Written by Fenny Morgana:
Snacks can be fantastic for keeping us going between meals and helping us stay well-fuelled, especially during busy times when we feel like we’re always on the go. As a result, they have an important part to play in a healthy, balanced diet. However, many of the easily available snacks are poor in terms of nutrition and owned by multinational companies with a dubious reputation for social and environmental justice.
Fruits and vegetables are great sources of healthy snacking. Feeling peckish? Let’s take a fresh look at celery – a humble vegetable that can help keep us healthy whilst we eat seasonally to support the environment – and explore its potential as a snack.
What does it do to our bodies?
Celery is loaded with antioxidant properties, with at least 12 kinds of antioxidant nutrients in a single stalk. Celery is also rich in anti-inflammatory properties; within it there are approximately 25 substances that fight against inflammation. Another benefit, celery is packed with vitamins A, K, C and B9 (folate), and minerals such as potassium. The good news is celery has a low glycaemic index that will help to keep your blood sugar level stable and safe. Conversely, celery has high water content – almost 95% – supported by soluble and insoluble fibre. For this reason, celery improves the digestive system, as every cup of celery contains 5 grams of dietary fibre.
A cup of chopped celery is only 16 calories and can be eaten raw, and it also can be steamed or baked. There are many ways to dress up celery to make it more enjoyable and flavoursome. Try pairing it with hummus or yogurt as a dipping sauce, stuffing it with guacamole or low-fat cream cheese that has been jazzed up with spices. Alternatively, juice the celery and drink it immediately. These ideas are low-calorie snacks that will be beneficial for our bodies.
Consuming vegetables as a snack will support our bodies to get one of our 5-a-day portions of vegetables, particularly if we do not have enough vegetables in our main meal. Healthy snacking is happy snacking.