Celery, a crunchy and refreshing vegetable, is often found in salads or used as a garnish for dishes. However, it is not just a decorative addition to your plate, as it also boasts a range of health benefits. This versatile vegetable is low in calories and fiber, making it a great choice for weight management. Additionally, celery contains a variety of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can help to support overall health and well-being.
In this article, we will explore the many health benefits of celery, as well as how to incorporate it into your diet. So, let’s dive in and discover why this simple vegetable is such a powerhouse of nutrition.
Introduction to Celery
Celery (Apium graveolens) is a green vegetable that belongs to the Apiaceae family, which also includes carrots, parsley, and fennel. The part of the celery plant that is typically consumed in the long, fibrous stalk, which has a crunchy texture and a mildly sweet flavor.
Celery is commonly used in cooking as a flavoring ingredient, but it can also be enjoyed raw as a snack or added to salads. In addition to its culinary uses, celery has a long history of use in traditional medicine, particularly for its diuretic and anti-inflammatory properties.
Today, celery is known for its numerous health benefits, including its ability to reduce inflammation, promote digestion, and support heart health. Let’s explore some specific ways that celery can benefit your health.
Nutritional value of Celery
Celery is a low-calorie vegetable rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Here are the nutrition facts for one cup (101 grams) of chopped celery:
- Calories: 16
- Carbohydrates: 3 grams
- Fiber: 2 grams
- Protein: 1 gram
- Fat: 0 grams
- Vitamin K: 37% of the Daily Value (DV)
- Vitamin C: 14% of the DV
- Folate: 9% of the DV
- Potassium: 8% of the DV
- Vitamin B6: 6% of the DV
- Calcium: 4% of the DV
- Magnesium: 3% of the DV
14 Amazing Health Benefits of Celery
Now that we’ve covered the nutritional benefits of celery let’s take a closer look at the many ways that this vegetable can improve your health:
1. Reduces Inflammation
Celery contains several anti-inflammatory compounds, such as apigenin and luteolin, which can help to reduce inflammation throughout the body.
This can be particularly beneficial for individuals with inflammatory conditions such as arthritis. Research has also shown that celery extract can help to reduce inflammation in the digestive tract, which may be helpful for individuals with inflammatory bowel disease.
2. Lowers Blood Pressure
Celery is rich in potassium, a mineral that helps to regulate blood pressure by counteracting the effects of sodium. Eating celery regularly can help to lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease.
Additionally, celery contains compounds called phthalides, which can help to relax the muscles in the walls of blood vessels, further reducing blood pressure.
In one study, participants with high blood pressure who consumed celery seed extract daily for six weeks experienced a significant decrease in systolic and diastolic blood pressure compared to the control group.
3. Promotes Digestion
Celery is a great source of fiber, essential for promoting healthy digestion. Fiber helps keep things moving smoothly through the digestive system by adding bulk to stool and promoting regular bowel movements. Eating celery can also help prevent constipation and reduce the risk of gastrointestinal disorders such as diverticulitis.
Celery also contains natural compounds that have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties, which can be beneficial for individuals with inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. These compounds help to reduce inflammation in the gut, easing symptoms and promoting healing.
In addition, the high water content in celery can help keep the digestive system hydrated, which is essential for proper digestion and nutrient absorption. Drinking celery juice or adding celery to smoothies can be a great way to promote healthy digestion and support overall gut health.
4. Supports Weight Loss
Celery can be a great addition to a weight-loss diet. Firstly, celery is very low, with just 10 calories per medium stalk. This means you can eat a lot of celery without consuming too many calories, which can help you feel fuller for longer and reduce overall calorie intake.
Additionally, celery is high in fiber, which can help support weight loss efforts. Fiber helps slow down the digestion of food, which can help you feel fuller for longer periods of time. This can lead to reduced snacking and overall calorie intake throughout the day.
Celery also has a high water content, which can help keep you hydrated and reduce cravings for sugary drinks and snacks. Drinking celery juice or eating celery as a snack can be a great way to stay hydrated and support weight loss efforts.
