Having soup isn’t complete without this herb right? Yes, celery is well known as “soup leaves” means people mostly use it to enhance the rich flavourful soup. It give fresh aromatic scene and better taste to food. Maybe some people just regard this vegetable as side-ingredients which can be elft but if you know some benefits that maybe suprising, you would not miss to put this herb again to your meal.
Description of Plant
Celery (Apium graveolens) is plant from family Apiaceae that categorized as herbaceous plant. It is actually biennial plant which means takes two year to grow and harvesting but for market demand, it is often grows as annual plant. This plant is in same family with parsley. Celery grows in relatively cool area. The plant requires high humidity and the range of temperatures must between 13°C and 24°C for plant development. This is why people in Asia can only grow it in high land or mountain with such cool temperature.
Celery is herbaceous plant which can grows to 3.3 feet or 1 meter height. The leaves are 1.2 – 2.4 cm long and in pinnate or bipinnates shape. The flowers are tiny with white creamy colour and in 2–3 mm diameter, and known in dense umbels compound. The celery seeds are oval or globular with 1.5–2 mm long and wide. Celery has thick stalk and usually it also being used in culinary purposes
The word celery is derived from English word which came from Frech word celeri, italian word seleri and from latin word selinon, and in greek word selinon means “parsley. We may wonder where this celery herbs came from. Celery is originated from Mediterranean area and is derived from wild Apium graveolens L., which grows in Europe and North Africa and because its belong to cool crops, it can only grows in mountainous parts of southern Asia. The early form of celery was leafy, pungent and bitter and its use was medicinal. This plant was first cultivated in early 1600s as food plant. The early form was leavy with pungent and bitter taste and used as medicine. In ancient greek celery was belived that it have been sprouted from the blood of kadmilos ( son of Haephestus, ancient Greek God )and it is also used as crown before they replaced it with pine.
Recorded history spoken that celery has been used and figured out as natural medicine since midtwentieth century in most of different countries with different cultures. Ancient egyptian was noted has taken the benefits of celery in medication and was the first one who grew celery. It was also found in the Tomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamun whom known died in 1323 B.C. A professor of agriculture in University of Libya, Tripoli, A. Warid told in Encyclopedia Britannica that by 1620s era, people in French has used celery in their dish especially soup, and stews. It is believed that people in french has cultivated the herb since 400 B.C.
In 1747, An English physician, Robert james wrote a book Pharmacopoeia Universalis which mentioned that celery was better known as medicine rather than vegetable. It has diuretic effect, digestive aids, and it suppressed lactation to women who did breastfeeding. James also mentioned that in some area, it was used a s aphrodisiac in another book “The Magic Of Herbs” which was written by a herbalist, Mrs. C.F
Just like other herbal plant, some people may have side effect or allergy towards celery and some American think celery is just a harmful plant that can cause anaphylaxis or severe case of allergy. Despite of celery allergenic thing, vegetarian use celery primarily as the source of fiber and nowadays many reasearch has proved that celery have a bunch of health benefits for the body.
Nutrition facts in Celery
Many researches that conducted by scientist has confirmed that celery has lots of nutrients and phytochemical components. It provides not only fiber and chlorhopyll but also calcium, iron, potassium, sodium, phosphorus and other Vitamin such as A, B, and C.
Here are some details of celery nutrition contents :
Serving size: ½ cup (51g) Fresh celery, chopped Amount Per Serving
Calories 10 Calories from Fat 0
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 40mg 2%
Total Carbohydrate 1g 0%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Vitamin A 4%
Vitamin C 2%
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
Celery also contains phytonutrients which acts as antioxidants including Phenolic acids, Flavones, Flavonols, Dihydrostilbenoid, Phytosterols and Furanocoumarins
Here comes the health benefits of celery for your health that you should know better :
- Supporting weight lost
By watching the nutritional contents of celery we know that celery contain only 10 calories per 100 gram serving. It is also contain 1.6 gram fiber per cup serving which can make you feel satiety longer. Celery which consumed inside stomach will absorb the water and this is what make you feel full for longer time. A sturdy by Annals of Internal Medicine reported that to improve weight lost we just need to add more celery on dish. Its really a good news for people who want to lose weight.
