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All about “Celery”

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Nutritional value of celery

  Raw celery, medium branch, 20 cm / 40 g Celery, boiled, drained, ½ cup (125 ml) / 80 g
Calories 6 14
Protein 0.3 g 0.7 g
Carbohydrates 1.2g 3.2g
Fat 0.1g 0.1g
Dietary fiber 0.6g 1.1 g
Glycemic load  : No data available
Antioxidant power  : Low

Source  : Health Canada. Canadian Nutrient File , 2010.

Celery: understand everything in 2 min

Celery health profile


Both tender and crunchy , celery is known for its low caloric content . Its leaves and seeds contain several types of antioxidants that are potentially beneficial against cancer .


The benefits of celery

Several epidemiological studies have shown that high consumption of vegetables and fruits lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease 12 , certain cancers 13 and other chronic diseases , 2,14 . The presence of antioxidants in vegetables and fruits could play a role in this protection.

  • Cancer . Certain compounds contained in celery (polyacetylenes) have the capacity to prevent in vitro the proliferation of several types of human cancer cells 3 . Celery seeds have also shown a protective effect against the formation of liver cancer cells in animals 4 . Since this research has used concentrated extracts, it remains to be seen whether eating celery or seeds in its natural state can provide the same effect. Another study found that lutein intake from celery consumption decreases the likelihood of developing colon cancer diagnosed before age 675 .

What does celery contain?


Celery, both leaves and seeds, contains certain types of polyacetylenes in significant quantities. Previously, it was believed that these bioactive compounds were harmful. However, studies have shown that certain polyacetylenes have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial effects in addition to preventing the multiplication of cancer cells in  vitro 16 . Fennel also contains polyacetylenes. The concentration of these compounds in fennel is, however, minor compared to that of parsley and celery 17 . The effects that polyacetylenes could provide in humans when they consume fennel remain to be demonstrated.

Celery seeds are also said to contain apigenin 15 , an antioxidant with anticancer effects . Celery is also said to provide a significant dietary intake of lutein, an antioxidant from the carotenoid family .

Main vitamins and minerals

Excellent source Vitamin K Boiled and drained celery is an excellent source of vitamin K. Raw celery is a source for women .
Good source Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) Boiled and drained celery is a source of vitamin B6.
Source Vitamin C Boiled and drained celery is a source of vitamin C.


Allergy to celery . The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) list of main allergens does not mention any vegetables 6 ; celery allergy is more common in Europe than in North America. However, a German epidemiological study indicated that 86% of subjects allergic to soybeans had a concomitant allergy to celery 7 . Soybeans are among the main allergens on the CFIA list.

Celery is also a food implicated in oral allergy syndrome . This syndrome is an allergic reaction to certain proteins from a range of fruits, vegetables and nuts. It affects some people with allergies to environmental pollens, for example pollen from birch and sagebrush 8 , 9 . This syndrome is almost always preceded by hay fever . So when some people allergic to ragweed eat raw celery(cooking usually degrades allergenic proteins), an immunological reaction may occur. These people experience itching and burning sensations limited to the mouth, lips and throat. Symptoms can appear and then go away, usually within minutes of eating or touching the offending food. In the absence of other symptoms, this reaction is not serious and consumption of celery does not have to be systematically avoided. However, symptoms of celery allergy can in some cases include serious digestive and respiratory manifestations 10. It is recommended that you consult an allergist to determine the cause of reactions to plant foods. The latter will be able to assess whether special precautions should be taken.

Furanocoumarins are substances that can react to light. They are found naturally in celery and other plants, such as parsnip. Skin contact with these vegetables, combined with exposure to light , can sometimes cause skin irritation called phytophotodermatitis . This reaction would particularly affect workers in agricultural circles or food markets, often in contact with the plants that contain it. Furanocoumarins can also cause reactions in people who go to tanning salons 11 .

