We all know that fruit and veggie-based diets are the right way to go if we want to live healthy and happy lives. Typically, when we discuss our favorite veggie meals, carrots, potatoes and kale top the list while less-savory plants like celery get left out. But did you know that plain old celery has a host of health benefits that trump even the most exotic of vegetables?
Yes, the humble stalk of celery in the back of your crisper can finally be put to good use! For this article, our experts went in-depth to uncover all the latest research on celery and celery juice benefits. After immersing ourselves in everything there is to know about celery, we have a newfound appreciation for this little green veggie.
Do you want to find out more about one of nature’s most fibrous and nutritious snacks? In this article, we go over the many health benefits of celery and celery juice as well as the many ways that you can incorporate celery juice into your diet.
Celery Nutrition and History
Raw celery is among one of the healthiest and most nutrient-dense foods in the world. Despite its unearned reputation as a boring and bland veggie, celery is a fantastic source of many rare vitamins and minerals that women need every day. It should come as no surprise, then, that celery has a long and storied history as a traditional folk medicine.
What is Celery?
Although its technical name is Apium graveolens, we prefer to call it “celery.” This refreshing light-green vegetable is a plant that grows in dense marshlands as part of the Apiaceae family of aromatic flowers, which also include carrot, dill, and parsley. For thousands of years, celery stalks, leaves, and roots have been cultivated and eaten for their nutritional benefits.
Celery is best known for its long stalk, which splits into stringy bundles. These bundles are highly fibrous and are made of collenchyma plant cells. The most common variety of celery is wild celery, which grows in all corners of the globe. However, most wild celery is harvested along the Mediterranean and the foothills of the alps.
Ancient civilizations used celery as a healing plant long before supermarkets started stocking their shelves with produce. In fact, ancient dried celery leaves were found in King Tut’s tomb, the ancient pharaoh of Egypt over 3,000 years ago. Since wild celery grew throughout the Mediterranean, the Ancient Greeks also cultivated celery to help nourish its many cities.
There is some evidence that the celery plant appears in Homer’s “Odyssey,” an epic Greek poem written around 850 BC. While nobody presumed that the plant held magical properties or could scare away evil spirits, it was still seen as a vegetable capable of rejuvenating the body and nourishing the soul.
It is widely believed that the English word “celery” derives from the French term “céleri,” the Italian term “selero,” and the Greek word “selinon.” Its species was first recorded in Europe by Swedish botanists in the mid-1700s. Before its recording, celery was harvested around the world and celebrated by many cultures as a crispy and light snack.
Celery as a Medicine
Traditional healers and practitioners of folk medicine have used celery throughout the ages. Parsley and celery, close genetic relatives, were used in Ancient Greece as well as several Latin countries to prevent intoxication. It was often consumed at Roman festivals and Greek parties to ward off drunkenness and prevent nasty hangovers. We wish it were still that easy!
Calorically, celery packs only 18 calories per 110-gram serving. With such a low caloric content, celery is one of the lightest snacks you can enjoy. Plus, celery only tacks on 88 mg of sodium (salt) per standard serving, which is only 4% of the average adult’s recommended intake.
Although celery packs four grams of carbohydrates in every serving, half of these carbs are in the form of soluble fiber. Therefore, celery is an extremely fibrous vegetable that can aid in digestion, improving bowel health, and encourage regularity. For treating constipation and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), fibrous veggies like celery is a great place to start.
Believe it or not, celery has protein content too. With every serving, celery lovers can enjoy a gram of high-quality protein. Although it is not much, a gram of protein is better than nothing and, in fact, even trumps some other starchy vegetables like potatoes. We would not recommend celery if you can a dense protein meal, but it can help add to a balanced meal.
Regarding micronutrients, one serving of celery also contains a respectable 10% of your daily value of Vitamin A and 6% of your daily intake of Vitamin C. Where celery truly shines is its complete lack of saturated and monounsaturated fats, as it is entirely composed of protein and carbohydrates.
Lastly, a serving of celery is a source of folate, riboflavin, phosphorus, manganese, and potassium, which all serve vital functions for your health. By regularly snacking on fresh celery, you can help your body receive all the nutrients it needs to feel and perform its best.
Can Celery Make You More Attractive?
Like all nutritious foods, celery has the power to change your appearance for the better. Now, this does not mean that celery will transform your look, change your body size, or perform a facelift. However, celery can improve the quality of your skin, make you look well-rested, and can give you the confidence you need to feel great.
