Understanding the health benefits of celery for forming new healthy eating habits is a major advantage. I took a close look into the potential health benefits of celery and to my surprise, found that is one of the healthiest foods to eat. It assists weight management, lowers blood pressure, has powerful anti-carcinogenic properties, and is drastically low in calories.
Apart from its nutritional value, celery’s rich crunchy flavor is a delicious ingredient in soups, salads, and for garnishing. It contains helpful nutrients that work hard to regulate good metabolism and for energy production. There’s tons of research to place confidence in, that we will be discussing at length below. These science-backed benefits will motivate you to eat more celery-rich meals throughout your day.
1. Too Little Consumption of Celery May Lead to High Blood Pressure
Did you know you can dramatically affect your blood pressure without medication? By making this simple alteration in your daily diet, you can reduce your risk of high blood pressure and control heart diseases.
Celery seed extracts play a major role in treating hypertension or high blood pressure in acetate-induced hypertensive rats. Celery contains many methanolic, hexanic, and aqueous-ethanolic extracts that directly affect the body’s heart rate and blood pressure. (1)
Celery is an important natural food for proper liver function, a study suggests. It also helps reduce systolic and diastolic blood pressure. A combination of honey and 8 ounces of celery extract prove beneficial for long-term stimulation of optimal blood pressure. (2)
Key Takeaway: Celery is a strong anti-hypertensive agent for the treatment of abnormal or elevated blood pressure. Thanks to its high antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, it drastically affects high blood pressure if consumed on a daily basis for a prolonged period of time.
2. Celery Has Powerful Anti-Cancer Properties
The daily consumption of celery reverses signs of cancer, according to multiple studies. There’s more evidence that cancer cells can be destroyed and reduced, if not completely destroyed, with the help of fresh fruits and vegetables, including celery.
These benefits are seen at a cellular level, thanks to the anti-carcinogenic and anti-inflammatory benefits of apigenin present in celery. Apigenin is responsible for delaying the proliferation of tumor for breast cancer, as noted by a trial conducted on rats.
Based on the same study, women with breast cancer are exposed to hormone replacement therapies that dramatically affect the development of breast tumor, in a bad way. For curb the acceleration of the breast tumor, apigenin was prescribed in minimal doses to make long-term lifestyle and diet changes in women. (3)
Another study suggests that celery contains strong flavonoids that destroy rapidly growing pancreatic cancer cells. These flavonoids are apigenin and luteolin with strong antioxidant properties. (4)
With the kind of information there is on celery anti-carcinogenic and antioxidant properties, surely it’s a key superfood for killing human cancer cells and restricting tumor growth.
Key Takeaway: Celery contains apigenin and luteolin which play a contributive role in killing harmful and aggressive cancer cells for breast and pancreatic cancer. Daily doses of celery is required to discover its anti-carcinogenic properties for proper cell proliferation in the human body.
3. The Bioactive Compounds Present in Celery Help Fight Chronic Inflammation
Chronic inflammation in the human body is a major cause of many chronic illnesses such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases, respiratory abnormalities, autoimmune diseases, and gastrointestinal diseases.
If you didn’t already know, your body requires inflammation as a natural response to kill harmful stimuli in the body. But chronic inflammation is another severe condition that fights against the healing process. When there’s rapid inflammation in the body, it leads to acute inflammation. (5)
In simple words, celery contains powerful bioactive compounds that boost your body’s immune response towards curbing chronic and acute inflammation. This works well for the treatment of pain, gastrointestinal imbalance, and irritation. (6)
Celery extracts are good for treating arthritis arising from inflammation, plus it is also used as a diuretic for purifying the bloodstream, preventing kidney stones, and for weight management.
Key Takeaway: Celery extracts contain helpful nutrients for fighting inflammation, pain, and gastrointestinal irritation. It is used as an anti-inflammatory drug to treat both chronic and acute inflammation, but in moderate doses.
4. Celery Contains Antioxidants That May Protect Against Liver Diseases
PQQ is a very powerful antioxidant that is used against non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in young adults. This kind of chronic liver disease is the most common condition in the world.
People with other chronic conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, or obesity are most likely to be affected with NAFLD at a very young age.
The trial focused on increasing PQQ intake in obese pregnant rats to determine if it has a positive effects on the child’s long-term liver health. The trial separated two groups into those who were given high-fat, sugar, and cholesterol foods and those who were fed a healthy diet with lots of water.
The results showed that PQQ play a role not in reducing weight, but reducing body fat in the mice’s liver in the womb. (7)
This study proved that PQQ-rich diets including celery has drastic anti-inflammatory properties that impact a high diet lifestyle and maintaining proper liver health.