Health profile
Scientific research and revision
 under the supervision of Louise Corneau, Dt.P., M.Sc., nutritionist, Institute of Nutraceuticals and Functional Foods (INAF), Université Laval.
(June 2011)


In Europe, the branches are peeled using a vegetable peeler, but the practice is not common in North America, where the varieties offered are often less fibrous . However, it is sometimes necessary to “pull the strings” of celery to eliminate them, when they are very fibrous.

  • Eat it raw , cut into sections, as a snack . Serve with a starter dip or as an appetizer.
with celery
  • Stuffed . Stuff the ribs with seafood mousse, chicken salad, vegetarian pâté, guacamole sauce, etc.
  • Chopped into the chicken salad , to add crunch and flavor.
  • Finely minced in a mixed salad , with chickpeas, minced onion and pitted black olives, which you will garnish with tomato wedges and hard-boiled eggs as well as anchovy fillets. Drizzle with a vinaigrette.
  • In soups and soups . Brown the celery in the oil with carrots and leeks. Add chicken or vegetable broth, cook until vegetables are tender. Go to the blender and garnish with chopped fresh dill. Serve this soup hot or cold.
  • In sauces, stews , stews , quiches, rice dishes.
  • In the court-bouillon used for cooking shellfish or fish.
  • In vegetable boxes .
  • In juice . Centrifuge branches with carrots and, if desired, tomatoes. Serve chilled.
  • Braised celery . Line the bottom of a pan with carrot slices, place the celery stalks free from hard and damaged branches, and shortened to 15 cm. Cover with chicken stock or vegetable broth, add a few slices of red peppers. Season with thyme, rosemary and chives, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, cover and cook over low heat until the vegetables are tender (1 h or 1 h 30). Place in a serving dish. Reduce the broth and pour over the vegetables. Braise it with a little lemon juice and coriander seeds. Serve cold, garnishing with chopped cilantro leaves.
  • In sweet and sour sauce . Cut the celery stalks into 2 cm sections. Put a bottom of water in a frying pan or a frying pan. Add the celery, 1 tsp. sugar and salt. Bring to a boil, cook for a few minutes until the water evaporates. Add 3 or 4 tsp. of vinegar and serve.
  • Chinese style . Sauté celery with green onions, thinly sliced ​​beef, ginger, garlic, seasoned with soy sauce and oyster sauce. Thicken with a little cornstarch.
  • Japanese style . Dry sauté sesame seeds and coarsely grind them with a knife. Cut the celery stalks into 5 cm sections and sauté them in the oil at high temperature. Add a little sake (optional), sugar (or honey) and soy sauce and cook until the liquid evaporates. Serve garnished with sesame seeds.

Do not throw away the celery leaves!
They pleasantly flavor bouillons, soups and casseroles. Finely chop them and add them to salads. Please note: their flavor is more pronounced than that of the branches.
  • Celery seeds . Flavor soups like the Russians and Scandinavians do. Garnish the surface of the buns, in place of sesame or poppy seeds. Add them to the Indian garam masala. As with other spices, sauté them for a few minutes in the dry before grinding them; they will gain flavor. They are a wonderful seasoning for stewed vegetables.
  • celery . Made with ground celery seeds and salt, it seasoned hard-boiled eggs, raw vegetables, vegetable juices and fromage blanc. It is sometimes made with an extract from the root of celery .

The little story of celery

Common names: celery, branch celery.
Scientific name: Apium graveolens var. dulce .                                                 
Family: apiaceae (synonym: umbelliferae).

Celery was first called ”  ache  “, a word derived from the Latin Apia, appeared in the language in the XII th  century. It means “which grows in water”, in reference to the natural habitat of the plant. Originally, it designated a fairly large group of plants (including parsley and lovage), before adopting the restricted meaning of ”  celery  “.

Did you know that …
Celery is part of the apiaceae family, which also includes carrots, parsley, dill, coriander, caraway, lovage, etc. Celery-branch and celeriac belong to the same genus and the same botanical species ( Apium graveolens ). They come from the same vegetable plant, ache or wild celery.

