Celery is one of popular Mediterranean herbs recognized for its strong aromatic flavor that it imparts to variety of cuisines. It is a small biennial herbaceous plant originated in Europe. It can be grown easily as a potherb in the home-gardens for its flavorful leaves, shoots, roots, and seeds.
Health benefits of Celery
- Celery is one of the very low calorie herbal plants. Its leaves carry only 16 calories per 100 g weight and contain lots of non-soluble fiber (roughage) which when combined with other weight loss regimens may help reduce body weight, and blood cholesterol levels.
- Its leaves are rich source of flavonoid antioxidants such as zea-xanthin, lutein, and beta-carotene, which have been anti-oxidant, cancer protective and immune-boosting functions. For the same reason, celery has been acknowledged as a functional food.
- Its leaves are a good source of vitamin-A. 100 g fresh celery comprises of 449 IU or 15% of daily-required levels of this vitamin. Vitamin-A and beta-carotene are natural flavonoid antioxidants. Vitamin A is also required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin, and for night vision. Consumption of natural foods rich in flavonoids helps the body to protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.
- The herb is also rich in many vital vitamins, including folic acid(provides 9% of RDA), riboflavin, niacin and vitamin-C, which are essential for optimum metabolism.
- Fresh celery is an excellent source of vitamin-K, provides about 25% of DRI. Vitamin-K helps increase bone mass by promoting osteotrophic activity in the bones. It also has established role in Alzheimer’s disease patients by limiting neuronal damage in the brain.
- The herb is a very good source of minerals like potassium, sodium, calcium, manganese, and magnesium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that help regulate heart rate and blood pressure.
- Its leaves and seeds contain many essential volatile oils that include terpenes, mostly limonene (75 to 80%), and the sesquiterpenes like ß-selinene (10%) and humulene; however, its characteristic fragrance is due to chemical compounds known asphthalides (butylphthalid and its dihydro derivate sedanenolid) in them.
- Essential oil obtained from extraction of celery plant has been employed as soothing remedy for nervousness, osteoarthritis, and gouty-arthritis conditions. In addition, its seeds, and root have diuretic (removes excess water from the body through urine), galactogogue (help breast milk secretion), stimulant, and tonic properties