Key Takeaway: The daily consumption of celery from childhood has a positive impact on preventing chronic liver diseases in the long run. Coupled with physical activity, it promotes liver health during the aging process and helps the liver adapt to new diets harmlessly.
5. Luteolin in Celery Dramatically Reduces Age-Related Memory Loss
Forgetfulness or age-related memory loss is a very common condition. But it can become an underlying symptom of severe neurological diseases such as dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and cognitive impairment.
To combat age-related memory loss in a healthy manner, luteolin-rich foods such as celery can be of great help. They restrict inflammation in the brain to reduce the production of cytokines. Cytokines are harmful compounds that cause drastic alterations in the brain, leading to feelings of sickness, memory loss, and fatigue. (8)
The basic premise of preventing such brain damage, on a cellular level, is balancing the inflammatory and anti-inflammatory properties of the microglial cells and their production of inflammatory cytokines in the human body. That’s where luteolin comes in.
It is a strong anti-inflammatory compound that destroy the highly reactive properties of microglia without destroying brain neurons responsible for proper cognitive regulation.
Next, luteolin also affects the hippocampus region of the brain, responsible for spatial awareness and memory. (9)
Key Takeaway: Age-related memory loss happens when there’s excessive inflammation in the brain caused by damaged microglial cells. It is also characterized by high inflammation in the hippocampus region of the brain. Studies indicated that celery contain luteolin can positively impact inflammation to reduce the amount of inflammatory damaged caused to the brain.
6. Celery Carry Important Active Compounds For Chronic Migraine Treatment
Chronic migraines affect at least 1% of the world’s population. So if you experience headaches at least 15 days in a month for 3 months, you may have a chronic migraine condition. Just like any other chronic illness, even migraines require immediate medical attention. (10)
But there is one more thing you can do to positively impact your mental health and well-being. That is consumed more diets with celery as one of its important ingredients.
Celery contains important compounds such as coumarins, copper, and manganese that combat severe symptoms of headaches.
One study claimed that migraines can be caused by 2 abnormal functions in the human body: first, the body’s inability to digest healthy nutrients and second, the body’s inability to remove toxic wastes from the body. (11)
With celery’s accurate nutritional support, its nutrients assist the kidneys, liver, and other digestive organs for proper digestion and elimination of waste.
Key Takeaway: Celery has a significant impact on the treatment and prevention of chronic migraines in most people. It suppresses harmful toxics’ release in the brain and stimulates proper digestion for providing immediate relief from migraines.
7. Increased Intake of Celery Linked With Anti-arthritic Properties
The healthiest people go through the pain of arthritis from joint pain to stiffness and fatigue. With correct physical exercise and intake of certain vegetables and fruits, you may be able to relieve pain, stiffness, and fatigue, study suggests.
Celery is a powerful antimicrobial, antiulcer, and antiarthritic food. Its seed extract has been used as medicine for pain relief caused by arthritic conditions.
Studies have shown that the anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritis properties of celery protect the body against extreme pain and stiffness as the perfect anti-inflammatory agent. Moreover, arthritis is the damaging of the cartilage, causing chronic pain which is a form of inflammation in the human body. (12)
Inflammatory arthritis is characterized by uncontrolled inflammation in the joints, causing more damage to other parts of the body, due to environmental and genetic factors. (13)
Key Takeaway: Celery contains compounds with powerful anti-arthritic properties to reduce pain, swelling, and fatigue linked with uncontrolled inflammation in the body.
8. Celery Plays an Important Role in Enhancing Central Nervous System
Celery contains good amounts of calcium which is proven to be helpful for the regulation of the central nervous system.
Once digested, calcium activates certain compounds and proteins for accelerating injured tissue recovery and free radical scavenging. With the help of potassium and neurotransmitter release, calcium is evenly spread on a deeper, cellular level. (14)
In another study, the role of calcium is known to be protective between neurons and the chemical and electrical communication signals of synapses. There’s enough research to prove that calcium signals influence tissue growth and blood flow. (15)
Low levels of calcium in the body reduces cell strength to fight against damage and aging. It can also lead to uncontrolled free radical damage in the cells.
Key Takeaway: If you get hurt a lot, a good calcium intake may help you prevent severe muscle injury with long-term health risks. Celery contains sufficient calcium to boost your central nervous system for injury prevention and treatment, on a cellular level.
9. The Potassium Nutrient Present in Celery Prevents the Development of Renal Disease
Renal disease is also popularly known as chronic kidney disease or CKD. It’s a long-standing disease that occurs to adults as they grow older. With no medical treatment, it can lead to kidney failure with other prominent health risks.
Factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes, kidney stones, and other inflammatory conditions can lead to renal disease in most people. You can help prevent renal disease and infection by making a healthy lifestyle change. This way major renal disease symptoms such as blood in the urine, swelling, tiredness, and nausea can be controlled before they become severe. (16)
Potassium is a healthy nutrient required in abundance in the human body. By increasing consumption of potassium, by eating more celery, you can lower the development of renal disease. It also dramatically lowers high blood pressure.
Other factors that potassium is most helpful are for reducing release of calcium in the urine, the prevention of diabetes, and the prevention and treatment of kidney stones. (17)
Key Takeaway: The only healthy way to increase your potassium intake is by consuming more nutritious vegetables such as celery. There has been sufficient research showing that increasing potassium intake can promote healthy kidneys and eliminate the development of renal disease in humans.
10. Celery Contains Folate Which Has a Positive Effect on Neural Tube Defects
Most of you already know that folate is very popular for its health benefits, specifically for preventing the development of neural tube defects. These are birth defects that target the brain and spinal cord. Surprisingly, these birth defects take place even before the mother knows she’s pregnant. So early onset is eminent. (18)
To fight against the irreversible symptoms of neural tube defects on the baby’s nervous system, a regular intake of celery containing folate is necessary. It prevents defects such as anencephaly and spina bifida.
Study claims that a daily folate intake of 0.4 to 4 mg shows significant improvement in neural tube defects. (19)
Hence, folate present in foods such as celery as deemed important for consumption to prevent the development of neural tube defects such as anencephaly and spina bifida in women with a low dietary nutrition.
Key Takeaway: Healthy folate intake in moderation is good for the pregnant women. It avoids the proliferation of neural tube defects with irreversible health risks. Neural tube defects are linked with permanent spinal cord, brain, and nervous system damage even before the baby is born. Ingesting folate by eating more celery can reverse such symptoms.
11. Celery as a Diuretic Plays an Important Role For Preventing Cardiovascular Diseases
Heart failure is a very common cardiovascular condition. It is caused by prolonged fluid retention and congestion. Diuretics, in moderation, show positive health benefits for unblocking arteries and regulating blood flow for proper heart function. (20)
Celery helps prevent heart diseases by reducing blood pressure, cholesterol, and diabetes. All these factors play a major role in promoting heart health. Celery also contains high amounts of vitamin C and fiber which prevents plaque buildup in the arteries and prevents inflammation caused by free radical damage.
Those who increased their vitamin C intake showed less signs of cardiovascular disease, a study suggests. The trail took into account over 100,000 Danes and saw a 15% lower risk of heart disease in those who consumed more vitamin-C rich fruits and vegetables. (21)
Key Takeaway: Celery contains healthy nutrients such fiber and vitamin C which play an important role in preventing cardiovascular diseases and heart failure. As a diuretic, it promotes heart health and well-being by reducing fluid retention and congestion for proper blood flow.
12. Celery Activates Healthy Brain Cells For Boosting Body’s Immune Response
To promote mental healthy, uncontrolled inflammation needs to be controlled with the help of flavonoids such as luteolin. Celery contains good amounts of luteolin that restrict the inflammatory responses to damage brain cells.
This could lead to severe neurodegenerative diseases such as dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and other cognitive impairments. Luteolin also has many anti-aging benefits to prevent cognitive and behavioural abnormalities.
Brain cells respond on microglia which plays an important role in optimal brain function. Due to increased infection in the brain cells, microglia produces inflammatory cytokines that infiltrate the entire body causing internal damage. This also leads to neuroinflammation which targets on cognitive and behavioural dysfunction.
Luteolin is known to reverse the effects of inflammation in the human brain. It shuts down the production of cytokines and encourages DNA health on a cellular level. (22)
Key Takeaway: As it turns out, celery containing luteolin plays a very important role in preventing neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, etc.
13. Celery is Rich in Nitrate For Reducing Risk of Gastric Ulcers
Gastric ulcers is characterized by the imbalance between fluids and the normal functioning of the digestive system, especially the stomach.
The major cause of gastric ulcers is a harmful infection called helicobacter pylori which is a type of bacteria. One of the most effective and healthy nutrients that is known to fight against this bacteria is nitrate. And interestingly, celery contains high amounts of nitrate.
Celery is a powerful antibacterial vegetable linked with the prevention and treatment of gastric ulcers. Once digested, nitrate reaches acid gastric juice and converts into a compound called nitric oxide.