- One of best treat for inflammation
Researchers have identified that celery contain anti-inflammatory properties which are known as antioxidant and polysaccharides. Antioxidants include flavonoid and polyphenols and other ( quarcetin, kaempferol, phytosterols and furanocoumarins) acts as protector which save the body from free radicals damage which cause inflammation. For information, Inflammation is a condition which can be further symptoms of some disease such as cancer, heart disease, arthritis and others.
- Prevent Tumour and Cancer
Same as other herbal plant which are super food to prevent cancer, celery also has been proven can protect the body from cancer and tumour by its antioxidant. Researchers reported that antioxidant, flavonoids and phytochemical components in celery can reduced cancer risk. Some studies has been published that celery antioxidant can prevent pancreatic cancer based on Molecular Nutrition and Food Research, also in Food and Chemical Toxicology journal. Anotehr study found that celery can prevent from breast cancer.
Celery juice is also can inhibit tumour activity which are linked to inflammatory problems (study published in Molecular Nutrition and Food Research) while other study reported that luteolin in celery can significantly inhibit the production of enzyme COX-2 that further known as inflammation trigger. Celery also contain Polyacetlynes which can boost immune system. Polyacetlynes stop the cells from mutations and proliferation and later it can prevent from leukimia and intestinal cancer. Based on report of Department of Agricultural Sciences at the Aarhus University of Denmark, polyacetylenes serves many important bioactivities not only can prevent cancer but also it has activity against phatogenic bacteria and mycoplasma
- Keep body from dehydration away
Celery contains about 95% water. This is one of best way to keep body fluid, according to ware. It can help the body from dehydration during hot weather and other extreme condition.
- Reduce Heartburn
Heartburn is a chest pain sensation which caused by excessive acid secretion in stomach. A study which published in Annals of otology, Rhinology and Laryngology reported that celery can be included to a low acid mal diet and prevent from acid reflux. This is why celery can be a home remedy for heartburn patient.
- Promote healthy digestion
Its no doubt that almost all plants are best source of fiber which can improve digestive function. Fiber has important role to keep regular bowel or peristaltic movement, according to study by mayo clinic. By consuming one cup of celery we can fulfil 6 percent of daily fiber intake.
- Prevent Ulcers
Some recent research which published in Pharmaceutical Biology Journal found that celery juice which consumed by rats can protect stomach lines and reduce the risk of having ulcers. The beneficial function of preventing ulcer is hypothesized served by the presence apiuman, a pectin-based polysaccharide that found in celery. Consuming flavonoids in celery also can reduce the risk of gastritis ( stomach infection ) by fighting the pathogenic bacteria in gut which cause inflammation ( study by University of Maryland Medical Center). It is also improve the mucusa secretion which can protect stomach lining.
- Reduce Bloating
Bloating is a condition in which stomach feels uncomfortable, full and gaseous. Celery contains phytochemical components which can relieve bloating and water retention.
- Improve sexual desire
It is believed that celery can promotes sexual desire and treatment for infertility. Celery contains high levels androstenone and androstenol, which known as male hormones that can improve male attractiveness. The reputation of aphrodisiac effect of celery has been known since ancient Romans ages. The ancient Romans used to dedicated the plant for Pluto, the God of Sex.
- Lowering Cholesterol
The fiber in celery can bind to excess cholesterol in gut and eliminate it in the process of body metabolism thus may help body to lowering blood level cholesterol. Study has proven by University of Chicago which described by The New York Times reported that celery contains phthalide which can lower cholesterol. Another study by Department of Pharmacology, University of Singapore shown that mice who consumed celery extract has lower level of LDL ( low density Lipoprotein ) or bad cholesterol.
- Lowering Blood Pressure
Celery has anti-hypertensive effects and it can help to lower the blood pressure. It is believed that celery components acts as smooth muscle relaxant and improve the transport of calcium and potassium in the cells. Celery extract can help the contraction and expand the blood vessel and later improve the blod flow and effecting to overall heart health.
- Protects Liver
A study by researchers from the Department of Nutrition and Food Science at Helwan University in Egypt reported that consuming celery extract can reduce fat that build up inside liver and improving liver health. This condition can be suggestion to people who suffering liver health by diet high in celery.
- Fight Infection
Celery has anti bacterial effects which naturally can fight bacterial infection and boost immunity. A report in 2008 published by Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology showed that celery has anti-microbial effects and was able to reduce the bacteria growths significantly.
