Celery is an herbaceous plant of the parsley family ( Apiaceae) and its stalks and leaves are used to flavor soups and stocks. It is low in calories, has high water content, and is used as a low-carb snack option.
Celery is native to Mediterranean and North African areas but is now cultivated globally. It is a popular ingredient in cuisines from America and Ireland to Japan and Australia.
Celery is known for its medicinal benefits. It is antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-diabetic. Celery juice provides many other benefits such as curing skin irritations, promotes weight loss, and promotes detoxification.
As per USDA Food Central Database, a medium stalk of celery ( 40 grams) contains 5.6 calories and 1.2 grams of carbs. They are great for hydration as they contain 38.2 grams of water. Celery also contains minerals like such as calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, and potassium.
Vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, and other B vitamins in celery provide many health benefits.
Health Benefits of Celery
The Health benefits of celery are as follows.
(1) Provide Anti-Inflammatory Benefits
As per the 2019 study, cytokines in celery leaves provide anti-inflammatory benefits and act as an immune system messenger molecule.
Bioactive inflammatory compounds such as apigenin, luteolin, and kaempferol in celery provide relief from pain and inflammation caused by inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, rheumatism, rheumatoid, gouts, asthma, and bronchial asthma.
(2) Protection Against Cancer(s)
Vitamin C, vitamin A, and other antioxidant compounds such as flavonoids like apigenin and luteolin in celery protect our cells from free radical damage.
It reduces the risk of various cancers such as colon cancer, breast cancer, pancreatic cancer, abdominal cancer, and intestinal cancer, etc.
Free radicals are the unstabilized ions that stabilize by stealing electrons from neighboring molecules and doing so causes oxidative damage to them
Apigenin and luteolin may kill cancer cells in the body.
The anti-carcinogenic properties of apigenin destroy cancer cells and promote autophagy, a process through which the body removes dysfunctional cells that helps prevent disease.
The anti-cancer property of luteolin inhibits the cell proliferation process.
Bioactive polyacetylenes in celery are chemoprotective compounds and prevent the formation of various cancers.
(3) May Help Treat Vitiligo
As per a study conducted in Poland, the furanocoumarins in Celery may help treat vitiligo.
Vitiligo is a condition that causes skin discoloration and the formation of white patches due to a lack of pigment in certain areas of the skin.
Ancient ayurvedic texts such as Atharva Veda also mention the use of celery for vitiligo treatment.
However, more scientific research is needed in this regard.
(4) Lowers LDL Cholesterol
Dietary fiber in celery reduces LDL cholesterol and manages cholesterol levels in our body.
Phthalates in celery stimulate the secretion of bile juices, which work to reduce cholesterol levels in our body.
By reducing LDL cholesterol, it minimizes the risk of atherosclerosis.
Atherosclerosis is a condition that hardens and narrows our arteries due to the accumulation of plaque and fat deposits in arterial walls.
It is a leading cause of cardiovascular problems such as heart attack, heart stroke, and coronary artery disease.
(5) May Reduce Blood Pressure
As per a 2009 study, organic compounds such as phthalides in celery may lower stress hormones in the blood and have hypolipidemic effects on our bodies.
They expand our blood vessels, improve blood circulation and provide relief from hypertension or high blood pressure.
Hypertension or high blood pressure is a common health condition that affects millions around the world and causes cardiovascular and other health problems.
Celery contains potassium, a natural vasodilator that relaxes our blood vessels, enhances blood circulation, and relieves hypertension.
(6) May Promote Neurogenesis And Prevent Memory Loss
Bioactive compounds such as Luteolin and Apigenin in celery may reduce the risk of memory loss.
As per a study conducted at the Jinan University ( China), Luteolin ( a flavonoid in celery) calms brain inflammation and may help in the treatment of neuroinflammatory disorders.
It reduces the risk of neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, etc.
Apigenin, a bioactive flavonoid in celery promotes the growth and development of nerve cells ( neurogenesis) and keeps our neurons healthy.
These antioxidant compounds in celery protect our brain cells or neurons from free radical damage and reduce the risk of various neurodegenerative diseases.
Other nutrients like calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron, and B vitamins, etc in celery also improve neurological health.
(7) Good For Digestion
Celery is good for the stomach and benefits our digestive health.
Vitamin A, vitamin C, and other antioxidant compounds such as flavonoids, etc in celery protects our digestive system from free radical damage.
It reduces the risk of colon cancer, abdominal cancer, intestinal cancer, and pancreatic cancer, etc.
