Celery is believed to be originally from the Mediterranean basin.
Ancient literature documents that celery, or a similar plant form, was cultivated for medicinal purposes before 850 B.C.
It’s claimed medicinal purposes were probably attributable to it’s volatile oils, contained in all portions, but mostly the seed.
During ancient times Ayurvedic physicians used celery seed to treat the following conditions: colds, flu, water retention, poor digestion, various types of arthritis, and liver and spleen ailments.
Woven garlands of wild celery are reported to have been found in early Egyptian tombs.
Celery was considered a holy plant in the classical period of Greece and was worn by the winners of the Nemean Games, similar to the use of bay leaves at the Olympic Games.
The Nemean Games were conducted every second year, starting in 573, in the small city of Nemea in southern Greece in the Poloponnes peninsula.
The Romans valued celery
The Romans valued celery more for cooking than for religion although much superstition was connected with it. The celery plant was thought to bring bad fortune under certain circumstances.
Although celery is thought to be from the Mediterranean, indigenous “wild” relatives of celery are found in southern Sweden, the British Isles, Egypt, Algeria, India, China, New Zealand, California and southernmost portions of South America.
However it is doubtful that it’s center of origin was that extensive.
The Italians domesticated celery as a vegetable in the 17th century resulting in selections with solid stems.
Early stalk celery had a tendency to produce hollow stalks. After years of domestication, selection eliminated this characteristic as well as bitterness and strong flavors.
Early growers found that the naturally strong flavors could be diminished if grown in cooler conditions and also if blanched.
Blanching is the practice of pushing dirt up around the base of the stalks to prevent sunlight from turning the stalks green.
Two types of stalk celery varieties
There are two types of stalk celery varieties, self-blanching or yellow, and green or Pascal celery.
In North America green stalk celery is preferred and mainly eaten raw although it is also eaten cooked.
In Europe and the rest of the world self-blanching varieties are preferred. Celeriac is very popular in Europe where it is eaten cooked or raw.
Smallage is grown in Eastern Europe and Asia for it’s seed as well as to use the aromatic leaves to flavor cooked food and to garnish plates.
In some areas celery and celery seed is consumed to treat high blood pressure.
Celeriac is becoming popular as a part of trendy American gourmet eating.
Currently California harvests about 23,500 acres per year, Florida 3,500 acres per year, Texas 1,200 acres per year, Michigan 3,000 acres per year, and Ohio less than 50 acres per year.
California harvests year-round.
Florida harvest from December to May, Texas from December to April, Michigan and Ohio from July thru September.
Per capita consumption of celery is about 9 to 10 pounds per person annually.
Many vegetables are known for their numerous health benefits. Diets composed of more vegetables can reduce the risk of chronic disease and other health ailments.
Vegetables can supply the body of necessary nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and fiber that are vital for development and maintenance.
Many vegetables contain disease-fighting phytochemicals.
That can help reduce the risk of different kinds of cancers, heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
Celery is one vegetable that has many health benefits. Aside from being a source of good food, it is also used as alternative medicine.
Its leaves, seeds, roots. and stems are used to treat urinal retention, kidney disease, hypertension, and even certain sexual disorders.
Excellent source of Vitamin C
Celery is an excellent source of Vitamin C that is essential for promoting a healthy immune system. It also helps alleviate the symptoms of colds.
Vitamin C inhibits free radical damage that may trigger inflammatory conditions like asthma and arthritis.
This vitamin is also beneficial in promoting a healthy cardiovascular system.
Medical research shows that celery contains active compounds called pthalide that are essential in reducing the blood pressure.
Pthalide works by relaxing the muscles of the arteries that regulates the blood pressures which allows the blood vessels to constrict.
Healthy blood vessels may help prevent stroke, heart attack, and other heart ailments.
The benefits of celery in reducing blood pressure is also attributed to its high contents of potassium, magnesium, and calcium.
High consumptions of these minerals have been associated with reduced blood pressure.
