Raw celery is a popular salad ingredient or snack that you can eat with dips, but cooked celery is another healthy choice. It is an easy side dish to prepare, or you can add it to casseroles, soups, sauces and other dishes for extra flavor and nutrients. Cooked celery provides the most health benefits as part of an overall balanced diet that includes a variety of vegetables.
Cooked celery, prepared without added fat, has 27 calories per cup. It has 6 grams of total carbohydrates, including 3.5 grams of natural sugars, 1 gram of protein and almost no fat. Celery and other low-calorie foods can help you lose weight or prevent weight gain because you can eat large portions of them without going over your calorie limit. Celery is cholesterol-free. Watch out for added fat during cooking -- oils and fats contain over 100 calories per tablespoon, so they can send your calorie intake soaring.
Cooked celery provides 2.4 grams of dietary fiber per cup. Dietary fiber lowers your cholesterol and may help you control your weight because it is a hunger-suppressing nutrient, according to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Recommendations for fiber intake are to get at least 14 g per 1,000 calories that you eat, but the typical American gets less than half of that amount. Consuming more celery means you'll enjoy the many health benefits -- including digestive health and lower cholesterol -- associated with a diet rich in fiber.
Boiled celery has 136 milligrams sodium per cup, which makes it a low-sodium food, according to Colorado State University Extension. Low-sodium foods have less than 140 milligrams per serving. A high-sodium diet can cause high blood pressure and increase your risk for heart disease, stroke and kidney disease. The recommendation for healthy adults is a maximum of 2,300 milligrams sodium per day. If you add salt to your celery during cooking, it will have 490 milligrams sodium.
Cooked celery provides 426 milligrams potassium per cup. Potassium helps to regulate blood pressure, and healthy adults should get at least 4,700 mg per day, according to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Celery has 9 milligrams vitamin C, or 15 percent of the daily value, and 782 international units of vitamin A, which is 16 percent of the daily value. It has 33 micrograms folate, or 8 percent of the daily value.
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