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Celery is a popular vegetable, but there’s more to this plant than the stalk alone. Celery seeds are less common but still tasty and nutritious.
They’re small, light-brown, and have an earthy scent. Their flavor is warm and bitter.
Eastern medicine has used celery seeds for thousands of years to treat ailments like bronchitis, skin disorders, and the flu ().
Today, celery seeds are most commonly used as a cooking spice. However, they’re also available as a supplement in extract or capsule form.
Though small in size, celery seeds are of great nutritional value and provide many health benefits.
Here are 6 surprising benefits of celery seeds.
Despite their small size, celery seeds have an impressive nutrient profile.
For example, they’re a great source of essential minerals like calcium, manganese, and iron.
One tablespoon (6.5 grams) of celery seeds provides ():
- Calories: 25 calories
- Carbs: 2 grams
- Protein: 1 gram
- Fat: 2 grams
- Fiber: 1 gram
- Calcium: 12% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
- Zinc: 6% of the RDI
- Manganese: 27% of the RDI
- Iron: 17% of the RDI
- Magnesium: 9% of the RDI
- Phosphorus: 5% of the RDI
Celery seeds are low in calories, with a tablespoon providing about 25 calories. They have a balanced macronutrient profile, offering relatively equal amounts of carbs, protein, and fat.
Celery seeds are nutrient dense and particularly rich in calcium, manganese, and iron. They’re low in calories and provide relatively equal amounts of carbs, protein, and fat.
Your bones require certain vitamins and minerals in varying amounts to stay healthy and strong. Celery seeds contain many of these important nutrients.
One of the most well-known minerals for bone health is calcium. One tablespoon (6.5 grams) of the seeds provides 12% of the RDI for this mineral.
When your calcium intake is inadequate for extended periods, your body compensates by pulling calcium from your bones. This may lead to a lower bone mineral density, which is a measure of the number of minerals present in a certain volume of bone (, , ).
A lower bone mineral density is associated with an increased risk of fractures, especially in older adults. Some studies suggest that increasing your calcium intake may reduce your risk of fractures (, , , ).
Celery seeds are also rich in a lesser-known mineral called manganese. One tablespoon (6.5 grams) of the seeds packs an impressive 27% of the RDI.
Manganese is needed to activate enzymes that produce proteins necessary for the formation of bone tissue and cartilage. Thus, it supports bone structure and strength (, , ).
Lastly, celery seeds also contain magnesium and phosphorus. These two minerals support bone-building cells called osteoblasts. Deficiency in either of these nutrients may lead to chronic bone diseases like osteoporosis (, , ).
Celery seeds are rich in many essential nutrients for bone health like calcium, manganese, magnesium, and phosphorus.
Iron is a mineral essential for producing red blood cells. These red blood cells deliver oxygen from your lungs to other parts of your body ().
Celery seeds are a great source of iron for both men and women. One tablespoon (6.5 grams) of celery seeds provides 17% and 38% of the RDIs for women and men, respectively.
Without enough dietary iron, your body cannot produce enough red blood cells. As a result, you may develop iron-deficiency anemia ().
Iron deficiency is the most common micronutrient deficiency worldwide, but eating more iron-rich foods has been shown to lower your risk of deficiency and subsequent anemia (, ).
Celery seeds contain non-heme iron. This type of iron is different from heme iron in animal products and is absorbed at a lower rate at roughly 10% ().
Vitamin C enhances the absorption of non-heme iron in plant foods like celery seeds. Eating foods rich in vitamin C like berries, citrus fruits, or bell peppers in meals with the seeds can help optimize non-heme iron absorption (, ).
Celery seeds are a great source of non-heme iron. Eating iron-rich food helps your body produce red blood cells and may prevent anemia.
Magnesium has many functions in your body, such as improving blood sugar levels.
Maintaining healthy blood sugar levels is important for reducing your risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease (, ).
