Celery (Apium graveolens) is a marshland plant of the Apiaceae family. It has a long stalk tapering into leaves. These stalks contain high amounts of cellulose. People usually eat it as vegetables. You can have celery both raw and cooked. Also, you can use celery leaves in fried or roasted fishes and. Celery root, known as Celeriac, is also used as a raw or cooked vegetable. People use celery seeds as spices. In many herbal medicines, celery extracts is used. You can also use celery in the skin to repel mosquitoes.
A single stalk of a celery contains at least 12 kinds of antioxidant nutrients. It is also rich in vitamin C, beta carotene, and flavonoids. Drinking celery juice helps in detoxification. It is also used in weight loss diets, as it provides low calorie dietary fiber. As it is rich in fiber, it can benefit the digestive and cardiovascular systems.
Celery was used as a seasoning by the ancient Greeks and Romans. And the ancient Chinese used celery as a medicine. French mirepoix is made up of celery, onions, and carrots, which are used as a base for sauces and soups. In many soups like chicken noodle soup, celery is a staple.
Must-Known Facts about Celery:
- Celery has phytonutrient which reduces instances of inflammation in the digestive tract, cells, blood vessels, and organs.
- There are 25 anti-inflammatory compounds in Celery and celery seeds that give protection against inflammation in the body.
- Celery contains 95% of water, which supports a healthy digestive system. One cup of celery contains 5 grams of dietary fiber.
- Celery contains vitamins A, K, and C and minerals like potassium and folate. But it is low in sodium. And it is low on the glycemic index, which means it has a slow, steady effect on our blood sugar.
- Those who are on a weight-loss diet, celery is best for them. Because it contains lots of water and fiber, it helps to lose weight.
Top 10 Health Benefits of Celery:
Celery is a highly nutritious and extremely healthy vegetable that comes with a load of health benefits. Here are some must-known facts about it:
- Prevents Cancer: Celery contains a plant compound called apigenin. It plays a role as an anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiviral, and antioxidant agent. It also has properties that prevent cancer. Celery has a flavonoid called luteolin which has anticancer properties. It prevents the spread of cancer cells and induces cell death.
- Reduces Cholesterol: Celery extract reduces levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) also known as “bad” cholesterol.
- Supports digestion: Celery is a Pectin-based polysaccharides that has a compound named apiuman. This compound decreases instances of stomach ulcers, improves the lining of the stomach, and modulates stomach secretions. Celery is high water content i.e. 95 percent and also soluble and insoluble fiber. These help to gain a healthy digestive tract. One cup of celery sticks has 5 grams of dietary fiber in it.
- Promotes weight loss: There are only 10 calories in one stalk of celery and a cup of chopped celery contains about 16. It also contains dietary fiber that helps to reduce cravings. As it absorbs water in the digestive tract, it makes you feel less hungry for a long time. As a result, it helps in losing weight.
- Prevents Diabetes: Take a dose of 250mg of celery leaf extract three times a day, 30 minutes before each meal. It will reduce your blood sugar levels with pre-diabetic condition. Apigenin, luteolin, and phenolics are the flavonoids present in celery responsible for producing insulin and regulating glucose levels. Celery is also high in a powerful antioxidant called quercetin. This antioxidant increases glucose uptake in the liver and stimulates insulin secretion to prevent diabetes.
- Protects Eyesight: Celery contains vitamins C and E, along with two forms of vitamin A. They can improve your vision. There are two specialized carotenoids, Lutein and zeaxanthin that accumulate in the retina for concentrated protection. So vitamins present in celery are powerful antioxidants that help to prevent AMD.
- Prevents liver Disease: Celery contains vitamin B, C, A and iron. So if you consume celery regularly, it will protect your kidney health and prevent liver disease. It contains diuretic properties which remove toxins, wastes, and contaminants from your body. So Celery is ideal for liver cleansing.
- Reduces risk for urinary tract infection: Celery boosts urine production and decreases uric acid. So if you eat celery regularly, it will prevent bacterial infections within the digestive tract and reproductive organs. Celery is an excellent home remedy for urinary tract infections and kidney problems.
- Prevent Ulcers: Consuming celery daily will prevent and treat painful ulcers. There is a special type of ethanol extract present in celery. This ethanol extract is effective in preventing the formation of ulcers in the lining of the digestive tract. Tannins, flavonoids, alkaloids, and volatile oils present in celery can nourish the colon, stomach, and intestines.
- Stimulate neurogenesis: Apigenin present in celery stimulates neurogenesis. It helps in the growth and development of nerve cells.