Celery has been shown to improve the look and feel of human skin with regular consumption. Celery contains trace elements of zinc, which has anti-aging effects on humans, as well as biotin which supports the growth of healthy hair. Plus, the fiber content in celery can help you lose weight and achieve a more flattering figure for those looking to shed a few extra pounds.
As Dr. Manny Alvarez has discussed on FOX News, celery is an essential part of the “Beauty Diet,” which is composed of foods that can make you look youthful and gorgeous. Dr. Alvarez claims that celery pheromones, such as androstenol, are often included in colognes and perfumes to attract partners.
However, our readers might be interested in taking note of the fact that the androstenol pheromone is a chemical closely related to androstenone. Androstenone is a male steroid hormone that is known to attract women and act as a female aphrodisiac—this may be worth noting for ladies interested in the biology of pheromones.
Celery is loaded with active pheromones that are used in biology to attract members of the same species. Although pheromones are complicated substances that are not well understood by science, we know that they are chemicals that are automatically released as a social response for inciting mate attraction.
The pheromone found in celery, androstenone, has only been naturally found in human males and, when exposed to women, has been shown to have a positive effect on mood. Plus, women who are on their menstrual cycles have been shown to be more sensitive to the positive effects of androstenone for mood and arousal.
Ultimately, pheromones are a scarcely understood class of chemicals that science does not have a handle on. However, those interested in this power of attraction might appreciate the fact that celery juice and celery androsterone can aid in attracting partners.
Celery has numerous health benefits, from anti-aging and skin health to cognitive enhancement and improved sleep quality. By harnessing the power of celery and celery juice, you can start living a better life that is free from preventable illnesses and ailments. We have summarized some of the most pronounced health benefits of celery below.
Celery: The Anti-Cancer Veggie
When it comes to fighting cancer, celery is a godsend. One of the leading studies examining the cancer-fighting effects of celery found that apigenin, a natural ingredient in celery and other green fibrous vegetables, inhibits the growth and proliferation of lung cancer cells. By consuming celery every day, an influx of apigenin can help minimize the risk of cancers.
Likewise, luteolin, a common flavone found in celery, has proven “anti-inflammation, anti-allergy and anticancer” effects. While this compound exists in many fruits and veggies, celery is one of the best-known sources for luteolin. By suppressing cancer cells survival pathways, luteolin prevents them from growing and achieving metastasis.
Celery for a Happy Heart
A breakthrough 1995 study found that aqueous celery (Apium graveolens) had a positive effect on the blood lipid parameters of rats who were fed a high-fat diet. Extrapolated to humans, this study implies that adults who eat a high-fat diet will experience improved blood pressure and “bad cholesterol” (i.e., LDL) reductions by eating more celery.
One of the worst culprits of cardiovascular disease is sugar. However, a recent research paper discovered that celery leaf extracts improved heart health in animals after inducing a blood sugar spike. In other words, animals that were given celery to eat had a better response to increased blood sugar.
A similar rat study found that hypertension was relieved in rats who were regularly given celery seed as a snack. This study closely monitored rats with high blood pressure and noticed a strong anti-hypertensive agent in celery after administration. Therefore, those with high blood pressure may benefit from chomping on celery seed from time to time.
Is Celery Brain Food?
Believe it or not, there is a mounting body of evidence that suggests that celery might fit the criteria for “brain food” just as much as fatty fish, nuts, or avocados. This is due to new research that has shown that luteolin, a key component of celery, improves spatial working memory in older mice. A tall glass of celery juice in the morning usually does leave us feeling a bit sharper than we otherwise would.
Another major study found that a diet rich in celery slows cognitive decline across five domains of the mind while also warding off the symptoms of dementia. As the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, it is critical that everyone does their part to minimize the risk of dementia and other degenerative diseases.
Celery and Gout
There is reason to believe that celery can improve the lives of those living with gout. Although limited hard evidence supports the association between celery and gout, some scientific studies have suggested that diets featuring celery can improve gout conditions.
Likewise, an Internet survey published in a scientific paper noted that up to 50% of gout patients currently supplement their diets with celery seed. This result indicates that men and women who suffer from this rare form of arthritis might benefit from adding more celery to their diet. After all, celery supplementation seems to be working for so many people already.
Is Celery a Negative Calorie Food?
When discussing celery benefits for weight loss, one of the first questions we receive is whether celery is a so-called “negative calorie food.” Unfortunately, it is a popular myth that celery contains a net-negative number of calories. Rather, celery contains a low number of calories in conjunction with lots of fiber, water, and many vital nutrients.
Despite our hopes to the contrary, there is no scientific evidence that negative-calorie foods exist. Although low-calorie fruits and vegetables like broccoli, celery, and cabbage are sometimes heralded as having “negative calories,” it is impossible for a food item to not contain calories.
