Now that you are on the keto diet, you are probably looking out for carbs in every food you eat. And, understandably so. There are carbs in foods you would not expect there to be any. So, it is clever to check all foods you eat- even green vegetables.
Celery is a veggie that has a unique flavor and texture. Its flavor is both strong yet mild- at the same time. It is one of the healthiest foods you can have! And, with its unique properties comes its variability. You can consume it in various ways, both raw and cooked, and get all the health benefits.
So, we know it is tasty, variable, and we also know it is healthy. However, can you have it on the keto diet? Or will it kick you out of ketosis? To find out the answers to all your questions and more- keep on reading!
What is Celery?
Celery is a marshland plant that is scientifically known as Apium graveolens. It belongs to the family of Apiaceae, and people have cultivated it as a vegetable since antiquity. This vegetable’s look consists of a long fibrous stalk that tapers into leaves.
The taste of celery is unique to the vegetable. We can describe it as a watery vegetable that is both strong and mild at the same time. It has a slight saltiness and a lingering bitterness. Some people describe the taste of celery leaves as similar to spinach.
Another unique thing about celery is its variety of forms and uses. Different parts of the plants are used by different cuisines and for different purposes. For example, people in Europe commonly use a variety of celery called celeriac or also known as celery root. Its hypocotyl (stem) grows a large bulb that can be stored for long periods. Celery root is a staple in soups.
In North America, a popular cultivar that people commercially produce is the ‘Pascal’ celery. It has long, parallel stems that do not have many leaves. They typically sell it without the roots. In Asia, people most commonly use Chinese celery or also known as leafy celery. This type of unique vegetable has a stronger smell and taste when compared to other types. For this reason, people commonly use it to flavor soups and stews.
People around the world also use its seeds as spices by themselves, or by combining them with other spices as well.
Celery Nutritional Facts
Below, you can see the nutritional information on 100 grams of raw and boiled celery with salt. Keep in mind that the nutrition facts may change depending on what you add to it while cooking. (*), (*)
|Raw||Boiled with salt|
|Calories||14 kcal||18 kcal|
|Protein||0.69 grams||0.83 grams|
|Fat||0.17 grams||0.16 grams|
|Total Carbs||2.97 grams||4 grams|
|Fiber||1.6 grams||1.6 grams|
|Net Carbs||1.37 grams||2.4 grams|
Is celery healthy?
Celery is a low-calorie vegetable that people often claim to be a superfood. But, can food be so low in calories and still be that healthy? The reason for this vegetables’ low-calorie content is its high water content. Water takes up about 96% of its weight in its raw form. However, despite it being mostly water, it also contains numerous healthy nutrients.
Some of the nutrients are potassium, calcium, vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, and it is a good source of flavonoids. These chemical compounds act as antioxidants and have a protective function in the body. It is also relatively high in fiber.
Antioxidants are chemical compounds that help prevent and combat cell damage caused by oxidative stress. Free radicals are the main culprit that causes oxidative stress. It is the cause of many diseases, including cancer, heart disease, inflammation, and more. Antioxidants bind to free radicals and prevent them from causing oxidative stress and ultimately cell damage. (*), (*)
Scientists have also studied the effect of celery leaf extract on inflammation and have discovered that it may help improve and prevent inflammatory conditions such as arthritis. They do this most likely by affecting inflammatory mediators and cytokines. (*)
There was also a promising study done on animals that suggest that celery extract may help improve memory. Another research done on Alzheimer’s and dementia patients also shows positive results in the neuroprotective benefits of this extract. (*), (*)
Another health benefit of this vegetable is its gut-friendly property. Studies on rats have found that the extract of its leaves has a powerful antioxidant ability that can protect gut mucosa, and prevent ulcers. (*)
One of the most significant health benefits of this plant is its sugar-regulating properties. Scientists researched this property and found promising results. Chemicals in the leaves of this plant caused a significant decrease in preprandial plasma glucose levels and postprandial plasma glucose levels in elderly patients who were pre-diabetics. (*)
Can You Eat Celery On Keto Diet?
When you look into the table with the nutritional information, you will see that this vegetable is low in calories and low in carbs. In 100 grams of raw celery, there are only 14 calories, 0.7 grams of protein, 0.2 grams of fat, 3 grams of total carbs, 1.6 grams of fiber, and 1.4 grams of net carbs.
It is high in water- almost 95%, and it is low on the glycemic index (GI) scale. That makes it a perfect addition to any diet, including a low-carb or keto diet. Additionally, it offers numerous health benefits, and you can consume it in many different ways.
So, to answer the ultimate question- can you have it on the keto or a low-carb diet? The answer is YES! It is mostly water, yet full of healthy micronutrients, such as vitamins, minerals. It has strong antioxidant properties, and it is versatile in the kitchen. You can have it raw as a snack with a dipping sauce, or you can cook with it. It is especially good for combining flavors and adding flavor to any dish.
For example, it combines well in our Easy Keto Chicken Salad Stuffed Avocados. And, you can also use it in stews, soups, or use its seeds as spices.
Per 100 grams raw celery has 1.3 grams of net carbs, while boiled celery has 2.4 grams of net carbs.
Yes, it is!
Celery is a versatile vegetable that people use in different ways. There are numerous types of this vegetable aimed to be used differently. People use every part of it- its root, its stems, and its leaves. It has a unique taste that leaves a slight bitterness, yet it is salty and mainly watery. People compare the taste of its leaves to spinach, but they are still different.
Nutritionally, it consists mainly of water- about 95%, and that is why it is low in calories and carbs. Even though it is so low in calories, it still contains healthy micronutrients that have the strong antioxidant ability. Numerous studies show that its extract can help improve memory, lower inflammation, and prevent heart disease.
Its most important thing for keto and low-carb dieters is its low number of carbs. With only 1.3 grams of net carbs per 100 grams- it is very hard to overeat and break ketosis. So, feel free to grab some celery and enjoy it as much as you want while still losing weight!
*image by 5PH/depositphotos