Celery is part of the Umbelliferae family which is the same family as carrots, parsley and fennel. An interesting fact concerning celery is that in ancient Roman times celery was considered an aphrodisiac. Recent research has shown that celery contains androsterone which is a pheromone that when released through men’s sweat glands can attract females.
Celery is a cool weather loving plant which thrives in temperatures between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. The most commonly grown variety is Pascal. For best results seeds should be started indoors 12 weeks before transplanting outdoors. Celery should be planted at least 8 inches apart. Celery takes a minimum of 100 days after transplanting to mature. Once the plants are well established place a heavy layer of mulch or straw this will aid in moisture retention as well as with blanching. Celery is highly susceptible to moisture stress; therefore, it is important to ensure that the ground is not allowed to dry out. Also, celery requires high amounts of fertilizer in order to produce tall and succulent stalks.
Celery Nutritional Values
Serving Size 1/2 cup sliced, raw (60g)
Amount Per Serving % Daily Value
Calories from Fat 0g
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Sodium 50mg 2%
Total Carbohydrate 2g 1%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Vitamin A 6%
Vitamin C 14%
Vitamin K 44%
Health Benefits of Celery
Celery is known to act as a natural laxative. It also acts as a diuretic by increasing urine output.
Celery leaves are high in Vitamin A, and the stalks are high in fiber, the B Vitamins and Vitamin C. Celery has long been known as a vegetable helpful in lowering high blood pressure.
Other studies have shown that celery has cancer preventing properties as well. Celery contains many anti-cancer compounds such as acetylenics, phenolic acids, and coumarins to name a few.
Getting the Most Out of Your Celery
Celery is great raw or cooking into many recipes. Celery may be blanched and frozen for use in cooking. Celery may be juiced and when consumed as such provides a powerful nutrition boost. Cooking celery does not affect the nutritional content.
Celery can last up to a month in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator when stored in a plastic bag.
Celery Concerns and Cautions
Celery contains its own pesticide of sorts in the form of naturally occurring psoralens which may cause skin irritation in some people.
It is a good idea to buy organic celery or grow your own. Celery is one of the worst vegetables to contain pesticide residues. In fact, the Environmental Working Group found celery can retain 13 different pesticides if not grown organically. Read more about the Dirty Dozen fruits and vegetables that have the highest pesticide content.