Celery is both a staple and a snack food in many homes. It was first listed as a plant in France in 1623, and it became a seed crop in Michigan in the 1850s. It is sold as stalks and as pre-packaged celery hearts in grocery stores. Celery is related to carrots, parsley and fennel, and they share some of the same benefits. According to the CDC's Fruits and Veggies Matter website, vegetables that contain fiber and are low in fat and calories can help reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, stroke and some cancers.
Celery is low in calories and carbohydrates, has no fat or cholesterol, and is a good source of dietary fiber. According to the Fruits and Veggies Matter website, a 1/2-cup serving of sliced celery provides 6 percent of the daily value of vitamin A, 4 percent of vitamin C and 2 percent of calcium. It also provides 2 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 1 gram of sugar, 0.5 grams of protein and 10 calories. Celery is a healthy vegetable choice that provides nutrition and fiber, without added calories or fat. You can add celery to salads or stir-fry vegetables, or you can enjoy it as a snack with peanut butter.
Fennel is a plant that looks very much like celery, but it has a faint licorice taste. It has health benefits that are similar to those of celery, as it is a good source of fiber, has no fat and is low in calories. A 1/2-cup serving of raw sliced fennel has 15 calories, 3 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 1 gram of protein and 0 grams of sugar. It also provides 2 percent of the daily value of vitamin A, 8 percent of vitamin C, 2 percent of calcium and 2 percent of iron, based on a 2,000-calorie diet. Fennel is often roasted as a vegetable or added raw to salads. It can also be used in risotto, chicken and fish recipes.
Carrots have benefits that are similar to those of celery, being a low-calorie, low-carb vegetable that is low in fat and high in vitamins A and C. A 2-ounce serving of raw carrots has 20 calories, 0.36 grams of protein, 1.7 grams of fiber and 18 milligrams of calcium, according to the USDA National Nutrient Database. Carrots have a long history as a favorite vegetable. Serve them sauteed as a side dish, add them to stir-fries, or eat them raw as a snack. Carrots are often made into juice, but you will be missing some of the fiber benefits if you consume them in this form.
Parsley belongs to the same plant group as celery and provides some of the same benefits. The plant resembles a miniature version of celery. In a 1/2-cup serving of parsley, there are 11 calories, 0.89 grams of protein, 1.9 grams of carbohydrates and 1 gram of fiber. It is high in vitamins A and C, and it supplies 41 milligrams calcium, according to the USDA National Nutrient Database. Parsley is often considered as only a garnish, but it has a place in specialty dishes such as tabouli -- a mixture of wheat bulgur, tomatoes, green onions, lemon juice and olive oil. Parsley can also be used with basil to make pesto sauce.
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