Why Celery Is Your Best Friend When Trying to Lose Weight

(Last Updated On: August 3, 2018)

Celery is a vegetable which belongs to the family Apiaceae, and is well-known for it’s crunchy stalks and distinctive taste. People often consume celery as a low calorie healthy snack when trying to lose weight or wanting to stay fit.

There are many known health benefits of this particular vegetable, making it the perfect food to incorporate into our diets. For a healthy and nutritious diet where one loses weight, celery will have fantastic uses.

To help us get to know this wonderful veggie better, we’ve researched some fantastic facts and myth busting information bites. So without further ado, let’s learn more about celery!

Celery facts!

These facts are sourced from soft schools and love celery for your educational benefit and use. Feel free to visit the sites we sourced from for extra information!

  • Celery does not, in fact, have a negative calorie count -as is commonly thought. This urban myth that it take more calories to consume a stalk of celery than the actually stick contains is false! Although, celery is still a low calorie snack with two stalks really containing around 25 calories.
  • Traditional oriental medicines uses celery as a treatment for hypertension, as some compounds in the vegetable can act as a sedative while lowering the blood pressure.
  • Celery is thought to be a brilliant promoter of sleep and rest due to it’s calming effects on the central nervous system.
  • Celery has a notable reputation as an aphrodisiac, encouraging couples to engage in sexual activities more often.
  • Another common use of this vegetable is as a hangover cure. This is due to the high water content, minerals, vitamins and various other nutrients in the celery stalks and leaves.
  • Winners of athletic events in Ancient Greece were commonly presented with wreaths of celery, similar to how flowers are given as congratulations today.
  • Celery is often used in many meals today, including stews and soups.
  • Celery is stringy due to it’s different cell structure, with the cell walls being tougher giving celery its characteristic of crunching.
  • Celery can reach a height of 3.3 feet.
  • All parts of the celery are edible. With stalks being used raw, baked, fried and even stewed and the leaves being mostly used as decoration and seasoning.
  • Celery was initially used as a treatment for toothache, insomnia, anxiety, hypertension, headaches, arthritis and to purify the blood.
  • The vegetable is a biennial plant, which means the lifecycle of the celery plant ends within two years.
  • Celery can induce allergic reactions in some individuals, so be careful if you think you may be one of them.
  • Nibbling celery after your meals can help to clean your teeth from food debris.
  • The stalk and the leaves of the celery plant are known as the head.

 

Health benefits

Lowering blood pressure.

Although there is no strong evidence that celery can lower blood pressure, studies published do, in fact, claim this. One study has assessed the use of celery seeds in lowering blood pressure and found that they do have positive effects upon rats.

The active compound in celery which is thought to do this is called phtalides, which is proven to boost circulatory health and thus lower the blood pressure.

 

Preventing cancer.

Two studies performed in Illinois demonstrate that a powerful flavonoid in celery (luteolin), inhibits the mutation of cells which in turn, prevents cancer cells from forming. This is especially true for the cells in the pancreas.

Thus regularly consuming celery whenever possible may stop the body from, in the long-term, developing cancers.

 

Reduces inflammation in the body.

If you are suffering from pains in the body, celery may be useful for treating these pains. Treating issues such as asthma, acne and lung infections to name a few.

 

Soothes the nervous system.

Some individuals and experts claim that celery contains properties which can soothe the nervous system. Therefore regularly consumption of celery may provide relief from issues such as anxiety, depression and aches and pains.

 

May be useful in treating joint pains.

Due to the vegetables anti-inflammatory benefits, celery can be useful in treating chronic and occasional joint pains for the consumer. If you suffer from joint pains, try incorporating celery into your everyday diet -this can be done by adding into stews and soups or by using as an ingredient in a side salad.

 

Aids in healthy digestion.

Some say that celery is ‘crunchy water’, this description may just be the exact reason why the vegetable is so useful in helping to achieve a healthy digestive tract. The high water content and fibre content within the vegetable makes it perfect for soothing and aiding in healthy digestion and easier bowel movements.

However, it is important to note that as celery has such a high water content it may acts as a diuretic. Those who suffer regularly from diarrhea should perhaps avoid eating celery often.

 

Cares for your eyes.

Cares for your eyes

One stalk of celery can provide the body with 5% of the body’s daily need of vitamin A. Vitamin A is useful in preventing eye-related issues and diseases such as macular degeneration, and therefore is very useful in eye health. Consuming celery regularly should therefore, in theory, help to keep your eyes health and illness free.

