Want to know How Much Celery Should I Eat A Day? Celery is a vegetable that is known to have high levels of fiber. It has been used in making stocks and soups and can be eaten raw, boiled or steamed. The health benefits of celery can be derived from its high water content, phytochemicals and anti-oxidants.
Celery has been found to be effective in lowering down cholesterol levels and blood pressure especially when it is consumed on a regular basis.. This article outlines the important vitamins and nutrients that celery provides for people who may need to consume them, due to certain vitamin deficiencies.
How Much Celery Should I Eat A Day
Celery contains some nutrients, like potassium and a small amount of vitamin A, but other than that, it’s mostly water. While eating a lot of celery can help keep you hydrated, it doesn’t contain all of the macronutrients, vitamins and minerals you need to stay healthy. If you’re eating a lot of celery and that pushes other nutrient-dense foods and vegetables off your plate, you increase your risk of developing nutrient deficiencies.
Celery is also moderately high in fiber, with a single stalk containing 1 gram. If you’re eating excess amounts of celery, you may be going over your fiber needs. This can cause uncomfortable symptoms, like gas, bloating and diarrhea, but it can also mess with nutrient absorption.
According to Duke Student Health, eating too much fiber can result in that fiber binding to certain minerals, like iron, zinc, calcium and magnesium, and prevent your body from absorbing them. Over time, this can lead to nutrient deficiencies, as well.
What Happens to Your Body When You Eat Celery, Say Experts
This veggie packs a powerful punch!
Thanks to the popularity of celery juice, this once not-so-popular cruciferous vegetable has now been glorified. Rightfully so, celery deserves a place at the table for all of the health benefits it offers. But don’t worry, you don’t have to drink celery juice to get the benefits of this veggie. If you love to eat celery, you’re still reaping all of these amazing benefits!
Celery is high in electrolytes, vitamins, and fiber and can be an easy addition to lunch or a snack by serving raw. Buy a stalk for easy snacking, and simply store it in the fridge pre-chopped submerged in water to keep it crisp for longer!
Salad with celery and chili
Now, what are those health benefits if you eat celery? Here’s what happens to your body when you chomp on this green veggie stick
You will shed water.
Thanks to phthalides, a compound in veggies that is credited with removing excess fluid, celery’s natural diuretic effect will assist in flushing water from the body. If you’re feeling puffy, no need to overdo it on over-the-counter supplements. Load up on cruciferous vegetables like celery to help beat the bloat!
You’ll be more hydrated.
As a source of electrolytes, celery will help move water into your cells to naturally hydrate you. If you’re feeling particularly parched, keep celery cut and packaged in your fridge to snack on when you go to get a drink of water. Electrolytes are specifically important around exercise. Consider packing celery and peanut butter as a pre-workout snack with your water for added hydration—especially if you eat celery with The #1 Peanut Butter to Eat, According to a Dietitian.
You’ll burn extra calories.
Celery is credited as one of the only foods that cause you to burn more calories than you take in. At only 9 calories per stalk, this is due to the Thermic Effect of Food. In other words, the amount of calories it takes the body to simply digest and absorb celery is greater than the total calories in celery. If you love celery, you’re in luck! Munch away.
Your blood might be thicker.
Vitamin K is found in most green veggies and is responsible for slightly thickening your blood and improving blood clotting! This improves your body’s ability to respond to minor cuts or injuries via blood clotting.
You can get a healthy dose of Vitamin K from many green vegetables. Here’s a list of foods that are rich in Vitamin K!
You’ll be more regular.
High in fiber, celery will help improve digestion by keeping you regular. If you struggle with eating enough fiber, munching on a cup of raw celery can help meet the daily fiber recommendation of 25 to 38 grams!
“Celery is low in calories and high in water content. And it’s super crunchy,” says Lisa Young, PhD, RDN and author of Finally Full, Finally Slim.
You may lower blood pressure.
Potassium is the superstar electrolyte known for managing blood pressure. Improve your blood pressure naturally through increasing high potassium veggies like celery! Following a diet that is high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and low in sodium is actually proven to lower your blood pressure with diet alone!
Celery can help fight cancer cells.
