Is Celery Good for You? Health Benefits and Risks

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Celery (Apium graveolens) from the Apiaceae family is a non-starchy vegetable with many health benefits that play a role in disease prevention. These benefits include reducing inflammation and cancer risk and preventing high blood pressure and cholesterol levels associated with heart disease, as well as contributing factors to type 2  diabetes.

Celery benefits may also include supporting nerve, cognitive, and respiratory health. However, celery may not be suitable for everyone.

In this article, you will learn about the evidence-based health benefits of celery, celery nutrition facts, and the risks associated with eating celery when pregnant or allergic to it.

Woman chopping celery

Anastasiia Krivenok / Getty Images

Celery Benefits

The following are benefits associated with adding celery to your diet.

Inflammation and Cancer Prevention

Celery is rich in a variety of anti-inflammatory plant compounds and antioxidants that help reduce inflammation and prevent cancer by removing free radicals (unstable molecules that can build up in cells and damage other molecules).

One study suggests the most beneficial parts of celery for reducing inflammation are the leaves and seeds. The plant compounds in celery that help reduce inflammation are caffeic acid, p-coumaric acid, ferulic acid, apigenin, luteolin, tannin, saponin, and kaempferol.

Blood Pressure

Celery and celery leaf extra or juice can help maintain healthy blood pressure levels and in the treatment of high blood pressure. One review of studies suggests these heart health benefits come from the naturally occurring high nitrate content found in certain vegetables like celery.


Hyperlipidemia (high cholesterol) is a contributing factor to heart disease and the sudden death by heart attack or stroke. One review suggests getting adequate nutrients from celery daily can help with cholesterol control. Researchers noted that these benefits are perhaps best obtained from vegetable juice rather than raw celery. Nutrients from celery include vitamin C and polyphenols.


Neurogenesis refers to the growth and regrowth of nerve cell tissues. Celery is believed to promote the regrowth and protection of nerve network pathway regrowth and protection. One older study from 2009 linked flavonoids (compounds with beneficial anti-inflammatory effects) to neurocognitive regeneration.

According to the study, these flavonoids work to support healthy blood flow, nerve tissue regeneration, and reduce the risk of nerve damage leading to cognitive decline, which can affect thinking, reasoning, and remembering.

Other Health Benefits of Celery

Many other notable health benefits of celery are attributed to its rich vitamin and mineral content. It’s important to note that most studies were on celery seed or leaf extract, not the celery root vegetable you find in the fresh produce aisle of the grocery store.

Celery can also help treat conditions like:

Additionally, people use celery seeds to treat:

Celery Nutrition Facts

Celery is known for its high water content but is also characterized by high nutritional value. Celery is a good source of:

  • Dietary fiber
  • Vitamin C and other vitamins
  • Potassium and other minerals
  • Additional antioxidants, such as polyphenols, phenols, flavonoids
  • Carbohydrates
  • Natural salt

Celery and Your Diet

The following are important factors to note when incorporating celery into your diet.

Raw vs. Cooked

You can eat celery leaves and celery stalks raw or cooked. Raw foods are generally considered more nutritional than cooked foods. Celery can be consumed on its own as a hydrating and energizing crunchy snack, or cooked into a dish such as a chicken stir-fry. People add celery seed to marinades, dressings, and pickling juice, and salad sandwiches such as chicken salad or egg salad. 

How Often Can You Eat It?

You can eat celery and other non-starchy vegetables every day unless your healthcare provider mentions otherwise.

Can You Eat Too Much of It?

Even the healthiest of foods should be consumed with respect to how their nutritional content will impact your digestive system. For example, celery’s high water and fiber content could mean eating excessive amounts can cause gas, bloating, and digestive upset. 

Aim for eating three to five servings of vegetables like celery a day. Eating even more servings of vegetables, both cooked and raw, is better. 

A vegetable serving is:

  • One-half cup of cooked vegetables 
  • One cup of raw vegetables


There are some risks associated with celery, including:

Symptoms of Allergic Reactions to Celery

Some people are allergic to celery. If you’re allergic to celery, you will experience a reaction when you consume it. 

Allergic reactions to celery include symptoms of itchiness or serious swelling of the mouth and lips. Other symptoms may include respiratory or skin reactions from celery root, leaf, or seed. If you think you are experiencing an allergic reaction, seek immediate medical care. Consult with an allergist to determine what your allergies are.

Pregnant People

It is safe to eat celery during pregnancy. However, consuming celery seed extract or celery essential oil is not recommended. Pregnant people may need to avoid celery seed in medicinal doses or quantities and concentrations, such as those found in extracts and oils.


Pesticides are harmful to health and can be found in higher concentrations in some fruits and vegetables than others. Washing celery is one way to reduce the risk of pesticide consumption. Choosing organically grown celery is another option.


Celery is a non-starchy vegetable with many potential health benefits. It is associated with reduced inflammation and reduced risk of cancer and heart disease, as well as contributing factors to type 2 diabetes. Celery is also associated with nerve tissue regeneration and other health benefits to the respiratory system and cognitive health.

The nutrients in celery can be obtained in raw or cooked form and from the leaves, stalk, or seeds. Some people may have an allergy to celery. Pregnant people should consult their healthcare provider and avoid celery extract or celery seed essential oil in medicinal doses. Celery may be grown with pesticides, which are harmful to human health.

8 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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  5. American Diabetes Association. Non-starchy vegetables

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By Michelle Pugle
Michelle Pugle, BA, MA, is an expert health writer with nearly a decade of contributing accurate and accessible health news and information to authority websites and print magazines. Her work focuses on lifestyle management, chronic illness, and mental health. Michelle is the author of Ana, Mia & Me: A Memoir From an Anorexic Teen Mind.