Celery is more than a filler for salads, a flavor enhancer for soups or a garnish for hot wings. Every bite delivers vitamins, minerals and health benefits. If celery has always been an afterthought for you, once you see how it contributes to your well-being you may want to add it to your daily menu.
Celery contains numerous vitamins, but is highest in vitamin K. The USDA National Nutrient Database reports that a 1-cup serving of chopped celery delivers 29.6 micrograms of K, which is 37 percent of the recommended daily intake, or RDI. Vitamin K is essential to proper blood clotting. However, if you are on blood-thinning medication such as aspirin or warfarin you should avoid eating too much celery. Excess vitamin K may interfere with the effectiveness of blood-thinning medications, according to a report from the National Institutes of Health.
Other vitamins in celery include A, C, E and the B family, with the exception of B-12.
Celery is loaded with minerals that are necessary for proper functioning of cells in the body. The predominant mineral in celery is potassium, needed for maintaining healthy muscles and reducing the risk of heart disease, according to a report from the University of Maryland Medical Center. A 1-cup serving of chopped, raw celery contains 263 milligrams of potassium, or 8 percent of the RDI. Other minerals in celery are manganese, calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorous, sodium, copper, zinc, iron, selenium and fluoride.
A 1-cup serving of chopped celery contains a significant amount of fiber, with 6 percent of the RDI, or 1.6 grams. Fiber helps fight heart disease, high cholesterol, diabetes, constipation and colon cancer, according to a report from Harvard School of Public Health. Increasing fiber intake also helps you with weight control, as fiber fills you up faster and helps prevent overeating. Snacking on celery is a great alternative to unhealthy crunchy snacks.
Celery seed exhibits anticancer properties, according to a study published in a 2011 issue of "Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention." Researchers found that celery seed extract not only stopped the growth of human stomach cancer cells, it also initiated cancer cell death.
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Celery, raw
- National Institutes of Health: Medline Plus: Vitamin K
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Potassium
- Harvard School of Public Health: Fiber: Start Roughing It
- Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention: Molecular Mechanisms of Celery Seed Extract Induced Apoptosis Via S Phase Cell Cycle Arrest in the BGC-823 Human Stomach Cancer Cell Line
A certified nutritionist who majored in health, fitness and nutrition, Traci Vandermark has been writing articles in her specialty fields since 1998. Her articles have appeared both online and in print for publications such as Simple Abundance, "Catskill Country Magazine," "Birds and Blooms," "Cappers" and "Country Discoveries."