Celery - benefits , nutrition and risks

  • Author :
  • TATA AIG Team
  • Published on :
  • 07/11/2023

Celery is a crunchy, green vegetable that has been around for a very long time. People have been eating celery for thousands of years. It is thought to have first grown in the Mediterranean region.

Celery belongs to the Apiaceae family. It was used not just for eating but also for medicine by the ancient Greeks and Romans. They believed it could help with things like pain and inflammation. Even in ancient China, celery was known for its healing properties.

In more recent history, celery uses can be seen in salads, soups, and as a snack. It is low in calories, which makes it a good choice for people looking to keep their weight in check.

Let us talk about this veggie in detail.

Celery Leaves Benefits for Health

Celery food has many health benefits. Here are the details.

Supporting Heart Health

It has a plant compound called apigenin, which may help lower inflammation and prevent oxidative stress in the cardiovascular system. It also has potassium, which helps maintain blood pressure and control hypertension.

Additionally, celery has low sodium levels and high water content. This can remove extra sodium and excess fluids from the body, reducing the risk of oedema.

Supporting Digestive Function

Celery is rich in fibre, which can improve regular bowel movements and avoid constipation. The fibre also nourishes helpful gut bacteria, enhancing digestion and immunity. Additionally, celery has a compound called 3-n-butylphthalide (3nB) that could soothe digestive spasms and reduce inflammation.

**Suppressing Inflammation

It contains approximately 25 anti-inflammatory compounds. This includes vitamin C, beta-carotene, flavonoids, and polyacetylenes. These compounds help reduce inflammation in various body parts, such as the joints, skin, lungs, and brain.

Inflammation is associated with several chronic diseases, like arthritis, asthma, Alzheimer’s disease, and cancer.

Improving Memory

Celery may also have neuroprotective effects on the brain. Apigenin has been shown to enhance neuronal connections and promote neurogenesis (the formation of new brain cells) in animal studies. It also contains luteolin, another flavonoid that may have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant influence on the brain. These compounds may help improve memory and cognitive function, as well as prevent neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s and dementia.

Manages Blood Sugar

This food may also help regulate blood sugar levels and prevent diabetes. It has a low glycemic index (GI). That means it does not cause a sudden spike in blood sugar after consumption.

Celery also contains phthalides, which may help stimulate insulin secretion and lower blood glucose levels. It further has a high water content and a low-calorie content, which may help with weight management and prevent obesity-related diabetes.

Weight Management

Celery is an excellent choice for weight control. In a 100g serving, it packs just 16 calories and delivers essential nutrients like potassium, fibre, vitamins (A, B6, C), calcium, iron, phosphorus, protein, and magnesium. With its high water content (about 95%), it keeps you both hydrated and feeling full.

It further acts as a diuretic, aiding in shedding excess water weight and eliminating toxins from your body.

Improves Sperm Count

Due to its preventive effects against free radicals, you cannot overlook the celery benefits for sperm. It improves sexual performance, increases sperm count, and also increases testosterone secretion.

Celery Nutrition Content

Celery is mainly made up of water (about 95%). Here is the other celery nutritional content per 100 gm of serving:

Dietary Fibre 1.6 gms
Protein 0.7 gm
Fat 0.2 gm
Vitamin A 22 µg 
Vitamin C 3.1 mg
Vitamin K 29.6 µg
Potassium  260 mg 
Folate 36 µg

Calcium  40 mg
Iron  0.2 mg
Magnesium  11 mg
Phosphorus  24 mg
Sodium  80 mg
Zinc  0.1 mg
Copper 0.04 mg
Manganese  0.1 mg
Selenium  0.4 µg
Choline 6.1 mg

Phytochemicals  Benefits
Apigenin Lower inflammation, prevents oxidative stress, modulates the immune system, regulates blood pressure, improves memory, and inhibits tumour growth
Luteolin Anti-allergic and Anti-viral properties
3-n-butylphthalide (3nB) Relaxes blood vessels, lowers blood pressure, reduces cholesterol levels, prevents platelet aggregation, and protects liver
Sedanolide Antifungal and antibacterial effects
Falcarinol Anti-inflammatory and anticancer effects

Risks of Consuming Celery

Celery is generally safe to consume for most people, but it may also have some risks or side effects for some individuals. Some of the risks of celery are:

Allergic Reactions

It may trigger a chronic allergic reaction in some people who are sensitive to it or other plants in the same family. This might lead to problems like hives, swelling, breathing issues, itching, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, or even a life-threatening condition called anaphylaxis.

