Can you eat celery raw?

In this short article, we will answer the question, “Can you eat celery raw?” with an in-depth analysis of the health benefits of eating raw celery, the risks of eating raw celery and how celery can be safely consumed.

Can you eat celery raw?

Yes, you can eat raw celery. Celery is a low-calorie vegetable with a high water content that can be eaten raw as well as cooked. It has a considerable amount of fibre, along with essential vitamins and minerals, hence provides many health benefits. It can be eaten as it is or can be added to cooked dishes, stir-fries and salads (1,2).

Is raw celery safe to eat?

Yes, raw celery is safe to eat. However, it’s important to be aware of any food sensitivities or allergies before ingesting celery because some people may experience an adverse reaction to it.

Cross reactions with pollen are frequently linked to reactions to celery. The immune system has confused the food for pollen when eating celery, which is closely related to birch and mugwort and is frequently referred to as birch mugwort celery syndrome. The mouth, lips, or throat may itch or tingle as one of the symptoms, which are often mild (3,4)

What are the benefits of eating raw celery?

Celery provides many health benefits including:

Prevents oxidative damage

Along with vitamin C, beta carotene, and flavonoids, celery has at least 12 additional kinds of antioxidants in a single stalk. These antioxidants protect the cells, blood vessels, and organs from oxidative damage. It is also an excellent source of phytonutrients that help to reduce inflammation in the blood vessels, digestive tract, cells, and organs (2,5). 

Supports heart health

Celery contains a good amount of potassium and calcium, which are essential for heart health. It also comprises vitamin K and folate, both of which are needed for the formation of erythrocytes and blood clotting (6,7). 

Celery also contains flavonoids which are protective plant compounds having anti-inflammatory properties and protecting effects on the cardiovascular system. They are also associated with a lower risk of heart disease (5).

Supports digestive function

Celery has both soluble and insoluble fibres, which are important for normal digestive functions. In addition, phytonutrients present in celery protect digestive mucosa and also guard against gastric ulcers whereas antioxidants protect the entire digestive tract (5,8).

Reduces inflammation

Celery has almost 25 anti-inflammatory compounds that may be useful for people with chronic inflammatory conditions. Chronic inflammation has been linked to many diseases, such as arthritis and osteoporosis (2,8).

Improves memory

Celery consumption has also been associated with improved cognitive function connected with aging and depression. It provides neuroprotective benefits helping people with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease (9).

Improves blood sugar levels

With a high fibre content and low glycemic index, celery is beneficial for diabetic patients. It may also be effective for reducing blood glucose levels (2).

What are the risks of eating raw celery?

Overall, celery is generally safe to eat, but there are a few possible risks to be aware of. For example, celery produced conventionally may have pesticide residues, which can be dangerous if taken in high amounts or improperly washed. To reduce pesticide exposure, choose organic celery or wash regular celery well before eating (10,11).

As we mentioned before, celery allergies are not uncommon, and some people may react negatively to eating raw celery. Itching, swelling, hives, breathing difficulties, or anaphylaxis are just a few of the symptoms that can range from moderate to severe. It is advised to completely avoid raw celery if you have a known celery allergy (3,4).

The most important allergens are PR-10 (Api g 1), nonspecific lipid transfer protein – LTP 1 (Api g 2), profilin (Api g 4), and flavoprotein (Api g 5). Api g 2 and Api g 4 are potentially harmful for allergy sufferers because they can cause anaphylactic reactions (8,11).

Celery can harbor dangerous pathogens like E. coli or Salmonella, just like any other raw vegetable. Celery can be thoroughly cleaned under running water to help lower the possibility of microbial infection (12,13).

Additionally, the plant harbors the fungus Sclerotinia sclerotiorum, which in susceptible individuals results in dermatitis. It’s typical among Caucasians. Cress allergies can lead to anaphylaxis in some persons. Due to its uterine stimulating action, ingestion should be avoided when pregnant (8,14).

So, avoid celery with any sign of mold growth or spoilage, since molds can produce mycotoxins that can be harmful to human health (15). 

How can raw celery be safely consumed?

Celery can be consumed raw or cooked. However, before eating any celery you can follow some steps to consume it safely.

Wash well 

Be sure to properly wash raw celery under running water before consuming it. If you are not peeling the stalks, lightly scrub them with a vegetable brush. Dirt, pesticide remnants, and potential microbiological pollutants can all be eliminated by washing (13).

Trim and Discard the Ends

Cut off and throw away the celery stalks’ damaged or discolored ends as well as the root end. This assists in removing any potential contaminant sources (13).

Cut the celery stalks into manageable sticks or bite-sized pieces for easy handling and consumption. As a result, it is more practical for snacks or salad dressing.

Store properly

Celery can be stored for up to 5 to 7 weeks at 0 °C (32 °F) and 95% RH. At temperatures above 0 °C (32 °F), Inner petioles may continue to grow during storage, resulting in quality loss (16).

If you have any leftover raw celery, keep it correctly to preserve its freshness. Put it in a plastic bag or an airtight container after wrapping it in a wet paper towel. It should remain fresh for several days if you store it in the fridge (17).

Think About Dips or Pairings

If you don’t like the taste of raw celery by itself, you can couple it with other meals or eat it with dips. Common accouterments that can improve the flavor and make it more pleasurable to consume include peanut butter, hummus, yogurt-based dips, or cream cheese.


In this short article, we will answer the question, “Can you eat celery raw?” with an in-depth analysis of the health benefits of eating raw celery, the risks of eating raw celery and how celery can be safely consumed.

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