Celery or Apium graveolens is a marshland plant that is cultivated as a vegetable since ancient times. It is a biennial vegetable that was being used for medicinal purposes during the 9th century B.C. in Greece. Its use as a food began in the 1700s in Europe. Celery, however, is a very nutritious veggie, which is chock full of Vitamin C, dietary fiber, potassium, folic acid, Vitamin K, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B2 and calcium. One stalk of celery contains only 20 calories. And if you are still wondering about the benefits of eating celery, then let me tell you that the health benefits of eating celery includes weight loss, lowers blood pressure and cholesterol levels, treats infection and boosts digestion.
Celery has quite a lot of uses. Dried celery leaves are sprinkled as seasoning to add a soft spicy flavor to foods. Celery seeds are used as spice and also for obtaining oil used in the perfume industry. The seeds are sometimes grounded and mixed with regular salt to make celery salt. Celery salt is a popular ingredient to enhance the taste of drinks like Bloody Mary and make it more savory. Celery is also a common element of Ayurveda and is used to treat arthritis, inflammation, water retention and so on.
Celery contains phytochemicals that may prevent cancer. It contains a chemical compound called coumarine that aids our vascular system and reduces blood pressure. Celery juice acts as an electrolyte and it also known to help in weight loss. We often tend to push down celery to the bottom of our vegetable drawer and forget about the amazing benefits this meek veggie could provide. There are innumerable benefits of eating celery and that’s what we are going to discuss in today’s post.
Surprising health benefits of eating celery
Celery contains negligible amount of saturated fat and cholesterol. It is an excellent source of Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Vitamin C, Folate, Potassium, Manganese and Roughage and is a good source of Vitamin B6, Magnesium and Calcium. According to this nutrition data, one cup (101 grams) of chopped raw celery contains the following nutrients:
- 6gms of Roughage (6% of DV)
- 8mg of Omega-6 fatty acids
- 453IU of Vitamin A (9% of DV)
- 6mcg of Vitamin K (37% of DV)
- 1mg of Vitamin C (5% of DV)
- 1mg of Vitamin B6 (4% of DV)
- 4mcg of Folate (9% of DV)
- 263mg of Potassium (8% of DV)
- 1mg of Manganese (5% of DV)
- 4mg of Calcium (4% of DV)
- 1mg of Magnesium (3% of DV)
- 1mg of Phytosterols
- 4gms of Water
Please note that the percent daily value (%DV) is for children aged 4 or above and adults. They are based on a 2000 calories based diet, and your daily values maybe lower or higher depending on your personal requirements.
Let us dive in and learn about the health benefits of eating celery.
Treats high blood pressure
Celery contains organic chemical compounds called pthalides, which lowers the level of stress hormones in your bloodstream. This leads to blood vessel expansion, giving enough space for your blood to flow freely, finally causing a reduction in heightened blood pressure. Celery also contains potassium, which is a vasodilator, providing help in lowering blood pressure. Celery seeds contain methanolic, hexanic and aqueous-ethanolic extracts that aids in regulating circulation, lowering inflammation and bringing down elevated levels of blood pressure. According to one study (performed on animals), celery-fed rats showed notable improvement in blood pressure levels that rats that were kept on the same diet, minus the celery. Reduced blood pressure means reduced stress on the heart and improvement of the overall cardiovascular system.
Maintains healthy liver
According to, when the researchers from Department of Nutrition and Food Science at Helwan University in Egypt fed rats with celery, chicory and barley, they noticed a significant reduction in the amount of harmful fat build-up in the liver.
When the researchers augmented the high cholesterol diet of rats with celery, chicory and barley powder, they perceived development in blood-lipid levels and liver-enzyme activities. The more barley, chicory and celery were added in the rats’ diet, the more liver improvement was observed. Therefore, a daily diet consisting of barley, chicory and celery helps you maintain a healthy liver and keeps liver diseases at bay.
Helps against urinary tract infections
Celery helps lower uric acid and boost urine production. According to this research, celery seeds are used as a common remedy for stimulating urination and keeping away urinary tract infections. Aside from urinary tract infections, celery helps with kidney problems, bladder disorder and even cyst in the reproductive organs.
Lowers arthritis pain
Celery is good for patients of rheumatism, arthritis or gout. It has anti-inflammatory qualities that help to reduce inflammation and swelling around the joints. Since it is also diuretic, it helps remove the uric acid crystals that gets build-up around our joints and add to the discomfort and pain. According to this study, celery helps with tissue regrowth in inflamed joints.
The anti-inflammatory properties of celery eliminate oxidative stress by driving away the harmful free radicals. Inflammation is sometimes the root cause of chronic illnesses like heart diseases, cancer, arthritis and so on. Researchers have found quite a lot of anti-oxidants in celery that gives it its anti-inflammatory qualities like caffeic acid, ferulic acid, phenolic acid and flavonols like quercetin. These make celery useful against a lot of inflammatory diseases like kidney infections, skin disorder etc.