Nitric oxide is a helpful enzyme for regulating normal digestive functioning as it protects the inner lining of the stomach and promotes proper blood flow to it. (23)
Key Takeaway: To avoid inflammatory damage due to improper fluid retention and flow in the digestive organs, a daily intake of nitrate is essential. It prevents gastric ulcers and promotes a healthy digestive system.
14. Celery Helps Fight Against the Development of Glaucoma
In one study, nitrate is a healthy nutrient to fight against the symptoms of glaucoma, a disease that caused irreversible blindness in older adults.
Glaucoma is a form of eye disease that affects the optic nerve. Factors such as aging play a significant role for the proliferation of damaged eye cells. But, given the scope of scientific research today, irreversible blindness can be prevented in older adults.
Celery is a rich source of nitrate, which helps prevent the development of primary open-angle glaucoma. It reduces intraocular pressure and visual impairment, two primary symptoms of glaucoma. Moreover, it restricts prolonged optic nerve damage due to inflammation. (24)
The study focused on 1,483 cases of glaucoma and found that participants with a higher nitrate count showed 20-30% less risk of glaucoma risk than those with no daily intake of nitrate.
Key Takeaway: Observational studies place importance on increasing daily intake of nitrate, by eating more fruits and vegetables, to alleviate symptoms of primary open-angle glaucoma.
Some Recipes To Enjoy
Incorporating celery into your diet can help your body cope with many harmful diseases. It is also said that celery promotes weight loss and avoids weight by lowering high cholesterol levels and diabetes. If you’re trying to stay healthy, regular physical exercises is sometimes not enough. You need something more to either shed pounds or become toned.
Consider this article as your evidence-backed source for foods that you always should have in your kitchen. I’ve presented a compelling case on why you need more celery in your life, but now I’ll list a few healthy recipes that are good for you. Celery contains powerful nutrients, as I’ve already established, but now it’s time to cook recipes that contain this powerful food. Below are a few healthy ways to cook celery into your meals to prevent diseases and reverse health risks of aging.
1. Healthy Celery Soup
The easiest healthy celery soup you’ll ever make.
1 - celery head, chopped
1 - potato, chopped
1 - chopped onion
1/2 cup - butter, unsalted
3 cups - chicken stock
1/4 cup - dill
1/2 cup - cream, heavy
Sea salt and olive oil to taste
Salt to taste
Heat onion, potato, and celery with butter in a saucepan. Add salt. Cook for 10 minutes. Combine chicken stock and cook for another 10 minutes.
Transfer mixture into a blender. Add dill and cream. Blend until creamy.
Season with sea salt, olive oil, and celery leaves.
2. Celery Stuffing with Challah
This stuffing recipe tastes like Thanksgiving, only this is the kind you’ll actually cook for the perfect dinner meal.
1 loaf - challah, large
2 cups - diced celery
2 cups - diced onion
2 cups - diced mushroom
10 - chopped thyme sprigs
3 - chopped rosemary sprigs
1/4 cup - parsley, chopped
3 cups - fresh vegetable stock
3 ounces - unsalted butter
4 ounces - butter, melted
1 tsp - salt
1 tsp - black pepper
Make 1-inch cubed challah. Keep aside, preferably overnight.
Add butter, onions, herbs, mushroom, and celery in a saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat for a couple of minutes.
Transfer into a large bowl and combine with melted butter, bread cubes, stock, salt and pepper.
Spray butter along the edges of a baking dish. Add the stuffing and cover with foil. Set aside for 2-3 hours.
Remove the foil and bake in a 350 degrees preheated oven for 15 minutes. Serve fresh.
3. Caesar Salad
Topped with nutritious greens, this salad is fun and hearty for the whole family.
2 slices - baked bread, cubed
8 tbsp - olive oil
1 - celery root
1/2 - fresh lemon
1 - egg yolk
1 - peeled garlic clove
2 tbsp - lime juice
3 - anchovy fillets
4 - diagonally cut celery stalks
2 ounces - shaved parmesan
Salt and pepper to taste
Bake bread cubes with 2 tbsp olive oil in a 400 degrees preheated oven for 10 minutes. Set aside.
Combine celery roots, water, and lemon juice in a bowl. Set aside.
In a blender, add egg yolk, lemon juice, garlic, and anchovy. Simmer in 3 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp water, and 3 tbsp olive oil with salt and pepper.
Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl with chopped anchovies, drained celery roots, celery leaves, and dressing. Toss well to make a salad. Season with salt and pepper to serve.
4. Buffalo Chicken on Celery Sticks
A modern take on the classic buffalo chicken recipe for the perfect finger food attraction.
