley
  • 1/2 lemon with its skin

Directions:

  • Blend all ingredients into a juicer and drink up!

Celery is a key ingredient in our Swisse Men’s Ultivite Multivitamin and our Swisse Women’s Ultivite Multivitamin. Each product contains celery seed extract.

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References and sources:

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Journalist Ann Wycoff has written about wellness, fitness, longevity, travel, spas, food and wine for the past 20 years for magazines like Shape, Fitness, Spa, Outside, Travel + Leisure, Coastal Living, Redbook, Modern Luxury, San Diego Magazine, Redbook, Marin Magazine and more. She lives in Encinitas, California.