11 Incredible Celery Benefits

by Meenakshi Nagdeve last updated - Medically reviewed by Emily Borth

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Celery is a powerful vegetable that helps to lower cholesterol levels and arthritis pain. It can also quicken weight loss, protect against oxidative damage, and lower high blood pressure. Including celery stalks in your diet can promote your overall health as it is rich in vitamin C.

What is Celery?

Celery is a plant of the Apiaceae family and is consumed as a vegetable. It has long fibrous stalks that are generally eaten as a snack for its low-calorific value. It can be found throughout the world and is an integral part of certain cuisines. It is most commonly found in soups and salads, or as a garnish to certain dishes.

The origins of celery most likely trace back to the Mediterranean and North African areas, since what is believed to be a rudimentary variety of species of celery was found in King Tut’s tomb, and a plant closely resembling it is referenced multiple times in Mediterranean myth and history. The plant is now cultivated globally and is a part of every cuisine from America and Ireland to Japan and Australia.

A close-up view of celery roots with leaves placed on a wooden table

Celery leaves are very helpful in improving your overall health. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Nutrition Facts

Celery, raw
Serving Size :
NutrientValue
Water [g]95.43
Energy [kcal]14
Energy [kJ]57
Protein [g]0.69
Total lipid (fat) [g]0.17
Ash [g]0.75
Carbohydrate, by difference [g]2.97
Fiber, total dietary [g]1.6
Sugars, total including NLEA [g]1.34
Sucrose [g]0.08
Glucose (dextrose) [g]0.4
Fructose [g]0.37
Galactose [g]0.48
Calcium, Ca [mg]40
Iron, Fe [mg]0.2
Magnesium, Mg [mg]11
Phosphorus, P [mg]24
Potassium, K [mg]260
Sodium, Na [mg]80
Zinc, Zn [mg]0.13
Copper, Cu [mg]0.04
Manganese, Mn [mg]0.1
Selenium, Se [µg]0.4
Fluoride, F [µg]4
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid [mg]3.1
Thiamin [mg]0.02
Riboflavin [mg]0.06
Niacin [mg]0.32
Pantothenic acid [mg]0.25
Vitamin B-6 [mg]0.07
Folate, total [µg]36
Folate, food [µg]36
Folate, DFE [µg]36
Choline, total [mg]6.1
Betaine [mg]0.1
Vitamin A, RAE [µg]22
Carotene, beta [µg]270
Vitamin A, IU [IU]449
Lutein + zeaxanthin [µg]283
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) [mg]0.27
Tocotrienol, alpha [mg]0.01
Vitamin K (phylloquinone) [µg]29.3
Fatty acids, total saturated [g]0.04
14:0 [g]0
16:0 [g]0.04
18:0 [g]0
Fatty acids, total monounsaturated [g]0.03
16:1 [g]0
18:1 [g]0.03
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated [g]0.08
18:2 [g]0.08
Phytosterols [mg]6
Tryptophan [g]0.01
Threonine [g]0.02
Isoleucine [g]0.02
Leucine [g]0.03
Lysine [g]0.03
Methionine [g]0.01
Cystine [g]0
Phenylalanine [g]0.02
Tyrosine [g]0.01
Valine [g]0.03
Arginine [g]0.02
Histidine [g]0.01
Alanine [g]0.02
Aspartic acid [g]0.12
Glutamic acid [g]0.09
Glycine [g]0.02
Proline [g]0.02
Serine [g]0.02
Sources include : USDA

Celery Nutrition

According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, 100 g of raw celery contains minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, and potassium. The vitamins in celery include vitamins A, K, C, E, and the B vitamins (thiamin, riboflavin, folic acid, vitamin and vitamin B6). It mostly made up of water, fiber and some carbs.

Carbs and Calories in Celery

One medium stalk of celery, of about 40 g, contains 5.6 calories and 1.19 g carbs. This makes it a universally loved low-calorie snack option.

You can add it to your salads or make a fresh glass of juice. It helps to keep you full for longer so that you do not reach for any unhealthy snacks.

Health Benefits of Celery

The health benefits of celery include the following:

Lowers Cholesterol Level

A research study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry suggests that the fiber found in celery may help reduce artery-clogging cholesterol (called LDL or bad cholesterol).

The phthalides in these vegetables also stimulate the secretion of bile juices, which work to reduce cholesterol levels. Less cholesterol means less plaque on the artery walls and a general improvement in heart health. The fiber that is found in it also works to scrape the cholesterol out of the bloodstream and eliminate it from the body with regular bowel movements, further boosting cardiovascular health.

Reduces Blood Pressure

Celery contains organic chemical compounds called phthalides. These compounds can lower the level of stress hormones in your blood. More so, celery seed extracts have shown antihypertensive properties, which means they can help to regulate high blood pressure.

Also, a 2009 study revealed that celery has hypolipidemic effects on your body that allow your blood vessels to expand, giving your blood more room to move, thereby reducing pressure. It also contains potassium, which is a vasodilator and helps in reducing blood pressure. When blood pressure is reduced, it puts less stress on the entire cardiovascular system and reduces the chances of developing atherosclerosis or suffering from a heart attack or stroke.

Prevents Urinary Tract Infections

Celery seeds help in the elimination of uric acid because it is commonly used for its diuretic properties, meaning that it stimulates urination. Therefore, it is good for people with bladder disorders, kidney problems, cystitis, and other similar conditions. The seeds also assist in preventing urinary tract infections in women.

There is also evidence showing that celery extract has antibacterial effects as well which has further potential to prevent UTIs.