5. Boosts Immune System
Celery is rich in vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that can help to boost immune function and protect against infections.
Additionally, the anti-inflammatory compounds in celery can help to reduce inflammation in the body, which can further support immune health.
6. Supports Heart Health
Celery is rich in nutrients that are beneficial for heart health. For example, it contains antioxidants such as vitamin C and flavonoids, which can help protect against oxidative stress and inflammation, both risk factors for heart disease.
In addition, celery contains phthalides, compounds that can help lower blood pressure by relaxing the muscles in the walls of blood vessels. High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease, so incorporating celery into your diet can be a natural and effective way to support cardiovascular health.
Celery is also a good source of potassium, an important mineral for heart health. Potassium helps regulate blood pressure and can help counteract the negative effects of sodium in the diet. Eating a diet rich in potassium, including foods like celery, can help support healthy blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease.
7. Reduce Cancer Risk
Celery may also offer protective benefits against cancer. It contains compounds like apigenin and luteolin, which have been shown to have anti-cancer properties.
Apigenin has been found to help prevent the growth and spread of cancer cells in various studies. It does this by inhibiting the production of certain enzymes that can promote cancer growth. Luteolin, on the other hand, has been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects and can help prevent the development of cancer cells.
Additionally, celery is a good source of antioxidants like vitamin C and beta-carotene, which can help protect against oxidative stress and DNA damage that can lead to cancer. Its high fiber content can also help promote regular bowel movements and remove toxins from the body, which can further reduce the risk of colon cancer.
8. Improves Skin Health
The vitamins A and C in celery can help to promote healthy skin by supporting collagen production and protecting against oxidative stress. Additionally, the water content in celery can help to keep skin hydrated and supple.
9. Supports Eye Health
The vitamin A in celery is important for maintaining healthy vision. Adequate vitamin A intake has been linked to a reduced risk of age-related macular degeneration, a common cause of vision loss in older adults.
10. May Improve Brain Health
Celery contains several compounds that may benefit brain health, including apigenin and luteolin. These compounds have been shown to have neuroprotective effects and may help to improve cognitive function.
Additionally, celery is rich in antioxidants, which can help to protect against oxidative stress and reduce inflammation in the brain.
11. Lower cholesterol levels:
Celery contains compounds called phthalides, which have been shown to help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. These compounds may also help relax the walls of blood vessels, further reducing the risk of heart disease.
12. May support liver health
Celery contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that may help support liver health. One study found that celery extract reduced liver damage in rats exposed to a toxic chemical.
13. Support bone health
Celery is a good source of several minerals essential for bone health, including calcium, magnesium, and vitamin K. These nutrients can help support bone density and reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
14. Improve sexual function
There is some evidence to suggest that celery may have aphrodisiac properties and could potentially improve sexual function. Celery contains a compound called androstenone, which is a pheromone that is known to stimulate sexual arousal in some people.
Furthermore, celery may help improve circulation and blood flow, which is important for sexual function. It is also a good source of vitamin E, which has been linked to improved sexual health and fertility.
Benefits of celery for men
Celery offers several potential benefits for men’s health. Here are some of the key benefits:
- Improved sexual function: As mentioned earlier, celery contains compounds that may have aphrodisiac properties and improve sexual function.
- Increased fertility: Celery is a good source of vitamin E, which has been linked to improved fertility in men.
- Lowered risk of prostate cancer: Studies suggest that consuming vegetables like celery that are high in antioxidants may help reduce the risk of prostate cancer.
Benefits of celery for women
Celery is a nutrient-rich vegetable that can benefit women’s health. Here are some of the key benefits:
- Reduced menstrual cramps: Celery contains compounds that may help reduce inflammation and pain, which may benefit women experiencing menstrual cramps.
- Lowered risk of breast cancer: Studies suggest that consuming vegetables like celery that are high in antioxidants may help reduce the risk of breast cancer.
- Reduced risk of osteoporosis: Celery is a good source of calcium, which is important for bone health and may help reduce the risk of osteoporosis in women.