Appeared only in 1651, “celery” derives from the lombard seleri , resulting from the Latin selenon . This name recalls that the plant was supposed to be under the influence of the moon (selected), possibly in reference to the aphrodisiac properties that were attributed to it. The term “celery” has definitively replaced “ache” in everyday parlance, although the latter is still occasionally used in herbalism and botany.

Celery is said to originate from the Mediterranean basin, more specifically from the salt marshes that border the Mediterranean. If we are to believe Homer’s Odyssey , written 850 years before our era, celery was known to the ancient Greeks. However, it was then known as selenon . As this name was also attributed to other plants, we cannot say with certainty that it is indeed celery which Homer mentioned in his writings.

Five hundred years before our era, the Chinese used it in cooking. As for the Egyptians, they harvested both the leaves and stems and the seeds which served as seasoning.

For centuries, even millennia, the plant will appear in the form of a bouquet with poorly developed and fibrous stems. Rather like parsley, it served as a spice, given its pronounced flavor. The plant we know today, with his big waterlogged coasts, will be featured at the XVII th  century, probably Italy, and will spread to the rest of Europe a century or two later. It is not known when exactly celery was introduced to North America. All we know is that in 1806 four varieties were grown.

Until recently, celery was systematically blanched by covering it with soil to promote the formation of less fibrous and longer stems. This practice still exists in Europe, but it is no longer used in North America, where varieties with softer stems have been developed.

The seeds have been prized for a very long time in Asia, where they are attributed medicinal properties. In the West, it has been used to prepare “celery salt”. However, this popular condiment is now made with an extract from the root of celery .

Organic gardening

The celery is a demanding and difficult plant to grow. Gardeners who are not ready to give it all the care they need may be disappointed with the result: skinny ribs, extremely fibrous, which are only good for soup.

Celery prefers soils rich in organic matter. In the fall before cultivation, bury good quantities of manure or compost in the border.

It is sensitive to boron deficiency. If necessary, apply before cultivation. Be careful, as it is a trace element, only small quantities are needed.

pH: 5.2 to 6.5.

As its growth is slow, it should be started indoors at the end of winter (late February, mid-March). Transplant in individual containers when the plants are 3 cm to 5 cm high, then in the garden when they have reached 10 cm to 13 cm and the temperatures are above 13 ° C (early June in southern Quebec ). Plants that are exposed to lower temperatures for more than 2 weeks may go to seed. Below 7 ° C, it is only after a few days that the rise can occur.

Spacing in the garden: from 15 cm to 20 cm between plants, from 35 cm to 50 cm between rows. Or, in flower beds, from 15 cm to 20 cm in all directions.

Irrigation: water-hungry, celery requires frequent and abundant watering. It needs an average of 2.5 cm to 5 cm of water per week during the growing season. Pay special attention to irrigation during the 6 weeks before harvest. Preferably choose drip systems to limit the risk of leaf diseases.

During the season, spray a foliar fertilizer (fish and algae emulsion) every 2 weeks and water a few times with a vegetable manure.

Insects and diseases: In the family vegetable garden, insects should not be a problem. The majority of them can be controlled with an agrotextile.

Black heart disease: by making sure to irrigate regularly, this disease is generally prevented.

Fusarium wilt : if this disease is present in the garden, choose resistant varieties.

The harvest not being done before October, it will be necessary to protect the plants if there is a risk of frost, either by watering during the frost period, or by covering with an agrotextile.

Note: seeds from celery-leaves , or cut celery ( Apium graveolens var.  Secalinum ), an undemanding plant that can be grown like parsley, can be found in some seed producers.

Ecology and environment

Celery naturally produces insecticidal substances belonging to the psoralen class and which, in high doses, are toxic. Normally, the amounts secreted by the plant are too low to pose a risk. Now, wanting to maximize the insecticidal properties of the plant, researchers recently created a cultivar whose contents in these substances were 10 times higher than normal. However, it had to be withdrawn from the market after it was found that the consumption of its branches caused skin irritations.

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