A research study titled “Fruit and Vegetable Intake in Relation to Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms and Erectile Dysfunction Among Southern Chinese Elderly Men” claims that celery helps in reducing UTI symptoms in men as well.

Lowers Arthritis Pain

Celery is great for people suffering from arthritis, rheumatism, and gout. It has anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce swelling and pain around the joints. Celery extracts, which contain 85% 3-n-butylphthalide (3nB), are effective in giving relief from arthritis and muscular pains.

Because celery acts as a diuretic, it helps remove uric acid crystals that build up around the body’s joints that can add to the pain and discomfort.

Anticancer Properties

Celery contains phthalides, flavonoids like luteolin, and polyacetylenes.

A study conducted at the Molecular Biology and Lung Cancer Program, Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute, USA suggests that luteolin has cancer-fighting properties. Celery also contains coumarins that enhance the activity of certain white blood cells, which can effectively stave off cancer as well.

In another study led by Gao, LL et al. it was found that that celery seed extract exerts anti-proliferation and effect against gastric cancer and its use may induce apoptosis or programmed cell death. These antioxidant components seek out free radicals and neutralize them before they can cause conditions such as cancer.

Boosts Immune System

Rich in vitamin A and C as well as antioxidants, celery greatly boosts the immune system and makes it more active and efficient. Eating this vitamin C rich vegetable regularly can reduce your risk of catching a common cold, as well as protect you against a variety of other diseases.

Reduces Asthma Symptoms

Vitamin C present in celery prevents free radical damage and also has anti-inflammatory properties that lessen the severity of inflammatory conditions like asthma.

Evidence from the Journal of the American Medical Association suggests that vitamin C may have “a protective effect on the airways of patients with exercise-induced asthma.”

Prevents Oxidative Damage

Eating celery regularly protects your organs from oxidative damage and helps to avoid diseases of the kidney, pancreas, liver, and gallbladder.

Manages Diabetes

As per a study published in the Phytotherapy Research journal in 2019, the active ingredients in celery have shown hypolipidemic, antidiabetic, and hypotensive properties. This means that including these crunchy stalks in your diet can help you manage diabetes.

Nerve Tonic

Celery contains high levels of calcium and magnesium; two minerals that have been shown to significantly reduce anxiety and perceived stress. Additionally, calcium plays an important role in triggering the release of neurotransmitters, which allow the brain to communicate with the body.

Celery also contains coumarins, which studies have shown to have potential in treating several neurodegenerative disorders including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, epilepsy and more.

Weight Loss

Drinking celery juice before meals may help reduce your weight. It is very low in calories and is also filling due to its high fiber content. Therefore, it can help reduce the tendency to overeat and help you keep the weight down without feeling hungry all the time!

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How to Select and Store Celery?

Celery is readily easily available in markets all over the world. Choose a firm stalk that is green in color, has no discoloration, and has fresh and crisp leaves.

If you have bought celery bundles and want to keep them for future use, then put them in a zip lock bag. Store it in the refrigerator and use the stalks within 5-7 days. Make sure you do not freeze it or it will lose its crispiness.

How to Use Celery?

Celery can be used in many culinary preparations. Some of them are mentioned below.

  • Salad: Add chopped stalks to vegetables or meat of your choice. Add salt and crushed pepper to the salad. For the dressing, drizzle lime juice and olive oil.
  • Fruit salad: Mix sliced apples and nuts such as peanuts, raisins, etc. with chopped celery in a bowl. Mix orange juice with mayonnaise and drizzle it over the mixture.
  • Ants on a log: Cut celery stalks into half vertically, spread peanut butter on the sticks and then sprinkle raisins on them.
  • Soups: Add celery stalks and leaves to soups, gravies, etc. as per your choice.

Can you Freeze Celery?

You can easily freeze celery. If you have leftover sticks from your last shopping trip and you do not plan to use them anytime soon, it is best to keep them. The only catch here is that frozen stalks won’t have the same crisp texture as the fresh ones. You can definitely use it in soups, sauces, casseroles, and stews.

Health gurus advocate eating fresh, seasonal vegetables but if you want to enjoy your celery all round the year, then follow these steps to know how to freeze celery like a pro.

Clean the celery: Wash the sticks thoroughly under tap water. Make sure you separate the stalks and clean so that all the dirt is removed properly.

Blanch the celery: Most people skip this step as they intend to use celery in a couple of months. But you can absolutely blanch the stalks to keep them for longer. Just make sure to pat the celery dry after you blanch it.

Freeze for a brief time: Spread the stalks on a baking sheet and freeze for a couple of hours.

Pack and store: Now remove the stalks and add them to a zip lock bag or a vacuum seal pouch and store in a freezer. You can also stick a label with the date on which you store the celery to ensure that you do not use it after a long time.

Word of Caution

The seeds of this vegetable contain volatile oils, flavonoids, coumarins, and linoleic acid, and are therefore not good for pregnant women because they may cause contractions in the uterus. If you are pregnant, check with your doctor before making any major changes to your diet. Other than that, eat as many of those crunchy, green, and healthy stalks as you can!

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About the Author

Meenakshi Nagdeve, Co-Founder, Organic Facts is a health and wellness enthusiast and is responsible for managing it. She has completed the Nutrition And Healthy Living Cornell Certificate Program, Cornell University, US. She holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Management from IIM Bangalore and B. Tech in Metallurgical Engineering and Materials Science from IIT Bombay. Prior to this, she worked for a few years in IT and Financial services. An ardent follower of naturopathy, she believes in healing with foods. In her free time, she loves to travel and taste different types of teas.

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