1/2 cup - hot sauce
1/2 cup - butter
1 tbsp - vinegar
1/4 tsp - Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp - pepper, cayenne
1 - crushed garlic clove
1/4 tsp - cooking salt
2 tbsp - fresh cream cheese
1 full - shredded chicken
1 stalk - 3-inch long celery sticks,
Green onions to serve
Combine all sauces, butter, vinegar, cayenne, salt, and garlic in a saucepan. Cook on medium-high heat. Bring to a boil. Set aside.
Add cream cheese and shredded chicken. Mix well.
Spread 1 tbsp of buffalo chicken on each celery stick and garnish each with onions. Serve immediately.
5. Loaded Chicken Salad with Celery and Bacon
You won’t taste a better loaded chicken salad tossed with crunchy celery and bacon crumbles this year.
2 cups - shredded chicken
1/4 cup - mayonnaise
1/2 cup - fresh sour cream
1 cup - chopped celery
1 cup - shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup - chopped yellow onion
3 - sliced green onions
1/2 cup - crumbled bacon pieces
Salt and pepper to taste
Add all ingredients in a bowl leaving the mayo and sour cream aside. Toss well.
Add mayonnaise and cream as topping. Season with salt and pepper and mix until evenly coated.
Serve fresh with toast.
6. Coconut Soup with Celery and Kale
In love with coconut green soup? How about you add celery as your key ingredient for a healthy meal.
1 tsp - cumin seeds
1 tsp - coriander
1 tsp - coconut oil
1 - diced shallots
1 - chopped zucchini
4 cups - chopped celery
1 - chopped apple
3-inches - chopped ginger root
6 cups - homemade vegetable stock
4 cups - chopped greens
14 ounce - coconut milk
2 tbsp - lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
Cooked baked beans or chickpeas
Brown rice, cooked
Fresh basil leaves
To create cumin and coriander powder, heat seeds in a saucepan for 1 minute. Transfer in a blender and grind into powder consistency.
Add coconut oil in a pot and heat for 30 seconds. Combine with shallots, zucchini, apple, and celery. Cook for a few minutes. Add cumin powder and ginger. Combine well.
Next, add vegetable stock with salt and pepper. Cook for 10 minutes.
Simmer with coconut milk and greens. Cook until well combined and fragrant. Set aside.
To blend into soup, transfer to a blender until soup-like consistency. Heat in a pot again for a few minutes. Serve with topping ingredients, as you like.
7. Chow Mein with Celery
This recipe is the perfect solution for an empty tummy. Try it for dinner and you won’t be disappointed.
1/4 cup - soy sauce
3 - minced garlic cloves
1 tbsp - sugar, brown
1 tsp - ginger, grated
1/4 tsp - white pepper
2 - Yaki-Soba sauce packets,
2 tbsp - olive oil
1 - diced onion
3 - sliced celery stalks
2 cups - cabbage, shredded
Combine brown sugar, soy sauce, garlic, white pepper, and ginger.
Add Yaki Soba in boiling water. Drain after 2 minutes.
Combine olive oil, celery, and onion. Cook for 4 minutes. Add cabbage and cook for a minute.
Combine with Yaki Soba and soy sauce. Cook for 2 minutes. Serve fresh.
Wrapping It Up
Celery, a healthy and delicious vegetable, is not only low in calories, but it’s an immune-boosting superfood for the body. There are a great number of reason why you should be eating more of this in your diet. And luckily for you, I’ve discussed every health benefit in detail above. From lowering blood pressure to preventing neurodegenerative diseases, celery contains high amounts of vitamin K, folate, potassium, vitamin C, and other healthy nutrients to fight chronic diseases and minor injuries.
On the one hand, celery is crunchy and delicious; and on the other, it’s a great source of antioxidant, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer compounds. It also prevents kidney diseases, glaucoma, and neural tube defects in healthy individuals. It’s time to swap unhealthy snacks with celery, especially if it’s helping you stay healthy and fit. The bottom line is that celery has many evidence-backed ways to promote health and well-being, so there’s always a possibility to improve your diet for good.
Jen Miller is a former electrical engineer and product specialist with more than 20 years of product design and testing experience. She has designed more than 200 products for Fortune 500 companies, in fields ranging from home appliances to sports gear and outdoor equipment. She founded Jen Reviews to share her knowledge and critical eye for what makes consumers tick, and adopts a strict no-BS approach to help the reader filter through the maze of products and marketing hype out there. She writes regularly and has been featured on Forbes, Fast Company, The Muse, The Huffington Post, Tiny Buddha and MindBodyGreen.