Celery Nutrition Facts

Calories and Their Health Benefits

Celery
Atw Photography/Photolibrary/Getty Images.

Used in the past as a medicinal herb, celery is now a common ingredient in kitchens worldwide. Celery is light green in color with long, stringy stalks. Celery stalks are rich in cellulose, a complex carbohydrate found in the cell wall of plants that is edible but indigestible to humans.

Celery can be used in soups, side dishes, and eaten by hand as a snack. It is a friend to those following a low-carbohydrate diet as it serves as a great vehicle for peanut butter, dips, tuna salad, etc.

It also gives us a fair amount of vitamins and minerals for very little carbohydrate and calories.

You'll find celery in the grocery store all year long.

Celery Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 stalk, medium (7-1/2" - 8" long) (40 g)
Per Serving% Daily Value*
Calories 6 
Calories from Fat 1 
Total Fat 0.1g0%
Saturated Fat 0g0%
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g 
Monounsaturated Fat 0g 
Cholesterol 0mg0%
Sodium 32mg1%
Potassium 104mg3%
Carbohydrates 1.2g0%
Dietary Fiber 0.6g3%
Sugars 0.5g 
Protein 0.3g 
Vitamin A 4% · Vitamin C 2%
Calcium 2% · Iron 0%

*Based on a 2,000 calorie diet

Celery is very low in calories and carbohydrate. One medium stalk contains a mere 6 calories and 1.2 grams of carbohydrate. Half of the carbohydrate content in celery comes from fiber, making it a good source of fiber.

Health Benefits of Celery

Although it is mainly made of water, celery is a very good source of fiber, containing 0.6 grams in one medium stalk.

It is also an excellent source of Vitamin K and a good source of Vitamin A, potassium, and folate.

Studies have shown that people who eat fiber rich diets are at healthier weights and have a decreased risk of developing diabetes and heart disease. Fiber is important in regulating bowels, reducing bad cholesterol and increasing satiety.

Vitamin K is an essential fat soluble vitamin that has many important functions, including blood clotting and maintaining healthy bones. For those people who take blood thinners, it is important to maintain a consistent intake of vitamin K.

Folate is important for fetal development and vitamin A is an important vitamin for eye health. Potassium is an important mineral that can play a role in regulating blood pressure.

Common Questions About Celery

Can you eat the leaves of celery?

Although most people discard the leaves, they absolutely can be eaten. In fact, many chefs use them chopped up as herbs to top salads, sandwiches and dishes, such as quinoa, potatoes, stews. The leaves can also be blended to make into a pesto sauce.

Does celery contain sodium?

Yes, celery contains sodium. It is not added, but rather natural sodium. For those people who are salt sensitive and have high blood pressure this is something you should take into consideration. One medium stalk contain 32 mg of sodium, which is not considered high. However, if you are eating a large portion you may want to keep this in mind.

Does celery have negative calories?

If celery had negative calories, this would mean that eating celery burns off more calories than your body absorbs after eating it.

This is not likely to be true because while the calories from fiber are probably not absorbed, the small amount of calories in celery that comes from protein, sugar, and fat does get absorbed by your body.

It is true that your body burns calories by eating and digesting food, a process referred to as thermogenesis. The amount of calories you burn, though, isn't much. In addition, the process is complicated and can be influenced by a variety of factors including, age, gender, body weight and how much visceral fat you have. It probably makes the most sense, if you are counting calories, to count celery as having its actually calorie content.

Picking and Storing Celery

When purchasing, look for stalks that are crisp, without any sign of dryness.

To store celery, wrap it tightly in aluminum foil and refrigerate it. Celery can stay crisp for weeks this way. This method works because foil allows the ripening hormone ethylene to escape. In contrast, a plastic bag traps ethylene gas, accelerating moisture loss and spoilage.

Healthy Ways to Prepare Celery 

Celery is a very versatile ingredient, adding texture, color, flavor, and good nutrients to your meals and snack choices. Use it to make broths, soups, and stews. Braise, steam, or saute celery and add it to meats such as turkey, chicken, and roasts, or chop it up and place it in side dishes, such as whole grains and stuffing.

Celery also pairs well with proteins and can be used as a substitute for crackers and bread. Dip your celery into peanut butter, hummus, low-fat yogurt dip, tuna, or chicken salad.

Or simply much on celery alone—the crunchiness is sure to be satisfying.

Recipes with Celery

Celery can be added to almost anything. Get cooking with this versatile ingredient today. 

Sources: 

Armellini, F. et. al. Postabsorptive resting metabolic rate and thermic effect of food in relation to body composition and adipose tissue distribution. Metabolism Clinical and Experimental. 2000; 49: 6-10. 

Labensky, SR, Hause, AM. On Cooking: A Textbook of Culinary Fundamentals. 3rd ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2003: 638

Wilson, Chrissy. Negative-calorie foods" still count. Eatright.org. http://www.eatright.org/resource/health/weight-loss/fad-diets/negative-calorie-foods-still-count

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