How to Incorporate Celery into Your Diet
Now that you know about the many health benefits of celery, you may be wondering how to incorporate this vegetable into your diet. Here are some ideas:
- Add celery to your salads for a crunchy texture and a boost of nutrients.
- Juice celery and other vegetables and fruits for a refreshing and nutritious drink.
- Chop celery and add it to your soups and stews for extra flavor and nutrition.
- Enjoy celery sticks as a healthy snack with hummus or other dips.
- Use celery as a base for dips and spreads, such as celery root hummus.
Incorporating celery into your diet can be as easy as adding it to your salads, juicing it with other vegetables, or enjoying it as a healthy snack. By making celery a regular part of your diet, you can take advantage of its many health benefits and improve your overall well-being.
Delicious Recipes with Celery
Celery is a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of dishes, from salads to soups to stir-fries. Here are a few delicious recipes that feature celery as a key ingredient:
- Celery Salad with Blue Cheese and Walnuts: This salad is a perfect blend of sweet and savory flavors. Simply chop celery stalks and mix with crumbled blue cheese, toasted walnuts, and a vinaigrette made with olive oil and apple cider vinegar.
- Cream of Celery Soup: This classic soup is made with celery, onions, garlic, and vegetable broth. The soup is blended until smooth and then finished with a splash of heavy cream.
- Celery and Chicken Stir-Fry: This quick and easy stir-fry is made with sliced chicken breast, celery, carrots, and snow peas. The vegetables are stir-fried with garlic and ginger and then finished with a simple sauce made with soy sauce and rice vinegar.
- Celery Root and Apple Slaw: This refreshing slaw is made with shredded celery root, crisp apples, and a tangy dressing made with lemon juice, Dijon mustard, and honey.
- Stuffed Celery Appetizer: This easy appetizer is perfect for entertaining. Simply mix cream cheese, chopped chives, and walnuts together and stuff into celery stalks.
- Braised Celery with Parmesan: This simple side dish is made by braising celery stalks in vegetable broth until tender. The celery is then topped with grated Parmesan cheese and broiled until bubbly and golden brown.
- Celery and Fennel Salad: This light and refreshing salad are made with thinly sliced celery and fennel, tossed with a lemon and olive oil dressing, and finished with shaved Parmesan cheese.
- Celery and Mushroom Risotto: This creamy risotto is made with celery, mushrooms, and Arborio rice. The dish is finished with Parmesan cheese and fresh parsley.
Precautions when consuming Celery
While celery is generally considered safe to consume for most people, there are a few precautions to keep in mind:
- Allergies: Celery is a common allergen, and some people may experience an allergic reaction after consuming it. Symptoms of a celery allergy can include itching, swelling, and difficulty breathing. If you have a known allergy to celery, it’s important to avoid it altogether.
- High Sodium Content: Celery is naturally low in sodium, but it can still contribute to your overall sodium intake if consumed in large amounts. If you are on a low-sodium diet or have high blood pressure, you may want to limit your intake of celery.
- Pesticides: Celery is one of the most heavily sprayed crops, so it’s important to choose organic celery whenever possible to reduce your exposure to harmful pesticides.
- Medication Interactions: Celery contains compounds that can interact with certain medications, including blood thinners and diuretics. If you are taking any medications, be sure to talk to your healthcare provider before consuming large amounts of celery.
By keeping these precautions in mind, you can safely enjoy the many health benefits of celery.
1. Is it safe to eat celery every day?
Yes, it is safe to eat celery daily if you are not allergic to it. However, it is important to vary your diet and not rely solely on celery for all your nutrients.
2. How much celery should I eat per day?
There is no set amount of celery that you should eat per day, but most people can benefit from incorporating at least a serving or two into their diet each day.
3. Can celery be used as a natural remedy for inflammation?
Yes, celery contains a variety of anti-inflammatory compounds that can help to reduce inflammation throughout the body. Adding celery to your diet may be a helpful way to manage inflammatory conditions such as arthritis.
4. Is it better to eat celery raw or cooked?
Both raw and cooked celery can be nutritious, but cooking can reduce the nutrient content of celery. To get the most nutrients from celery, it is best to eat it raw or lightly cooked.