Antioxidants are the name of the cancer-fighting game and if you eat celery, it’s chock-full of them. Antioxidants help neutralize cancer-forming cells in the body and restore damaged cells! These nutrients are powerful.
Celery May Help Bring Your High Blood Pressure Down
At almost every turn, science and medicine reveal a new “superfood” that will dramatically improve our health. Chia seeds can reduce your cholesterol. Green leafy vegetables burn belly fat. Blueberries boost your antioxidants.
Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services.
Now, the latest in wonder snacking – celery seeds to lower your high blood pressure (HBP). But does it really work?
“It’s no secret that plants offer vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants to help you maintain good health, but it’s a mistake to think you can eat only those substances as supplements and really get the same benefits,” according to Luke Laffin, MD, Department of Cardiovascular Medicine.
A plant’s isolated nutrients and other compounds work together to improve health, but we don’t really know why or how they do it.
Research has found that taking celery seed extract improved BP levels in patients who had mild to moderate elevations. But for the most part, research indicates taking plant extracts offers little to no benefit and can sometimes cause harm. “For this reason, it makes sense to simply eat the whole food, including celery,” Dr. Laffin says.
Worried about BP?
Your BP measures the force your heart exerts to pump blood around your body. The higher your pressure, the harder your heart is working.
If your pressure is high enough, it can damage your blood vessels, as well as your heart, kidneys, eyes and brain. It can also put you at greater risk for coronary heart disease, stroke, heart failure and blindness.
“Any BP over 130/80 mmHg is considered high. Limiting your sodium intake to below 2,300 mg daily can help control your BP,” Dr. Laffin says.
Celery for lower BP
Celery contains a phytochemical called phthalides. As an extract, it’s called NBP, and it relaxes the tissues of the artery walls to increase blood flow and reduce blood pressure.
Eating the whole food, though, is better. Celery stalk salt content is low, and you also get fiber, magnesium and potassium to help regulate your blood pressure, as well.
“To get the benefit, you should eat roughly four stalks – one cup, chopped – of celery daily,” Dr. Laffin says.
Celery alone won’t bring down your BP.
Most major health organizations, including the Cleveland Clinic and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, recommend the DASH Diet, a nutrition program targeted at lowering BP and the risk of cardiovascular disease.
“A diet based largely on plants is ideal,” Dr. Laffin says.
By eating vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, seeds, nuts and vegetable oils, you get the potassium, calcium, magnesium, fiber, protein and limited sodium needed to control your BP. You should also restrict sweets, sugary beverages and red meats.
How many stalks of celery should I eat a day?
Celery stalk salt content is low, and you also get fiber, magnesium and potassium to help regulate your blood pressure, as well. “To get the benefit, you should eat roughly four stalks – one cup, chopped – of celery daily,” Dr. Laffin says.
The Risks of Eating Excess Celery
If you eat only celery than you risk having nutrient deficiencies.
Celery has made its way into the superfood spotlight, and while there are benefits of celery, eating it in excess can work against you. If celery is your only vegetable source, you increase your risk of developing nutrient deficiencies, since celery nutrition leaves a little something to be desired.
The fibrous vegetable also consistently makes the list of “vegetables highest in pesticides,” so, if you’re not opting for organic celery, excessive amounts can also increase your risk of chronic health problems.
High Pesticide Residues
Every year, the Environmental Working Group releases a list of produce titled “The Dirty Dozen.” This list identifies all the fruits and vegetables that are found to contain the highest levels of pesticides for that year. Celery consistently makes it onto the list. Researchers from a November 2015 report in Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology set out to test just how many pesticides remained on celery after harvesting.
The team tested 300 different samples of celery and found at least one pesticide residue on 175, or 58 percent, of the samples. There were a total of 25 different pesticides found. It’s also important to note, however, that this study was done in China.
According to a different report published in Environmental Health in June 2019, China bans more pesticides than the United States. Of the 1.2 billion pounds of pesticides that the U.S. used in 2016, 40 million pounds of those pesticides would have been banned in China. That means that if the same amount of celery were tested in the U.S., it would likely have had higher pesticide residues.
The health effects depend on the specific type of pesticide, but according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, pesticides may negatively affect the nervous or endocrine (hormone) system, irritate the eyes and skin or cause cancer. The dose is also important. If you’re eating excessive amounts of contaminated celery, your risk of developing health problems goes up.
