Celery – that light green “stalk with strings” – often makes its appearance as a finger food at parties and celebrations and in the fall and the winter in warm, savory soups. Celery is one of those vegetables we tend to keep in the bottom of our fridge and only think about it when it’s called for in a recipe, or it’s time to clean out all the veggies that have gone bad. Even though celery is often overlooked as a vegetable with many merits, there are many excellent health benefits of celery, providing an excellent reason to find ways to consume more of it.
DID YOU KNOW? Celery leaves were used for medicinal properties in the 9th century B.C.E. However, consuming celery as a food didn’t take root until the 1700s in Europe.
Celery for Inflammation
Certain illnesses, such as arthritis, have been widely accepted as “inflammatory diseases.” Still, more and more research is pointing towards the key role chronic inflammation plays in other health concerns such as heart disease, diabetes, and depression. In fact, some researchers believe that inflammation is one of the major players in virtually all forms of disease.
More than a dozen different types of antioxidants are responsible for the health benefits of celery. Those included are phenolic acids as caffeic acid and ferulic acid, plus bioflavonoids like quercetin. These support overall health, especially during the aging process, by fighting free radical damage (or oxidative stress) that can lead to inflammation. These antioxidants in celery make it helpful in supporting a wide range of health issues that are made worse by inflammation. Some of these include joint pain (from arthritis), gout, kidney and liver infections, skin disorders, irritable bowel syndrome, and urinary tract infections, to name a few.
Benefits of Celery Juice
If you keep up with natural health news, you know how trendy drinking raw celery juice has become. In fact, celery juice has been praised as a cure-all for everything from digestive issues to pain to skin issues. According to The Guardian, as of October 2018, it’s quadrupled in sales compared to kale juice. And get this – sales in the U.S. have recently increased by 454 percent, and the craze is moving to Britain!
While there is no real scientific evidence to all the health claims of drinking celery juice, that surely doesn’t mean celery juice isn’t effective. In fact, most of the benefits of celery listed below also pertain to fresh, raw celery juice.
Fresh celery provides a source of vitamin K, vitamin C, potassium, folate, manganese, calcium, riboflavin, magnesium, and vitamin B6. It has a high percentage of water and electrolytes that can help prevent dehydration.
So if you want to try juicing celery rather than eating it, go ahead. Many people believe it’s the best thing since sliced bread and has done wonders for their health.
Celery Juice Cleanse Recipe
(Makes 50 ounces)
7 Stalks Organic Celery
2 Large Organic Beets
8 Organic Carrots
2/3 Head Organic Red Cabbage
1/2 Head Organic Romaine Lettuce
1/2 Organic Cantaloupe
Thoroughly wash all vegetables in purified water. Run vegetables through juicer one by one. This provides a great-tasting celery juice cleanse recipe that is lightly sweet and has a mild celery spice in the background. For a smaller portion of this celery juice, simply cut the ingredients in half or less to fit your specific needs.
24 Amazing Health Benefits of Celery
- high in Vitamin C
- boosts immune system
- supports healthy blood pressure
- lowers high cholesterol levels
- excellent source of antioxidants
- contains beneficial enzymes
- boosts digestion
- helps with weight loss
- prevents dehydration
- lowers inflammation
- helps with joint pain
- helps urinary infections
- helps irritable bowel syndrome
- helps prevent ulcers
- nourishes stomach, colon & intestines
- protects liver health
- reduces bloating
- anti-microbial properties
- may help protect from cancer
- low in calories but nutrient-dense
- reduces uric acid
- helps replenish electrolytes
- stimulates urine production
- helps the body to detox
Celery comes in as number 11 on the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) yearly Dirty Dozen List, showing the fruits and vegetables with the most pesticide residue. Due to the use of toxic pesticides, organic foods are always best over conventionally grown and sold at your local grocery store. If you are unable to find organic celery, thoroughly washing your fruits and vegetables before eating them is highly recommended, even if you peel them before eating them. The second-best way to avoid harmful pesticides would be to grow your own organic celery in a backyard or patio garden.
More. In general, people who eat organic produce consume fewer pesticides. In a recent study, scientists evaluated the impact of an organic diet by monitoring the level of pesticides found in the urine of participating American families (both adults and children). At the same time, they maintained a conventional diet and then after switching to an all-organic diet. Before the organic diet intervention, they detected in the participants’ urine potential exposure to more than 40 different pesticides. After about a week of eating organic food, participants had, on average, a 60 percent reduction in the levels of synthetic pesticides measured in their urine, compared to when they were eating a conventional diet.
Wrapping It Up
Celery is not only low in calories, but it can definitely be considered an immune-boosting superfood for your body. There are a great number of reasons why you should be including more celery in your diet. From lowering blood pressure to anti-microbial properties, celery contains high amounts of vitamin K, folate, potassium, and vitamin C to help fight illness and disease. Celery is an awesome source of antioxidants and contains antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
The health benefits of celery are backed with evidence it promotes health and supports overall well-being. You can make health-supporting snacks with celery using fun recipes appealing to children. Put celery on your grocery list and begin incorporating it into your healthy recipes.
RESEARCH AND RESOURCES
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University of Missouri-Columbia. “Parsley, celery carry crucial component for fight against breast cancer, study suggests.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 May 2011.
University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences. “Celery, artichokes contain flavonoids that kill human pancreatic cancer cells.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 August 2013.
Celery Seed and Related Extracts with Antiarthritic, Antiulcer, and Antimicrobial Activities. Prog Drug Res. 2015;70:133-53.
The JAMA Network Journals. “Higher dietary nitrate, green leafy vegetable intake associated with lower risk of glaucoma.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 January 2016.
Effects of aqueous celery (Apium graveolens) extract on lipid parameters of rats fed a high fat diet. Planta Med. 1995 Feb;61(1):18-21.
J Pharm Pharmacol. A novel compound from celery seed with a bactericidal effect against Helicobacter pylori. 2009 Aug;61(8):1067-77. doi: 10.1211/jpp/61.08.0011.
J. Baudry et al., Association of Frequency of Organic Food Consumption with Cancer Risk. JAMA Internal Medicine, 2018; 178(12):1597-1606. DOI: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2018.4357. Available at https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/article-abstract/2707948.
C.L. Curl et al., Estimating Pesticide Exposure from Dietary Intake and Organic Food Choices: The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA). Environmental Health Perspectives, 2015. Available at ehp.niehs.nih.gov/1408197/.
Y-H Chiu, Comparison of Questionnaire-Based Estimation of Pesticide Residue Intake from Fruits and Vegetables with Urinary Concentrations of Pesticide Biomarkers. Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology, January 2018; 28(1):31-39. DOI: 10.1038/jes.2017.22