15 Incredible Celery Benefits

by Meenakshi Nagdeve last updated - Medically reviewed by Emily Borth

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Celery lowers cholesterol levels and arthritis pain, helps in weight loss, protects against oxidative damage, reduces high blood pressure, and promotes overall health in a vast number of ways. It is rich in vitamin C and hence is extremely beneficial for health.

What is Celery?

Celery is a plant of the Apiaceae family and is consumed as a vegetable. It can be found throughout the world and is an integral part of certain cuisines. Its origins 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.

For culinary use, it is most commonly found in soups and salads, or as a garnish to certain dishes. Also, it is commonly eaten as a snack, since it is quite filling but not fattening.

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

Nutrition Facts

Celery, raw
Serving Size :
NutrientValue
Water [g]95.43
Energy [kcal]14
Protein [g]0.69
Total lipid (fat) [g]0.17
Carbohydrate, by difference [g]2.97
Fiber, total dietary [g]1.6
Sugars, total [g]1.34
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
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid [mg]3.1
Thiamin [mg]0.02
Riboflavin [mg]0.06
Niacin [mg]0.32
Vitamin B-6 [mg]0.07
Folate, DFE [µg]36
Vitamin B-12 [µg]0
Vitamin A, RAE [µg]22
Vitamin A, IU [IU]449
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) [mg]0.27
Vitamin D (D2 + D3) [µg]0
Vitamin D [IU]0
Vitamin K (phylloquinone) [µg]29.3
Fatty acids, total saturated [g]0.04
Fatty acids, total monounsaturated [g]0.03
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated [g]0.08
Fatty acids, total trans [g]0
Cholesterol [mg]0
Caffeine [mg]0
Sources include : USDA

Celery Nutrition Facts

According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, celery contains minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, and potassium. It contains fatty acids and vitamins including vitamin A, K, C, E, and the B vitamins (thiamin, riboflavin, folic acid, vitamin and vitamin B6). It also contains fiber.

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 this 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 phthalides, which are organic chemical compounds that can lower the level of stress hormones in your blood. 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. Some evidence published in 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.”

Improves Heart Health

The notable presence of vitamin C, fiber, and other organic chemicals in the roots of celery promotes cardiovascular health. As discussed earlier, celery has anti-inflammatory properties as well as components that can lower both cholesterol and blood pressure. On top of that, celery also contains antioxidants which can help minimize free radical damage. All of these factors combine to make celery an incredibly heart-healthy food choice.

Regulates Fluid Balance

Celery is rich in potassium and contains a small amount of sodium. In the typical modern diet, we tend to have too much sodium and not enough potassium, making celery well suited to help correct this imbalance. Both minerals are important to help regulate fluid balance in the body.

Relieves Migraines

The presence of coumarins in celery can provide relief from migraines. The exact mechanism isn’t completely understood, but research points to a suppression of nitric oxide release in the brain, which can cause headaches and migraines.

Protects the Body against Oxidative Damage

It acts as an antioxidant, and in truth, all parts of celery, including the seeds, roots, and leaves can be used. Eating this vegetable regularly protects your organs from oxidative damage and helps to avoid diseases of the kidney, pancreas, liver, and gallbladder.

Controls Diabetes

Celery leaves are also eaten for treating various diabetic conditions. This is because of their high fiber content, which has been shown to help manage diabetic symptoms, as per a study published in the Phytotherapy Research journal in 2019.

Prevents Cataracts

Dripping celery tea drops on eyelids is good for certain ophthalmological conditions and can improve your eye health, reduce your chances of developing cataracts, and protect you against macular degeneration.

Nerve Tonic

Celery contains high levels of calcium and magnesium; two minerals particularly important in neural function which 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

Regular drinking of 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!

Other Benefits

Celery helps prevent many diseases and conditions that include neuritis, constipation, asthma, high blood pressure, periodontitis and catarrh (due to its anti-inflammatory properties), edema (due to its diuretic properties), mental exhaustion, iron deficiency anemia, and obesity.

How to Select and Store?

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. Store it in the refrigerator and use within 5-7 days. Make sure you do not freeze it.

Quick Serving Ideas

  • Salad: Add chopped celery 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.
  • Soups: Add celery stalks and leaves to soups, gravies, etc. as per your choice.

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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