Celery seeds are a great source of magnesium, with one tablespoon (6.5 grams) providing 12% of the RDI.
Magnesium plays an important role in blood sugar control and helps increase your cells’ response to insulin, a hormone that regulates blood sugar levels (, , ).
Including magnesium-rich foods like celery seeds in your diet may reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes. In fact, one large review associated magnesium-rich diets with an up to 14% reduced risk of diabetes (, ).
Celery seeds are a great source of magnesium. Eating a magnesium-rich diet may help control blood sugar levels and reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes.
Celery seed extract may have antibacterial properties.
For example, one test-tube study found that celery seed extract fought off H. pylori bacteria, which are found in the digestive tract of certain individuals and may lead to stomach ulcers (, ).
However, these benefits have not yet been tested in humans.
Another study observed similar antibacterial benefits of celery seed extract against certain bacteria, yeast, and mold strains. Therefore, researchers suggest that extract from the seeds may have potential as a natural food preservative (27).
Celery seed extract may possess antibacterial properties, although more research is needed to confirm these findings.
Celery seed extract may also have antioxidant properties.
Antioxidants are compounds that prevent cellular damage caused by molecules called free radicals. Your body requires a healthy balance of antioxidants and free radicals to maintain optimal health ().
Though research is limited, a few animal and test-tube studies have found celery seed extract to possess antioxidant properties (, 29).
This may be explained by the presence of polyphenols in celery seeds.
Polyphenols are beneficial compounds in certain plant foods. Larger studies have linked polyphenol-rich diets to a lower occurrence of cancer, heart disease, and diabetes (, ).
Celery seed extract has been shown to possess antioxidant properties in test-tube and animal studies. However, more research is needed.
Celery seeds are a versatile spice with many uses.
They’re sold as whole seeds, crushed, or as a ground spice. Ground celery seed is often referred to as celery powder.
Unsurprisingly, the flavor of celery seed resembles that of a celery stalk. It’s most commonly used to season soups, vegetable dishes, or homemade salad dressings.
Here are a few more ways to add celery seeds to your diet:
- Sprinkle them on your salad for a flavor boost.
- Mix them into hearty casseroles.
- Use them as a spice rub for grilled meat.
- Incorporate them into your barbeque dishes like coleslaw or potato salad.
- Add them to your pickling recipes.
Interestingly, some people use ground celery seed to make tea. You can make your own by pouring boiling water over 1 tablespoon (6.5 grams) of ground seeds and steeping the mixture for roughly 10 minutes. Strain the seeds from the water and enjoy.
Celery seeds are a versatile spice. They’re most commonly added to soups and other savory recipes, but can also be used to make tea.
Though celery seeds are most commonly used as a cooking spice, they’re also available in other supplemental forms:
- celery seed extract
- celery seed oil-based capsules
- celery seed tablets
These forms offer a concentrated dose of celery seed.
Used in cooking, celery seed spice is considered likely safe in normal quantities. However, there are some safety precautions for the more concentrated forms of celery seed (31).
Experts advise against using celery seed supplements if you’re pregnant, as it may cause uterine bleeding and even miscarriage (, ).
People with low blood sugar, acute kidney inflammation, or an allergy to celery seeds or birch pollen should also avoid taking celery seed ().
Additionally, celery seed supplements may interact with certain medications. For this reason, it is important to consult with your healthcare provider before taking supplemental celery seed.
Celery seeds are likely safe when used as a cooking spice. However, certain individuals should avoid supplemental celery seed due to safety concerns, particularly pregnant women.
Celery seeds are a versatile spice and a concentrated source of nutrients.
They’re particularly rich in various minerals, such as calcium, iron, and manganese. Among other things, the minerals in celery seeds support bone health and blood sugar regulation.
You can easily add celery seeds to your diet by adding them to soups, side dishes, and even hot tea. Plus, they’re available in supplemental form.You can find both the spice and celery seed supplements locally or online.