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 surprising benefits of celery seeds.
Support Bone Health
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.
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.
Promote Red Blood Cell Formation
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.
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.
Improve Blood Sugar Levels
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.
May Fight Bacteria
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.
Have Antioxidant Properties
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.
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