Whether in soups, vegetable trays or topped with peanut butter, most people at least occasionally consume celery in one way or another. That's a good thing, because the benefits of celery — not to mention celery seed — include that it's high in antioxidants and beneficial enzymes, as well as fiber and certain vitamins and minerals.
Many years ago, parts of this vegetable were actually administered as natural anti-hypertensive agents in folk medicine. More recently, pharmacological studies have demonstrated both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities within celery that may help improve markers of heart health.
Plus, as a supplier of flavonoids and polyphenols, other benefits include its ability to support liver, skin, eye and digestive health.
Celery, which has the scientific name Apium graveolens, is a vegetable in the plant family called Apiaceae. It's an extremely old vegetable, with records showing that parts of the plant were found in the tomb of the pharaoh "King Tutankhamun," who died in 1323 B.C.
In the past, celery was grown as a vegetable mostly during the winter and early spring months. People mostly liked to eat it to help with "cleansing" and believed that it acted as a natural detox tonic that could prevent sickness.
As we know, it does in fact seem to help with detoxification thanks to its hydrating qualities and nutritional content.
Most people choose to eat celery stalks, but the green leaves and seeds of this vegetable are also edible and beneficial. For example, the leaves make a great addition to stir-fries and soups, and the seeds — which can be found either in whole seed form or extract products — have some impressive health benefits on their own, such as helping lower inflammation and fighting bacterial infections
Is celery a superfood? While it might not be as nutritionally dense as some other veggies, celery nutrition benefits include that it's a good source of vitamin K, vitamin C, potassium, folate and vitamin B6.
It's also about 95 percent water, the reason it's so low in calories.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, one cup of chopped, raw celery (about 100 grams) contains approximately:
Additionally, it's a decent source of dietary fiber, especially when you eat more than one cup at a time, which means it may have digestive benefits.
Considering it has a high percentage of water and electrolytes — including about 80 milligrams of sodium per cup, which is fairly high for a vegetable — it can help prevent dehydration symptoms, while also acting as a natural diuretic that reduces bloating.