Too Few Calories
Aside from the pesticide concern, celery is really low in calories. One large stalk contains only 9 calories and hardly any protein and fat. If you’re trying to fill up on a bunch of celery without including other healthy energy-dense or nutrient-dense foods, it’s possible that your calorie intake could be way too low. Eating a restricted-calorie diet sounds like a good thing, but it can set you up for health problems.
According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, your body requires a certain amount of energy (or calories) just to sustain normal biological functions, like breathing, digestion and pumping blood. If you don’t get enough calories, you don’t give your body enough energy to carry out these vital functions, and you can put yourself at an increased risk of problems like:
- Nutrient deficiencies
- Lack of energy/sluggishness
- Decreased brain function
- Gastrointestinal problems (like constipation)
So, how do you know how many calories you should be eating? Everyone is different, so the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends consulting with a qualified nutrition professional to find out your exact numbers. In general, your intake shouldn’t fall below 1,200 calories per day if you’re a woman and 1,500 daily calories if you’re a man. If you’re eating a lot of celery and not much else, meeting these needs can be hard to do.
How to Prepare Celery
Celery can be found at grocery stores, co-ops, and farmer’s markets. While it is easy to grow, many people believe this particular vegetable is best left to experienced gardeners, as it has specific needs for watering and soil quality. With proper care, however, it can produce a bumper crop.
When selecting celery, look for tightly-packed stalks that are crisp enough to snap off with minimal effort. These should have a pale green color. Avoid stalks with wilted leaves.
Celery is best stored in your refrigerator’s crisper drawer. Wrap it in foil. If stored properly, it can keep for up to two weeks in the fridge. Otherwise, it can also be frozen for long-term storage.
A variety of food preparation methods can be used to produce an excellent celery-based meal or snack. The vegetable has long been a favorite option for eating raw — especially with dip. Otherwise, it can also be boiled, blanched, or steamed. Keep in mind, however, that boiling and blanching celery dramatically reduces its phenolic antioxidant content. Steaming does not have a significant impact on antioxidant activity.
Try these options for including celery in your diet:
- Dip slices of celery in hummus.
- Top with peanut butter and raisins.
- Add chopped celery to tuna salad.
- Stir fry celery slices with red chilis for extra spice.
- Simmer with carrots and onion in chicken noodle soup.
- Blend in a green smoothie with spinach, banana, and apple.
- Stuff stalks with pimento cheese.
- Add with crushed tomatoes, baby carrots, ginger, and garlic to a pot roast in the slow cooker
- Include with a bloody Mary or spiced tomato juice for a virgin bloody Mary.
Health Benefits Of Celery
1. May support heart health
Although celery has a high water content, it contains numerous vitamins and minerals, including potassium and calcium, which are important for heart health. It also contains folate and vitamin K, both of which are required for the formation of red blood cells and effective blood clotting. Celery is also a good source of protective plant compounds called flavonoids, which have anti-inflammatory and protective effects on the cardiovascular system. Diets high in fibrous foods like celery are associated with a lower risk of heart disease.
2. May support digestive function
Celery is a good source of both soluble and insoluble fibre, which is important for digestive function. A 2010 animal study using celery extract also suggested that its phytonutrient content may be beneficial for protecting digestive mucosa, and as a result may guard against gastric ulcers.
3. May be anti-inflammatory
Rich in plant compounds with anti-inflammatory properties, celery may be a useful inclusion for those with chronic inflammatory conditions like arthritis.
4. May improve memory
A 2017 animal study found that celery extract appeared to improve cognitive function associated with ageing and depression. Similarly, a study looking at the neuroprotective benefits of celery extract saw positive results in participants with dementia and Alzheimer’s.
5. May improve blood sugar management
With a low glycaemic index (GI) and a high fibre content, celery is useful for those who need to monitor their blood sugar levels. Studies also suggest it may be effective at reducing blood glucose levels.
Is celery safe for everyone?
For most of us, celery is a healthy dietary inclusion, but some people may be allergic to celery. A mild reaction may include symptoms such as an itching mouth or tongue, sneezing or a runny nose.