Tall, lush, green and crunchy, the humble celery has seen a resurgence in popularity in the last few years for its health benefits. Celery is part of the Apiaceae family, that also includes carrots, parsley, celeriac and more. Its name is derived from the Greek word, selinon and is native to the Mediterranean and the Middle East. Celery is widely eaten vegetable and in modern times celery has often considered a “diet food” as it’s a food that is low in calories but high in water content but there is so much more to this tasty vegetable.
Celery Nutritional Information
While celery is 95% water, it is an excellent source of fibre containing around 1.5g per 100g. Its water content makes it a very hydrating vegetable as well, with two ounces of water in one large stalk. Celery is very low in calories, around 7 calories per stalk, as well as containing no protein or fat which is one of the reasons it has been used in diets and weight loss. Research has also shown that the act of chewing celery, of which a lot is required with this stringy vegetable, boosts the release of hormones that trigger satiety.
Celery contains vitamin A as well as vitamin K, vitamins that support our immunity, skin, eyes, blood and bone density. Celery also contains folate, which is associated in supporting our memory, and potassium, that helps our heart and muscles, while also providing smaller amounts of vitamin C, B, calcium, magnesium and manganese.
Added Benefits of Celery
- An animal study performed in 2010, suggested that a phytonutrient in celery may be beneficial in protecting against gastric ulcers.
- A 2009 animal study found that celery juice, in combination with doxorubicin, a chemotherapy drug appeared to offer protective benefits.
- Celery extract was used in a 2017 animal study suggesting an improvement in cognitive function and neuronal density in mice.
What About Celery Juice?
A variety of health claims have been made about celery juice in the last few years as it has been touted to help treat a wide variety of conditions. While consuming celery juice isn’t harmful, there hasn’t been enough human-research to back many of its beneficial claims.
Celery juice removes most of the fibre from the vegetable during the process, a valuable nutrient. Further, celery juice is high in oxalates which can cause issues for those with kidney-related issues or those who are prone to gout.
- Celery leaves have the most calcium, potassium and vitamin C than the rest of the vegetable and are very edible.
- Chop celery just before cooking or consuming as it loses nutrients quickly after being cut.
- Despite what many think, celery is not a “negative calorie” food.
- Celery can provoke severe allergic reactions in some people, similar to peanuts. Celery allergies are one the most common allergies in Europe.
- In the 1960s, Jell-O offered celery-flavoured gelatin mix.
- Celery was originally used as a medicinal plant that was used to treat things such as insomnia, gout, arthritis and more.
- Celery’s cultivation as food began in Italy and France in the 1600s.
- One of the first mentions of celery in literature is within Homer’s The Iliad.