The laxative properties of dietary fibers in celery improve bowel movement and relieve constipation and other gastrointestinal problems such as abdominal pain, gas, bloating, and flatulence, etc.
(8) Improve Sexual Health
Androstenone and androstenol, male hormones in celery are believed to stimulate sexual arousal in women. They boost arousal by emitting scents that make a man more desirable
However, more research is required to verify these effects on humans.
(9) Improve Cardiovascular Health
Celery is good for the heart and improves our cardiovascular health.
Antioxidants and relevant compounds such as flavonoids, etc in celery protect our cardiovascular system from free radical damage.
The anti-hypertensive agents such as phthalides and potassium in celery relax blood vessels and provide relief from hypertension, a leading cause of cardiovascular problems.
Dietary fibers in celery reduce LDL cholesterol and reduce the risk of atherosclerosis, a condition that increases the risk of cardiovascular problems such as heart attack, heart stroke, and coronary artery disease.
The anti-inflammatory properties of celery also play an important role in improving cardiovascular health.
(10) May Reduce Risk of Urinary Tract Infections
The abundance of water ( around 95 percent) in celery improves kidney health and reduces the risk of urinary tract infections.
The antibacterial properties of celery also play an important role in reducing the risk of UTI.
As per a study conducted on Southern Chinese Elderly Men, celery also reduces the symptoms of UTI in men.
(11) Lowers Arthritis Pain
The anti-inflammatory compounds such as 3-n-butylphathalide(3nB) in celery provide relief from pain and inflammation caused by inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, rheumatism, rheumatoid, gouts, asthma, and bronchial asthma.
It reduces swelling and pain around the joints.
Because of its diuretic property, celery help removes uric acid crystals from the body’s joints and prevents pain and discomfort.
(12) May Relieve Menopause Symptoms
Phytoestrogens in celery balance hormone levels, and provide relief from menopause symptoms.
(13) Strengthens Immune System
Celery strengthens the immune system, the defense mechanism of the body that prevents and treats microbial infections, diseases, injuries, and wounds.
Vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, and other antioxidant compounds such as flavonoids in celery protects our immune cells or white blood cells from free radical damage.
This strengthens our immune system and reduces the risk of getting a cough, cold, fever, and flu, etc.
Vitamin C further strengthens immunity by enhancing the production of white blood cells.
The antimicrobial properties of celery protect us from bacterial, viral, and fungal infections.
Other nutrients such as calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron, zinc, and B vitamins, etc in celery also play a significant role in strengthening immunity.
(14) Improve Respiratory Health
Celery is good for our respiratory health.
Vitamin A, vitamin C, and other antioxidant compounds in celery protect our respiratory system from free radical damage and reduces the risk of lung cancer.
The anti-inflammatory properties of vitamin A and vitamin C reduce lung inflammation and benefit against asthma and bronchial asthma.
Vitamin C is good for people with exercise-induced asthma as it has a protective effect on the airways.
Potassium, magnesium, and other nutrients in celery also play a significant role in improving respiratory health.
(15) Help Treat Kidney Stones
Luteolin and other essential compounds in celery essential oil help in treating kidney stones.
Apigenin, a flavonoid in celery breaks down calcium crystals found in kidney stones.
Furthermore, the diuretic properties of celery and the antioxidants in celery also play a significant role in improving kidney health.
(16) Assist Diabetes Management
Celery has a low glycemic index of 15 and reduces the rate at which sugar is released into the bloodstream.
This prevents a sudden spike in blood sugar levels and assists in diabetes management.
Dietary fibers in celery slow down sugar absorption by the bloodstream and keep blood sugar under control.
As per a study published in Phytotherapy Research Journal in 2019, active ingredients in celery help manage diabetes because of their hypolipidemic, antidiabetic, and hypotensive properties.
(17) Works As A Potent Nerve Tonic
Celery works as a potent nerve tonic as they contain calcium and magnesium.
These vital minerals significantly reduce anxiety and perceived stress.
Calcium help triggers the release of neurotransmitters, which allows the brain to communicate with the body.
Coumarins in celery help in treating several neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, epilepsy, and more.
(18) Promotes Weight Loss
Celery promotes weight loss as it has a low calorific value of 14 calories per cup.
Dietary fibers in celery provide stomach satiety and control overeating, a major cause of obesity.
The abundance of water in celery helps digestion and improves metabolism for healthy weight management.
Active compounds in celery stimulate the secretion of bile juice to promote digestion and break down lipids efficiently.
As per anecdotal advice, celery is a negative calorie food ( which means eating celery burns more calories than it provides), but there is no scientific evidence behind this claim.