 

Amp up your sex life.

Described as an aphrodisiac by many, celery may have some notable uses in encouraging sex. Two pheromones in celery called androstenone and androstenol are ideal for boosting arousal when consumed, and thus gives celery it’s reputation as an aphrodisiac type vegetable.

 

Can help in lowering high cholesterol.

One benefit of celery is that it can be used to help in lowering high cholesterol in the body. Low cholesterol is important for overall health and good heart function. Celery contains a compound that have been reported to have lipid lowering effects when consumed, as well as many other emerging beneficial compounds that are now being researched upon by experts.

Including more celery in your diet may thus lower high-cholesterol and aid in the health of many processes in the body- so why don’t you try it!

 

Helps to prevent ulcers.

This particular use is a mostly unknown benefit of celery. Due to the anti-inflammatory properties of the vegetable, celery may be able to help prevent ulcers within the stomach and digestive tract. Research shows that the ethanol extract found in the vegetable is great for protecting the lining of the digestive tract from painful ulcers. Celery is noted to nourish the stomach, intestines and colon due to many of it’s key components.

If you are prone to suffering from ulcers in the digestive tract, celery just may be the vegetable for you.

 

Protects the health of your liver.

Research in Egypt has found that celery can reduce dangerous fat buildup in the livers of rats. With this knowledge, it is not unreasonable to assume it may do the same for the livers of humans.

 

Contains anti-microbial properties that fight off infections.

Seeds of the celery plant have been used for many years as a herbal medicine. These seeds have reportedly been described to have antibacterial effects when consumed, these effects should therefore help the body to fight off infections. By fighting off infections this improves the health of bodies and reduces the amount of time we spend ill.

 

Celery contains ‘good’ salts.

Celery does contain sodium, although not the same sodium you would associate with table salt. The salt content in celery is both organic and natural, meaning that it is useful (and essential) for the good health of the body.

 

Celery for weight loss.

So, it’s safe to say most of us out there no matter our age, gender or lifestyle we live all want to lose some amount of weight -whether this be a small few pounds or even a few stone. This is where celery comes into play. If you’re struggling to lose weight, celery is a simple addition (or replacement for other less healthy foods) you can make to your diet, resulting in that desired weight loss.

To lose weight, it is no secret that you have to cut back on the calories. With a medium to large stick of celery containing only between ten and fifteen calories,this vegetable is a useful tool in allowing you to do this. Eating a larger amount of fruits and vegetable is a fantastic way to keep your calorie count low, while giving your body the nutrients and fibre it needs to stay fuller for longer and be the healthiest it can. For example, 1 cup of celery contains around 16 calories whereas one cup of pretzels can contain up to 300 of the things! Thus celery has a clear advantage over many snack orientated foods you may enjoy eating on a regular basis, and even over many other fruits and vegetables that are higher in calorie contents. One cup of orange segments contains 85 calories, one cup of apple contains 57 calories and one cup of carrot contains 50 calories -all significantly higher than the 16 calories one cup of celery has.

Eating celery also keeps your water consumption up. Each stick of celery is around 95% water by weight, and with water being an essential part of any healthy diet it is fair to say this can also aid in weight loss. It is also wise to note that commonly, our bodies mistake thirst for hunger which results in unnecessary consumption of foods (and calories!). If we regularly eat celery, while drinking the correct amount of water each day, this should help to keep our bodies from confusing thirst with hunger. Furthermore, even slight dehydration can leave you feeling lethargic and unmotivated -this means you’ll be less enthused to complete that weight busting exercise you’ve been meaning to do!

With celery containing around 2 grams of fibre per cup, this makes the vegetable the perfect weight loss tool. Fibre when consumed, promotes a healthy digestive tract and makes bowel movements easier. As well as keeping the body fuller for longer by causing the stomach to empty slower, thus meaning your hunger pangs should be further and further apart. By reducing hunger pangs, this reduces the likelihood you will be tempted to snack on unhealthy foods and goodies meaning your weight loss should occur at a faster rate. Additionally, your cholesterol levels and blood sugar levels should also be improved by eating a high-fibre diet.

Lastly, celery contains an adequate amount of both vitamins and minerals which should keep the body functioning at optimum levels, ensuring your overall health. These vitamins and minerals can help the body in a variety of ways, as well as helping you to lose weight by achieving a healthier body.

 

Tasty celery orientated recipes.

Braised Celery Broth.