- Prevent urinary tract infections
Celery helps to stimulates urine production and it also can reduce uric acid. The anti-bacterial effects of celery also can fight bacteria infection inside urinary tract. Similar to cranberries fruit its also can be treatment for kidney problem and bladder disorder.
- Remove headaches
Celery juice may be a hangover cure or in conditions of headache that causing by wine or other alcoholic beverages. During ancient times, Romans also believed that by wearing celery leaves wreaths over their head may cure intoxicating effects of wine and headache.
- Cure psoriasis
Psoriasis is a skin problem which caused by the rapid changes of skin cells. On the surface and it cause red and itchy skin. The condition also lead someone to lost protection by the skin lost and degradation and this may cause someone experience more pressure, temperature or chemical exposure pain. Dorothy I Vollum , a dermatologist from Lewisham Hospital London, described that a phytochemical component in cilantro which called as psoralen can be use in treatment of psoriasis.
- Promotes Strong bones and teeth
Calcium which contains in celery can help to maintain bone strenght and also keeping healthy teeth.
- Improving Hair Growth
In Indonesia, a country of Southeast Asian, people use celery as hair tonic. They used to spread grounded celery leaves to baby’s hair in an effort to fasten hair growth. It also can prevent from hair loss and can be used as natural shampoo during bath.
Healthy Tips to consume Celery
To get benefits of consuming celery, we should know some tips to store and cook celery. Check the tips below :
- When u wanna purchase fresh celery from market choose only celery with fresh leaves, straight and rigid stalks. Celery has fresh scent so avoid to purchase when you found the leaves turn into yellow and smell rotten also avoid to pick woody stalks celery.
- After purchasing fresh celery, you shoul keep it in refrigerator.
- If you use some amount of celery and still have leftlover celery, wrap it in plastic bag or in a airtight container which made from plastic. Dont put celery in freezer. Freezing celery will make it wilt.
- If you purchasing a packaged celery dont forget to watch at the “Best if used by” or “Best by” date on the it.
- As we know that celery can be eaten raw or cooked. It can be consumed plain as snack and appetizer. We can also add it on pasta, salad, soup, rice and any other dish that match to it.
- You can enjoy celery stalk which cantain high fiber by dipping it into peanut butter or other low fat dipping.
- Before consume celery, make sure you clean it well. Rinse it under water flow and must keep in mid that to keep celery away from raw meat, poultry or seafood in the kitchen to avoid cross contamination of bacteria.
- To keep the aroma and flavour of fresh celery, chop the celery and add it to your dish just 5 minutes before cooking process done
Even celery has a lots of health benefits, we shoul pay attention to some side effects which are usually caused by herbal plant. Below are some things that we should know :
- Some people believed that celery contain high sodium and people who have problem with salt should avo it but based on Vicky Ferguson, a dietitian, 88 milligrams of sodium per cup celery doesn’t make it as high-sodiuym food. So we should not worry about it.
- Excessive consuming of any kind of food may lead to side effect also when consuming celery, it can cause bloating, gas and diarrhoea ( Based on LiveStrong.com)
- Eating very large portion of celery can potentially leads to goiters; a condition of swelling neck which lead to hard breathing. It is because great numbers of raw celery can disturb the function of iodine in tyroid gland.
- A problem may rise to people who work in celry field or farm. The exposure of celery juice which contain chemical called psoralens can promotes darker skin if its exposed directly to skin due to sensitivity of sunlight.
- There are some case that people can be allergic to celery. According to Anaphylaxis champaign journal, celery allergy can be mild to serious, even further it can cause severe anaphylaxis shock to people which suffer from allergy. Same to anaphylaxis condition which suffer from peanut, the symptoms of celery allergy, may come rapidly within some minutes up to some hours.
- Peeople with such allergy to celery must avoid to consume it. Fresh celery is easy to reconize in food but if you thinking to eat some processed food, must watch the label before purchase or consume it. Canned soup, salad, mixed spices, crisp, frozen food and etc may contain celery so be careful when you gonna purchase it on shop.
Thats all the facts and the benefits of celery that we may missed and did not realize even we found it everyday in our meal. Lets start a healthier life by combining more nutrients in our foods and keep healthy body and mind.