Health Benefits of Celery

January 10, 2019

Celery juice has recently become a sensation, with proponents asserting that drinking it every morning on an empty stomach can improve or early cure you of any ailment-from leaky gut to autoimmune conditions and even mental health issues.

That fad (and the lack of solid support for many of the claims) aside, the solitary ingredient is good, celery. This has led many people to ask about the benefits of simply nibbling on the vegetable itself, rather than consuming it in liquid form. Here are the nutritional benefits of celery, along with some of the potential benefits that are backed by research.

Celery is low in calories and hydrating.
One large stalk contains only 7 calories and two ounces of water. That means munching on six stalks adds up to only 42 calories, while still providing a half-full cup of H2O.Studies have also shown that celery’s much-needed act of chewing can reduce hunger, and it promotes the release of hormones that trigger satiety, making it a smart snack choice for weight control.

Celery provides key nutrients
While celery is primarily water, it also provides several important vitamins and minerals. Vitamin A in the vegetable supports immunity, skin and eye health, and has been linked to maintaining lung strength and slowing age-related cognitive decline. Vitamin K from celery helps blood clotting and protects bone density. This nutrient is essential for bone formation and a lack of it can increase the risk of fractures.

The folic acid in celery helps support mental performance; too little folic acid is associated with memory problems and a higher risk of depression. The potassium in celery supports heart function, muscle contraction, and helps maintain muscle mass. The vegetable also provides small amounts of vitamin C, B vitamins, calcium, magnesium and manganese.

 

Celery is rich in antioxidants and other bioactive compounds.
Celery contains more than a dozen antioxidants and dozens of potent anti-inflammatory substances. These compounds are thought to protect cells from damage that can lead to premature aging and disease.

Natural substances found in celery have also been shown to help optimize circulation and lower blood pressure. Quercetin, a flavonoid found in celery, has been shown to fight both acute and chronic inflammation and has been linked to protection against neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s. Quercetin has also been linked to apoptosis, the self-destructive sequence the body uses to kill worn-out or dysfunctional cells, which may help reduce cancer risk.

Celery for digestive health
The fiber in celery contains one gram per large stalk, which supports good gut health and intestinal regularity. It also enhances satiety and delays the return of hunger, which is another benefit that helps with weight management. Animal studies have also shown that celery extract can fight the formation of ulcers.

To take advantage of the benefits of celery, include the whole or chopped vegetable in meals and snacks. Fill two or three stalks with spiced nut butters while satisfying sweet, salty and crunchy cravings. Use celery to scoop hummus, guacamole, or seasoned tahini. This vegetable is also a great addition to stir-fries, soups and stews. Raw celery adds flavor and texture to garden salads, pickled veggies, and frozen protein salads like eggs, tuna, or white beans. Juice lovers or not, there are smart reasons to incorporate this crisp vegetable into your regular eating routine.