Nutrition Facts of a Celery (100gm):
- Water: 95 grams
- Energy: 67 kilojoules (16 kcal)
- Carbohydrates: 2.98 grams (including fiber)
- Protein: 0.69 grams
- Fat: 0.17 grams
- Vitamin A: 22 micrograms
- Thiamine (B1): 0.021 milligrams
- Riboflavin (B2): 0.058 milligrams
- Niacin (B3): 0.320 milligrams
- Pantothenic acid (B5): 0.247 milligrams
- Vitamin B6: 0.075 milligrams
- Folate (B9): 36 micrograms
- Choline: 6.3 milligrams
- Vitamin C: 3.2 milligrams
- Vitamin E: 0.27 milligrams
- Vitamin K: 29.4 micrograms
- Calcium: 40 milligrams
- Copper: 0.035 milligrams
- Iron: 0.20 milligrams
- Magnesium: 11 milligrams
- Phosphorus: 24 milligrams
- Potassium: 260 milligrams
- Sodium: 80 milligrams
- Zinc: 0.13 milligrams
Different Types of Celery:
There are mainly 3 types of celery. Let us have an idea about each type of them:
- Pascal celery: Pascal celery is the most commonly used celery in the United States. People also know them as stalk celery. Its stalk is long, and it takes between 105 and 130 days for stalks to mature. You can grow it in all types of regions, especially in a tropical climate.
- Leaf celery: Leaf celery or cutting celery, comprises rich aromatic flavors. People cultivate leaf celery for its aromatic leaves. It has a thinner stalk than Pascal.
- Celeriac: Celeriac or turnip-rooted celery is grown for its delicious root. You can have it cooked or raw. Celeriac takes 100-120 days to mature.
Risks of Consuming Too Much Celery:
Consuming celery in excess can have side effects of which some are potentially serious and some merely annoying.
- You shouldn’t eat celery in excess because it is low in calories and could lead to malnutrition. Too much of celery can cause bloating, gas, and diarrhea.
- If you eat a larger amount of uncooked celeries, it might cause goiters. Excess uncooked celery can interfere with the process of iodine functioning in the thyroid.
- Celery has very low calories in it. One large celery contains only 9 calories and moderate amounts of protein and fat. If you eat a bunch of celery without including other healthy nutrient-dense food, it can cause health problems
- If someone is allergic to celery, its reactions can range from skin rashes to anaphylaxis. Celery can also cause sensitivity to the sun because it contains psoralens, which is a natural toxin.
- Celery increases the risk of bleeding when used in medicinal amounts. So you shouldn’t use celery if you have a bleeding disorder.
- If you consume too much celery in juice form, it will remove much of its beneficial dietary fibre. It will also negatively affect people on anticoagulant drugs. Because it’s high vitamin K content which can influence blood clotting.
- Celery contains a natural toxin called Aflatoxin, which is a potent carcinogen, known to cause liver cancer.
- One celery stalk contains about 30 milligrams of sodium. If you eat too much celery, it will increase blood pressure because of high sodium consumption. This will also cause fluid retention, both of which can contribute to more severe health problems.
Best Ways to Eat Celery:
You can eat celery in various delicious ways. Here are some recipes:
- Braise the celery to bring out the natural sweetness of it. This turns into a soft and sweet side dish akin to braised fennel.
- Make celery juice. Celery juice which goes well with gin, tequila, or with seltzer and lemon because of its spicy fresh green flavor.
- You can make soup with chopped celery, onions, and carrots. Use the leaves in soup, stuffing, salad and stews.
- You can use Celery as a great dip dish. You just add some celery to your chicken salad to give it a nice fresh crunch.
- Make a quick appetizer by stuffing celery stalks with low-fat cream cheese and sprinkle with paprika.
- You can also stir-fry celery. Stir-fry chopped celery, carrots, broccoli florets, onions and bell peppers with olive oil. Now serve it with some brown rice.
- Combine diced celery, shredded carrot, cooked pasta, bell peppers and corn. Then serve it over a bed of spinach and top with your favorite low-fat salad dressing.
How to Select and Store Celery:
- For selection of fresh celery you have to choose firm, tightly packed stalks with medium-thick ribs. So they are crispy enough to break apart easily. Make sure the leaves are not wilted, and they should be a bright and pale green.
- To select celery root you should pick the smoothest one with the least amount of knoblike protrusions.
- Remove the leaves and stalks attached to the root end until they are ready to use. Rinse the vegetable to remove dirt and let it dry, then wrap it in aluminum foil. Then you can keep it in the vegetable storage bin of a refrigerator. It will stay fresh for seven to 14 days depending on the method used.
- You can also cut off the root end. Then rinse the stalks, chop them into two or three pieces. And place them in a tight-fitting lidded glass container on a shelf in the fridge. They stay fresh for at least two weeks.
- You can put the celery seeds in the jar in a cool, dark cupboard away from sunlight and direct heat. Make sure you seal the lid carefully.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Celery:
Question: Is celery a vegetable?
Answer: Yes, you can eat Celery cooked as a vegetable or as a delicate flavoring.
Question: Does celery help you lose belly fat?
Answer: Celery juice has several benefits, including weight loss and improved gut and skin health.
Question: What happens if you drink celery juice every morning?
Answer: Celery is high in calcium, silicon, and Vitamin K. So drinking celery juice every morning strengthens bones and improves the function of the digestive tract.
Question: How much celery should I eat a day?
Answer: If you eat four sticks of celery a day, it will help you reduce your blood pressure.
Question: Does celery juice help hair growth?
Answer: Celery juice contains an exorbitant amount of water and vitamin A. These both ingredients are great for our hair. It keeps our scalp hydrated and cures dandruff and also nourishes the roots and strands.