Celeriac isn’t the prettiest of vegetables but don’t judge a book by its cover.
Behind its knobbly and gnarly exterior is a firm-textured dreamboat with a nutty, slightly sweet and mellow celery-like crunch. Celeriac is extra tasty and super versatile. You can roast it, mash it, soup it, turn it into fries, or grate it – adding it to zingy, zesty salads or a celeriac slaw.
Not only is celeriac delicious, but it’s also brimming with some astounding health benefits. Here are seven reasons why you should be eating more of it.
1) It’s incredibly nutritious
Celeriac is ridiculously nutritious, containing B vitamins, vitamins C and K and the minerals potassium, phosphorus, calcium, iron and zinc. It also provides a small amount of the antioxidants lutein and Zeaxanthin.
Simply put, the nutritional profile of celeriac means it’s good for you, keeping you healthy and energised. So eat up.
2) Immune boosting
Packed full of antioxidants and high in vitamin C, celeriac can help to fight off free radical damage, reducing oxidative stress, strengthening your immunity and protecting you from illness.
3) Helps your stress levels
All those lovely B vitamins can help to calm your nervous system, support adrenal function, balance mood and improve your sleep patterns while also keeping your energy up.
If you’re looking for a primer on vitamin B, incidentally, we took a deep dive on the subject not too long ago: “What is Vitamin B? A Comprehensive Guide.”
4) Good for your bones
Vitamin K is vital for bone health and research has shown that those with a higher dietary intake of vitamin K have a reduced risk of bone fractures. One cup of raw bumpy, lumpy celeriac provides 64mcg of this bone-strengthening vitamin, a hefty chunk of your recommended daily intake. It also contains smaller amounts of potassium and calcium which work synergistically with vitamin K to prevent bone degeneration and osteoporosis. What’s more, potassium helps to keep your teeth tip-top.
5) Promotes a healthy digestive system
Eating a high fibre diet helps to keep your gut healthy and digestive system functioning smoothly. Celeriac is rich in fibre which encourages healthy gut bacteria, helping to protect against obesity and metabolic syndrome. Fibre also aids the effective elimination of waste and toxins, improves constipation, increases nutrient absorption and supports metabolism.
6) Good for your heart
Celeriac provides some crucial nutrients to help keep your heart in check. In research, vitamin C has been found to moderately lower blood pressure in doses as small as 60mg a day. In one study, higher levels of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) in the blood related to a lower risk of hypertension.
Potassium helps to regulate blood pressure and can also lower the risk of stroke, while vitamin K may reduce calcium build up in your arteries.
7) Protection against Type 2 diabetes
We all know vegetables are good for us and can help to prevent all manner of diseases. However, one extensive study spanning across eight European countries found that those who had a higher intake of root vegetables in particular (and also green leafy vegetables) had a significantly reduced risk of type 2 diabetes.
Forget sweet potato fries – try this celeriac fries recipe instead.
First, chop your celeriac into 1cm width fries. Lightly coat them with some smoked paprika and a sprinkling of Pink Himalayan salt. Roast for 30 minutes at 200 degrees Celsius – and that’s it!
Celeriac fries are also delicious roasted with a little salt and pepper, then smattered with a grating of parmesan.
Celeriac is in season through autumn and winter, so now is the time to reap the rewards from this beautiful (yes, that’s right) vegetable.
It’s a powerhouse of nutrients that are extremely good for you with a bountiful booty of vitamin K to help to protect your bones and heart, while the vitamin C it provides benefits blood pressure, boosts your immune system and reduces oxidative stress.
So next time you’re in the fruit and vegetable aisle, don’t swerve the celeriac. Make friends with it, place it in your trolly and give it a chance. You won’t be disappointed.
This article is written by Rebecca Rychlik, Nutritional Therapist and Homeopath. Follow Rebecca on Instagram, Facebook and Medium, @rebeccabitesback.
Celeriac is extra tasty and super versatile. You can roast it, mash it, soup it, turn it into fries, or grate it – adding it to zingy, zesty salads or a celeriac slaw.