If you experience any of these symptoms after eating celery, do not wait – get emergency medical help right away.

Pregnancy and Breast-Feeding

Celery is safe to eat during pregnancy and breastfeeding in moderate amounts. However, consuming celery seed extract or celery essential oil may not be safe, as they may have uterine stimulant effects and cause miscarriage or premature labour.

They may also pass into breast milk and affect the baby. Therefore, pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid taking celery supplements or using celery oil without consulting their doctor.

Pesticides

Celery, when not grown organically, can have a high content of pesticides. These chemicals can harm your health, leading to issues like hormone problems, brain damage, fertility troubles, cancer, and birth defects. To be safe, go for organic celery or make sure to wash it well before you eat it.

Drug Interactions

Celery may interact with some medications and affect their effectiveness or cause adverse effects. Some of the drugs that may interact with celery are:

Blood thinners

The vitamin K in celery can affect blood thinners like warfarin, raising the risk of bleeding. If you take blood thinners, monitor your clotting time and adjust your dose if you eat celery often.

Blood pressure medications

If you are on blood pressure meds like beta-blockers, calcium channel blockers, diuretics, or ACE inhibitors, be careful. It could make your blood pressure go too low or make you feel dizzy.

Sedatives

Celery can make you sleepy because of the psoralen. If you are taking sedatives like benzodiazepines, barbiturates, opioids, antihistamines, antidepressants, or alcohol, it could make you too drowsy or affect your thinking.

How to Enjoy Celery?

Celery is a versatile veggie that you can enjoy in many ways. Here are some tips on how to enjoy celery:

Eat it Raw

Celery is a great snack that you can eat with or without dips, such as hummus, peanut butter, cream cheese, or yoghurt. You can also add some salt, pepper, lemon juice, or herbs to enhance the flavour of celery. Celery benefits you by keeping you hydrated and full for longer.

Cook It

You can cook it in various ways, such as boiling, steaming, sauteing, roasting, or baking. You can add celery to soups, salads, stir-fries, casseroles, pies, or stews. Cooking celery may reduce some of its nutrients, but it may also make it easier to digest and absorb.

Juice It

Celery juice is a popular health drink many people swear by. You can make celery juice by blending celery stalks with water and straining the pulp. You may add other ingredients such as apples, carrots, ginger, lemon, or cucumber to make it more tasty and nutritious. Celery juice is rich in water and electrolytes, and it may help detoxify your body and boost your energy.

Make it Into Tea

You can make celery tea by steeping celery seeds or leaves in hot water for about 10 minutes. You may also add honey, lemon, or mint to improve the taste. Celery tea may help soothe your throat, relieve menstrual cramps, reduce inflammation, and calm your nerves.

Use it as a Garnish

You can chop celery leaves and sprinkle them over your dishes to add colour and freshness. You can also use celery sticks as edible spoons or sticks to serve dips or spreads.

Conclusion

The celery vegetable has several health benefits, such as supporting heart health, digestive function, memory, blood sugar, and weight management. It also has a low-calorie content and a high water content, which makes it ideal for hydration and satiety. Celery also contains various phytochemicals with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, antifungal, antibacterial, and anticancer properties.

However, it also has some risks that you must know. Some people may be allergic to celery or have adverse reactions to it. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid taking celery supplements or using celery oil without consulting their doctor. Celery may also interact with some medications, such as blood thinners, blood pressure medications, and sedatives. Therefore, consult your doctor before eating celery if you have any medical conditions or take any medications.

While adding fruits and vegetables is essential for a healthy diet plan, it may not be sufficient to keep you protected from illnesses and diseases. Therefore, it is advisable to invest in a health insurance plan to deal with any adverse and unpleasant health condition.

A health insurance policy can provide you the much-needed financial support when you are suddenly caught off-guard by a severe disease.

Get critical illness insurance from Tata AIG to maximise the benefits of health insurance and to ensure overall protection for your loved ones and yourself in the face of a grave disease or illness.

FAQs

Can I eat raw celery?

Yes, you can eat celery vegetables raw with or without dips.

How much celery per day?

You may consume up to four stalks of celery in a day. However, if you are allergic to it or if it is interfering with your medication, consult your doctor before consuming it.

How is celery eaten?

You can eat celery raw, make juice from it, use it as a garnish, or cook it as an ingredient in one of your favourite meals.

Who should not drink celery juice?

Try to avoid celery if you have high thyroid levels or are using blood thinners.

Disclaimer / TnC

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