Since celery has a thermic effect of 8%, which is far below the hypothetical requirement of 100%, it is a myth that celery has negatives calories. In truth, a stalk of celery provides the body with roughly five calories while requiring half of that to digest and process it. Therefore, there is still a marginal caloric gain from eating celery.
Unfortunately, we cannot incur a negative energy balance in the body simply by eating light and refreshing foods. Rather, all of the best evidence suggests that eating celery is not enough to lose weight; instead, we must follow long-term dietary and exercise regimens if we want to lose those stubborn love handles or extra pounds.
Celery for Weight Loss
Although celery itself won’t cause any of us to lose weight any time soon, it can still play a major role. Because celery is extremely low in calories while containing high fiber content, eating celery can cause us to feel full and, consequently, result in less snacking throughout the day.
Whenever we try to lose weight, we make sure we keep plenty of celery on hand to satisfy cravings. While we love our glass of celery juice in the morning, we would much rather eat a few stalks of celery if we want to minimize hunger pangs and keep our stomachs feeling satiated.
Celery Juice on an Empty Stomach
The popular blog Medical Medium has discussed whether dieters stand to gain the most from drinking celery juice on an empty stomach. According to their guide to the natural healing powers of celery, they recommend always drinking celery juice after fasting to raise hydrochloric acid levels in the stomach.
Recently, the Medical Medium celery juice phenomenon has caught on in popularity. Due to the viral success of their blog, which advocated taking celery juice on an empty stomach, it is now increasingly popular to drink blended celery first thing in the morning.
We followed the Medical Medium celery juice routine for two weeks. Based on our experience we found the following positive benefits of drinking celery juice:
- Feeling fuller in the morning
- Encouraging regular AM bowel movements
- Feeling energizer before starting the day
- Not having to “worry” about it later
Although these benefits are not insignificant, it can be hard to stay consistent. By fixating on timing and getting your celery juice in at the same time every day, it can be distracting from the main priority: drinking the nutrients on a regular basis.
Whether drinking it on an empty stomach or chewing it up the old fashioned way, it’s important to focus on what works for you. By chopping up stalks of celery and keeping them on hand in the fridge or having blended celery in the morning or when we get home from work, we can reap the benefits of celery and celery juice.
Celery Snack Hacks
If you have kids or picky eaters in the house, having no-hassle recipes is crucial if you want to keep your stress levels down. That’s why we came up with this short list of celery-based “snack hacks.” Forget about the celery juice for your family—if you want to please everyone, get creative by following one of these easy recipes.
This one is simple. All you must do is chop up a bundle of celery into French fry-sized pieces, sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste, and then serve with a big bowl of spicy salsa. At our family get-togethers, this healthy dish is usually one of the first to disappear.
Peanut Butter Tunnels
It’s a match made in heaven: peanut butter and celery. However, anyone with kids knows how messy these things can be. That’s why our secret recipe involves taking two stalks of celery and combining them to form a tunnel-like cylinder with peanut butter in the center. Using peanut butter as an adhesive, these “tunnels” will help keep spills and messes to a minimum.
Although more demanding than the other recipes, this dish is an old family favorite. To make it, stuff hollowed-out celery stalks with cream cheese, a quarter cup of shredded carrot, parsley flakes, thyme, and onion salt. Make sure you mix each ingredient thoroughly in a mixing bowl before serving on a large platter at your next backyard BBQ or cookout.
How to Regrow “Miracle Celery”
Did you know that you can continuously regrow celery from an old stalk? Using only a jar of water and some patience, you can regrow this refreshing vegetable repeatedly. To get started, place the base end of a celery bunch (the unwanted bit) into a small bowl of water and place it in direct sunlight for a few days.
Once the jarred celery has been exposed to the sun for enough time, place it in a container in a cool, dry place. After a couple of months, you will notice leaves beginning to sprout and a delicious, homemade celery plant taking form.
For an awesome tutorial to help you master the art of celery gardening, we recommend checking out this quick YouTube video from Raja That! In only a few short minutes, they will have you on your way to becoming an expert celery grower.
Who knew that there were so many celery juice benefits? From preventing degenerative disease and lowering blood pressure to helping attract a special someone using the biological power of pheromones, celery and celery juice offer lots of value to dieters. Try sprucing up your meal plan with a stalk of celery or a tall glass of celery juice today.
If you liked this article, please consider sharing it around with your friends and family members. After all, everyone can use a little more celery juice in their life. Thanks for reading, and, as always, happy snacking!
Resources & Further Reading