Beneficial against cancer
The pthalides, flavonoids and polyacetylenes in celery are beneficial against cancer. These detoxify the body of carcinogens. Celery contains phytochemical compounds called Coumarins that boosts the activity of white blood cells. Vegetables like celery, parsley, parsnips, fennel etc. contain polyacetylenes, which are chemo-protective compounds. Additionally, polyacetylenes have the ability to inhibit mutated cells from proliferating. According to this study by the Department of Agricultural Sciences of the Aarhus University of Denmark, “polyacetylenes have shown many interesting bioactivities including anti-inflammatory, antiplatelet-aggregatory, cytotoxic, antitumor activity, as well as activity against bacteria and mycoplasma.”
Useful against ulcer
A research published in the 2010 issue of the Journal of Pharmaceutical Biology reports that celery contains a special kind of ethanol extract, which is beneficial in safeguarding the lining of the digestive tract from ulcers. Celery extract has the ability to recharge the exhausted levels of gastric mucus that is required in the lining of our stomach to avert the appearance of tiny pores. According to scientists, celery nutrifies the stomach, intestines and colon due to the presence of certain chemical compounds like flavonoids, volatile oils, tannins and alkaloids that regulate the secretion of gastric acid while enhancing the level of protective mucus.
Brings down cholesterol level
Celery contains a distinctive compound called 3-n-butylphthalide (BuPh), which has been reported to have lipid-lowering effect. As per this study, when rats on a high fat diet were given celery for eight weeks, they showed remarkably low levels of lipids in their blood compared to the control group of rats who were not provided with the celery. The group of rats who were provided with the celery extract underwent notable reduction in serum total cholesterol (TC), tryglecideride (TG) and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) concentration.
Helps with weight loss
It is believed that drinking celery juice regularly before meals helps you lose weight. Because it is very low in calories and very high in dietary fiber or roughage, it keeps you satiated for a longer time. This keeps away your hunger pangs and prevents you from overeating. Celery’s ability to provide essential nutrients and to maintain lipid metabolism makes it irreplaceable addition to a fat-free diet. The antioxidants, electrolytes, vitamins and minerals celery provides come without the added calories.
Effective against Infections
According to this articles by NCBI, celery contains a particular antimicrobial compound that is found in the seeds of celery. When this extract was separated from the seeds and combined with strains of harmful bacteria, the extract was able to appreciably purge and reduce the growth of bacteria, hinting at the fact that celery can be used to naturally enhance immunity and that it is quite effective against bacterial infections.
The NBP compound in celery seeds acts as a diuretic and aids in detoxification of the body. In one animal study, urine volume in rats provided with celery was much higher than rats that were not provided with the same. This diuretic effect of celery makes it beneficial for digestion. This could also be counted as an antihypertensive quality of celery seeds, which helps in lowering blood pressure. Since it enhances intestine circulation, it also helps in promoting digestion by mitigating bloating and excess water retention.
Some other benefits of Celery
Since celery is rich in both potassium and magnesium, it helps regulate the fluid balance in the body. (Source: 1)
Because celery is high in dietary fiber or roughage, it is consumed by diabetics to help manage their condition. (Source: 2)
To reduce your chances of developing cataracts, drip celery tea drops n your eyelids. This will boost your eye health and keep back chances of developing macular degeneration.
Celery is rich in calcium, which makes it a superb nerve tonic, i.e., it is used to calm the nerves. (Source: 3)
Since celery possesses anti-inflammatory properties, it is also helpful in managing asthma.
Release of nitric oxide in brain causes headaches and migraines and celery is known to suppress this release, resulting in prevention of migraines. The coumarins present in celery might be the reason behind this beneficial property.
Over to You
Celery is an amazing vegetable that packs a punch when it comes to nutrients. It is beneficial against elevated blood pressure, infections, ulcer, arthritis, cataracts, asthma, migraines, obesity, increased cholesterol level, helps you maintain a healthy liver, healthy digestive system, healthy eyes and even provides protection against cancer.
Celery is one of the most chemical sprayed crops in the world, so you must be cautious while purchasing it. Always go for organic celery whenever you think about buying it. Although rare but celery is known to cause severe allergic reaction in some. The celery seeds are rich in flavonoids, coumarins, volatile oils and linoleic acid, which make them not good for pregnant women as they can lead to contractions in the uterus.
The advantages of celery are far superior to its disadvantages. Munch on celery stalks and leaves all you want ‘cause they are damn good for your health. Add celery to your soups and salads, juice them – try any recipe you know to add this veggie in your daily diet. Do not store celery in the fridge for more than a week as its nutrient content starts to deplete after that.
Have you tried celery yet? If not, try them today and experience the benefits first hand.
Until then, stay fit and gorgeous!
Eliana the chief editor at bodyandbeans is a professional yoga instructor and a fitness freak. She has done her master’s in history from Kolkata University. She is passionate about healthy eating and living practices.