How Much Celery Should I Eat A Day?
As celery is low in calories, eating one or two stalks of raw celery or drinking 24 to 32 ounces of celery juice per day is a safe bet.
Celery leaf extract capsule is used in treating blood glucose and insulin levels in elderly pre-diabetic patients at a dose of 250 mg thrice a day.
How to Select and Store Celery?
How to Select Celery?
Celery is easily available in markets all over the world. Choose a firm green stalk with no discoloration and fresh and crisp leaves.
How to Keep Celery Fresh?
Celery stalks can be kept fresh for 5-7 days by putting them in a zip lock bag and storing them in a refrigerator.
Can Celery Be Freeze?
Celery stalks can be frozen for up to 12-18 months and used in hot dishes, soups, and casseroles.
How to Use Celery?
Celery can be used in salads, soups, and juices.
Side Effects of Celery
Possible side effects of celery are as follows
(1) Celery Allergy
Celery is a common food allergen that causes allergic reactions ranging from oral contact urticaria to anaphylactic shock. Celery allergy may occur on eating celery raw, cooked, or as a form of spice.
If you are allergic to celery, you are likely to be allergic to other herbs and spices, and it is usually called the Celery-Carrot-Mugwort-Condiment Syndrome.
(2) Skin Irritations
In some individuals, consuming celery or drinking celery juice may cause allergic reactions such as dermatitis, eczema, acute urticaria ( hives), and angioedema, and skin swelling.
The EWG’s Dirty Dozen list for 2020 features Celery containing chemical pesticide residue.
These pesticides accumulate in our body and cause health problems ranging from skin problems to birth defects, genetic changes to nerve disorders.
Prefer Organic or locally grown celery ( or other vegetables) that doesn’t use harmful chemicals during farming.
Properly clean celery stalks before making celery juice.
It is better to eat cooked celery than raw celery to avoid the risk of pesticides and toxins.
(4) Gastrointestinal Problems
Because of its high fiber content, excessive consumption of celery may cause diarrhea, abdominal pain, bloating, and poor absorption of nutrients.
(5) Issues Regarding Pregnant And Breastfeeding Women
Pregnant women should avoid celery and celery seeds as they may cause a miscarriage by inducing bleeding and uterine contractions.
Nursing mothers should also be cautious and consult their doctor before adding celery to their diet.
(6) May Interact With Drugs
Celery may interact with blood clotting medications such as warfarin, and increase the risk of excessive bleeding.
Celery is antidiabetic, and if you are taking diabetes medication, eat celery after consulting with the doctor to ensure there is no food-drug interference risk.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is celery good for your liver?
Celery is good for the liver.
The antioxidants in celery protect the liver from free radical damage, and the detoxifying compounds in celery reduce the detoxification burden from the liver.
As per a study conducted in Egypt, celery may reduce the risk of developing fatty liver disease.
Are celery and peanut butter good for you?
Celery-peanut butter is a low-carb snack that provides all the nutrients from the celery, and plenty of protein and fats from the butter.
What is the best way to eat celery and get its maximum health benefit?
Consume fresh celery ( within 5-7 days). Cooked celery is preferred over raw celery as they have less risk of toxins.
Steamed celery retains all its nutrients, and is good for health.
Where is celery grown?
Celery is best grown in areas with loam soil as it requires plenty of water, protection from high temperatures and the sun, and rich soil.
Which part of celery do we eat?
Almost every part of the celery can be eaten. This includes delicious green leaves, crisp stalks, seeds, and roots.
Does celery grow back?
The celery plant regenerates from the base and regrows through a process called vegetative propagation.
What is the head of celery?
Celery grows together in a collective unit of ribs. These ribs joint at a common base called the head of the celery.
Can you eat the leaves of celery?
Celery leaves are delicious, nutritious, and edible.
They can be added to stocks, soups, sauces, stir-fries.
How do you freeze celery?
- To freeze celery, do as follows.
- Pull celery stalks apart and wash them under running water.
- Trim and cut the stalks till they are an inch long.
- Immerse them in a pot of boiling water for 3 minutes to blanch them.
- Remove the celery, drain, and quickly immerse it in ice-cold water.
- Let it cool for 5 minutes, and drain water.
- Pack the celery in a Ziploc bag ( with as little air as possible), and place it into a freezer.
This article provides general information about the topic and is not be taken as medical advice or as an alternative to medical advice, treatment, and/or diagnosis. Always consult with your doctor before trying out any of the remedies/recipes suggested in the blog post.
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