A food regimen which contains celery may help prevent cancer because of the anti-cancer properties.
This vegetable contains coumarin which essential in the prevention of free radicals from degenerating the cells which is a leading cause of cancer.
Coumarins may also enhance the activity of white blood cells, these cells defend the immune system and eliminate harmful cells, including cancer cells.
Celery also contain acetylenics that have been shown in some scientific studies to stop the development of tumor cells.
Celery is packed with nutritional value that should not be ignored:
Low in calories:The calorie intake from one serving of celery is almost invisible—it accounts for approximately one percent of your daily intake.
There are about 17 calories in each serving of celery, which is why it is considered a healthy powerhouse.
Vitamins: Celery contains a whopping 32.2 mcg of vitamin K, which works out to about 40% of your daily intake.
Celery also contains 494 IU of vitamin A (10% of your daily intake) and 3.4 mg of vitamin C (about six percent of what your daily intake should be).
Minerals: Celery contains valuable minerals including calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, and sodium, just to name a few.
Other health benefits of celery may include the following:
* kidneys Diseases (nephritis)
* Diseases of the pancreas
* Diseases of the liver and gallbladder.
* Diabetes – leaves
* Dropsy – roots
* Brain fatigue
* Acidosis (the condition of depletion of alkaline reserve or bicarbonate content of the body, celery being an alkaline food.
* Anemia, no doubt due to the presence of iron, some protein and Vitamin
* Improvement of teeth, no doubt due to the presence of calcium.
* Calms the nerve and give relief in cases of insomnia.
Top 10 Health Benefits of Eating Celery
Celery has plenty of health benefits and fantastic nutritional value.
But it tends to fly under the radar because of the many other fruits and vegetables that are also high in nutrients.
Here are 10 super health benefits celery carries that proves why it is considered one of the healthiest foods in the world:
1. Weight loss:
One large stalk of celery contains only 10 calories—I recommend that you immediately add this vegetable to your diet.
Feel free to throw it in a soup, salad, or stir fry—or munch on it throughout the day with hummus.
2. Reduces inflammation:
If you’re prone to joint pain, lung infections, asthma, or even acne.
Eating celery on a daily basis can bring you some relief.
3. Keeps you calm:
The minerals in celery, specifically the magnesium, actually help soothe the nervous system.
I recommend that if you also usually have anxiety before going to bed, try eating some celery.
It will help you sleep better.
4. Aids your digestive system:
The high water and fiber content found in celery can aid your digestive system.
5. Contains “good”salts:
There is sodium in celery, but it is not the same as what is found in table salt. Celery contains organic sodium, which is natural, safe to consume, and essential for your health.
6. Helps your eyes:
The vitamin A that is found in celery protects the eyes and can help prevent age-related vision loss.
7. Reduces bad cholesterol:
A component called butylphthalide gives celery its color and flavor. That same component also reduces bad cholesterol.
If you eat two stalks of celery every day, you can actually reduce your cholesterol level by seven points.
8. Lower blood pressure:
Phthalide is another compound found in celery—it has been proven to increase circulatory health.
9. Increase your sex drive:
Dr. Alan R. Hirsch, Director of the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation, states that two pheromones found in celery, androstenone and androstenol, can actually boost your arousal levels.
10. Helps fight cancer:
Two studies that were conducted at the University of Illinois show that the flavonoid luteolin found in celery actually decreases the growth of cancer cells.
Another study also shows that consuming celery on a regular basis can delay the formation of breast cancer cells.
In addition to these health benefits.
Celery contains many active ingredients that has made this vegetable a very important plant when it comes to promoting good health.
It contains balanced content of minerals, vitamins, and other necessary nutrients.
Celery also contains important concentrations of plant hormones and other essential oils that may regulate the nervous system and promote a sense of relaxation.
Some studies also claim that the celery is may also promote stimulating and positive effects on the sexual system.
Because of the many health benefits of celery, regular consumption of this vegetable is encouraged by many nutritionists and other health experts.