The Doctor’s Order: Health Benefits Of Celery

Celery can be a chef’s best friend. It adds bulk and texture to many dishes while still being low in cost. For the health-conscious cook, the nutritional content alone is more than enough to justify adding it to a menu. One stalk of celery has roughly six calories, one gram of carbohydrates and absolutely zero-fat, making it a great dietary vegetable. Even so, celery’s health benefits extend far beyond the plate. Follow along as we explore a few that may surprise you.

Vitamin Boost

Starting with a good foundation is key to success. Celery is packed to the brim with vitamin K (containing 29% of your daily dose per serving), and is a good source of folate and dietary fiber. On top of that, it contains light amounts of potassium and calcium to round out its nutritional profile.

Cracking Down On Cancer

Celery is full of a phytochemical known as luteolin. Essentially an organic compound found only in plant and fungal life, luteolin has been studied for its for cancer-prevention properties. Scientists believe that the compound weakens cancer cells, therefore increasing the success rate of cancer treatment. Somewhat of a jack of all trades, the compound has proved beneficial in fighting certain viruses and skin-aging effects.

Eliminating Inflammation

Apigenin just may be key in the fight against inflammation. Diets rich in this molecule minimize some negative inflammatory proteins, reducing inflammation and evening out your immune system. Luckily for us, celery is rich in apigenin.

  • Fun Fact: Apigenin is thought to promote the growth of nerve cells, which leads to improved memory!

Save The Seeds

The stalks aren’t the only nutritious part of the celery. Celery seeds have been used for medical purposes in India for thousands of years, but have recently been implemented in the west. Celery seed extract fights hypertension, and can potentially lower blood pressure when consumed.

Careful Cooking

When preparing celery, be aware that your chosen cooking method can adversely affect the nutritional content. Blanching and boiling significantly diminish the antioxidant levels of celery, so steaming, roasting, or serving raw are your best bets to maintain health benefits.