Ingredients needed:

  • 1 head of celery, trimmed and de-stringed cut into 2 or 3 inch pieces
  • 28 grams of butter
  • 1 medium sized onion, chopped into small pieces
  • 85 grams of carrot
  • 400 ml vegetable stock, of your choice
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon of vegetarian gravy granules
  • 1 pinch of instant coffee granules
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

How to make:

Melt all the butter into a frying pan over a medium heat and place the chopped onion in to cook.

When the onions become golden, place the carrots in to cook also leaving for 2-3 minutes.

Once the carrots have been left for a few minutes you can now add the celery into the mix.

Continue to fry the added ingredients until everything is lightly browned.

Add the vegetable stock, gravy granules and coffee to the cooking vegetables.

Stir thoroughly, turn down the heat and add a lid onto the broth to simmer for 10 minutes.

Serve the broth in a bowl for a tasty, warm, winters meal!

Note: For meat eaters, beef makes a perfect addition to this warm and tasty broth.

 

Crunchy celery salad.

Crunchy celery salad

Ingredients:

  • 2 small to medium sized celery sticks, chopped
  • 2 hearts romaine lettuce
  • 6 cherry tomatoes, cut into quarters
  • 1 radish, diced
  • Pancetta cheese, crumbled

Optional;

  • Bacon lardons

How to make:

Combine all the vegetable ingredients together in a salad bowl, tossing to mix well and thoroughly.

Crumble the pancetta cheese over the top of the salad, and bacon lardons if you desire.

Voila, you’ve created this simple and easy to make tasty salad!

Add your very own dressing to customise this tasty and healthy meal or side salad -depending on how you decide to use this recipe.

 

Fruity celery juice.

Ingredients:

  • 2 apples
  • 2 pears
  • 3 celery sticks
  • 5 radishes

Optional;

  • 1 sprigs of mint
  • 1 sprig of parsley

How to make:

Wash the fruits and vegetables adequately to remove any dirt.

Chop the ingredients into chunks after peeling/ removing skins.

Place within a juicer to extract the juice.

Serve chilled with either parsley or mint as a garnish to the drink! (Or both)

 

Side effects.

This is a comprehensive list of common and likely side effects of the celery vegetable, sourced from the website webmd.

  • Celery when taken in large amounts may cause sun sensitivity and skin inflammations.
  • Celery can cause allergic reactions in some individuals. If you are sensitive to the wild carrots, birch, mugwort or dandelion root it is likely you will also be allergic to celery due to their content of the same allergens.
  • Do not use celery if you suffer from kidney issues. Some experts are noted saying that this may cause unpleasant results and consequences.
  • If you suffer from a bleeding-related or blood-related disorder, be careful when consuming celery. Consult your physician for advice or help if you are unsure on the effects celery may have on your pre-existing illness.
  • If you already have low blood pressure it is not recommended to consume celery as the vegetable may lower it further.
  • Celery can have some effects on the central nervous system, and thus should be avoided 2 weeks prior to planned surgeries.

Note: If you suffer from any adverse reactions to celery, stop consuming the vegetable immediately, and consult your local healthcare provider for advice and treatments. Or if you are unsure whether or not celery is suitable for you, it is wise to ask your doctor.

 

Final thoughts.

Celery can be used in various ways to benefit your health, from lowering inflammation, helping to prevent ulcers and preventing cancer to treating joint pains and soothing the nervous system. This vegetable can be described as a fantastic super-food, brilliant for weight loss among other uses. So, if you’re trying to boost your health as well as lose that additional weight try addition celery to your meals or use as an energy-boosting snack!

We here at Balance Me Beautiful love hearing from our readers. If you have any experiences with losing weight using celery, feel free to let us know down below in the comment section. Or perhaps you would like to ask a question about the website, or would like to submit an article idea for us to follow up on in future articles -if so visit our Contact page.

Once again, thanks for reading guys!

Written by Irina Radosevic MD
Irina graduated from the University of Belgrade, School of Medicine as a Doctor of Medicine (MD) and spent over 3 years working in the Clinical Hospital Center Zvezdara, in the Department of Emergency Medicine. She also undertook a postgraduate in Cardiology from the same University and had previously worked for over a year as a Physician and Nutritionist Dietitian for the Fitness club Green Zone. She eventually left her chaotic but fulfilling job in the ER to pursue her passion of writing, travelling and mountain climbing which has included writing a first aid course for the alpine club of Belgrade. Irina currently works as a VA for PintMedia focusing on medical and travel writing. Feel free to connect with Irina on LinkedIn and FaceBook. Her CV can be seen here.