Food

Real celery – intolerance and allergy

Real celery

The botanical name of celery is Apium graveolens and it belongs to the celery genus (Apium) and the umbelliferae family (Apiaceae). In the kitchen it is used as a vegetable.

This is what you should know about real celery

Celery is not only available in the cultivated form, but also in the wild form. The characteristics of the various forms can vary greatly, with the wild form growing up to one meter tall. The minimum height is thirty centimeters.

Celery is an annual plant. It is herbaceous and is characterized by a branched and spindle-shaped root that lignifies in the second year. The stalks of celery are erect and also branched. They form angular indentations. The leaves are smooth and glossy and simply pinnate. They are also colored dark green. The inflorescences of real celery are double umbels. They can be short-stalked and twelve-rayed. They have no umbel cover. The flowers are hermaphrodite.

The essential oils are responsible for the typical celery aroma – especially the phthalides they contain. The exact origin of celery is not known, although it was probably first cultivated in the Mediterranean region. As a cosmopolitan, however, the wild form can be found all over the world. Natural locations are moist and swampy soils that are usually saline. In Central Europe, wild celery only occurs in salty areas. In German federal states, this form of celery is almost extinct.

Different forms of celery include celeriac, celery stalks, and cut celery. In terms of shape, cut celery is most similar to the wild form. The leaves are reminiscent of parsley and the tuber is only slightly pronounced. In ancient times, wild celery was used as a medicinal plant. Both in Egypt and in Greece, the use has been handed down in writing.

Celery is harvested between July and October. This is the peak season in Germany. The celery found in supermarkets in autumn and winter comes almost exclusively from Israel to Germany. Celery has a very unique flavor that is unique and strongly aromatic.

importance to health

Celery is also used as a medicinal plant in folk medicine. It is said to have antipyretic, diuretic and blood-cleansing effects. In addition, it should be digestive and expectorant, wind-driven and tonic.

The fruits, leaves and roots are used, with the components being used both internally and externally. The medically and pharmaceutically relevant components of celery are essential oils, coumarin, sugar, resin and various vitamins . It is used, among other things, for arthritis , coughs , flatulence and urinary tract diseases. But celery is also interesting from a nutritional point of view. The essential oils are said to have a blood pressure-lowering effect. Celery also inhibits the growth of unhealthy bacteria and fungi in the throat, mouth and stomach .

The vitamins it contains make real celery very healthy in general. Potassium stimulates metabolism and circulation and is invigorating. It also promotes the formation of gastric acid . On the other hand, people with kidney problems should eat celery in small amounts, as it irritates the kidneys and can lead to symptoms.

Ingredients & nutritional values

Over 90% of real celery consists of water . Otherwise it is very low in calories and fat . 100 grams of the food contains just 0.2 grams of fat and 21 kilocalories. It contains 1.1 grams of minerals and 2.5 grams of fiber. Protein is found at 1.2 grams in the same amount of celery.

Otherwise, the vegetables have a number of vitamins. Celery contains folic acid , vitamin E , and various B-class vitamins. In addition, 100 grams of vegetables contain 7 milligrams of vitamin C and 29 µg of vitamin K. In addition, celery has niacin equivalent, ß-carotene, retinol equivalent and pantothenic acid . Trace elements and minerals that make celery particularly healthy are potassium , sodium , calcium and magnesium . In addition, celery contains manganese , fluoride , chloride and phosphorus.

Intolerances & allergies

Celery is one of the foods that often trigger allergies . This is problematic, among other things, because the vegetables are often contained in small quantities in soups, sauces and spice mixtures. Various ready meals also often contain celery. It is therefore often difficult for those affected to completely avoid the allergen. The only sensible thing is to study the ingredients of ready-made and canned meals carefully. It is better to buy spices individually and mix them yourself. This means that allergy sufferers are also on the safe side.

In Germany, between 30 and 40% of the population is said to suffer from a celery allergy. Pollen allergy sufferers are particularly often affected, as a so-called cross-allergy can occur. This is particularly common for people who are allergic to mugwort and birch. In medicine, this case is referred to as birch-mugwort-celery syndrome. People who cannot tolerate celery often also react to fennel , carrots , anise or parsley .

The reason for these cross-allergies are the similar chemical structures of the allergens. Typical reactions to celery are expressed in oral allergy syndromes. This means that there can be discomfort in the mouth and throat. Examples of this are swelling , blisters or itching in the mouth. Other symptoms include itchy eyes, sneezing fits, gastrointestinal problems , or hives. In severe cases, breathing problems can also occur.

Shopping & kitchen tips

When buying celery, you should pay attention to the freshness of the vegetable. The leaves should still be green with no brown spots. Celery stays crisp the longest. It will keep in the fridge for up to two weeks if stored in an airtight bag.

Nevertheless, celery should be eaten as quickly as possible, otherwise the vitamins are quickly lost. Celeriac, for example, can also be stored in a dark, cool room. It should be wrapped in newspaper or placed in a box of sand. In this case, the optimum temperature is around five degrees Celsius. Before use, celery should always be washed under running water .

Preparation tips

Depending on the type, celery can be used for a wide variety of purposes. It can be eaten raw with cream or soft cheese. But it is also eaten with dips. As a vegetable, celery can be boiled, steamed or braised. It is popular, for example, in casseroles and baked with cheese.

Celery is also perfect in soups. It is suitable for nuts, tomatoes and various salads. Hemp and olive oil can be combined as a salad dressing. You can also add apple cider vinegar or orange juice. Celery can be processed and prepared like asparagus , although it also goes well with risotto or stews.

Lisa Newlon
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Hello! I am Lisa Newlon, and I am a medical writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience in the healthcare industry. I have a Master’s degree in Medicine, and my deep understanding of medical terminology, practices, and procedures has made me a trusted source of information in the medical world.