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Celery root, whether it is eaten raw or used as flavoring in your meals, adds an abundance of essential vitamins and minerals our bodies need to function properly; it is an excellent alternative to high calorie and low nutritional snacks.

Celery Root

Celery Root is believed to date back to the 7th century BC growing as wild celery; traces of it were found at the tomb of the Pharaoh Tutankhamun whom died in 1323 BC. It didn’t make its way into modern kitchens until the early 1600’s.  Even though celery root is associated with other root vegetables it has a certain flair that other root vegetables don’t have, mostly because French chefs have made it such an honored vegetable to pair with many other food items. 

Where is Celery Root Grown?

California cultivates and produces the most celery root on the market today, harvesting over 26 acres in the year 2008, followed by Michigan, harvesting 1,800 acres.  Celery root can be grown year round in suitable climates, but tends to be rather difficult to grow as compared to other vegetables. 

How to grow Celery Root

Celery root is generally started from seed either in a green house or in an outside garden; depending upon the climate and time of year.  Once the plant has reached its potential pre-growth size, the plants are then transplanted into deep trenches which are beneficial to keep them balanced while they grow and to keep the direct sunlight from hurting the stems.  The growing season for celery is generally from September through April.

Celery root is harvested one time a year, when the crop has reached the correct size for marketing and selling of the produce.  Celery root can be stored for 7 weeks if kept at very cool temperatures, approximately 32-36 degrees F.  If celery root is kept in storage in temperatures above 32 degrees F, the inner stalks might continue to grow.

Nutrients and Health Benefits Found in Celery Root

Nutrients Found in Celery Root

Celery root, which is also known as “celeriac”, as any other vegetable is cholesterol and saturated fat-free and is found to be an excellent source of riboflavin, calcium, Vitamin B6, magnesium, phosphorus, and an excellent source of potassium, Vitamins A, C, and K, as well as dietary fiber.  In a study done at Harvard Medical School, it was shown that vitamin B6 could help prevent colon and or rectal cancer in women. [1]  Vitamin B6 is vitally important for proper immune health and also is essential in the health of red blood cells, muscles, and nerves.

Vitamin C is also an immune building vitamin which helps to fight off potentially harmful infections by building a strong and healthy immune system.  Adding celery root, (celeriac) to a meal that includes mashed potatoes can help reduce the glycemic level you get from eating potatoes.  Celery root is high in dietary fiber which helps to maintain a well working digestive tract and helps reduce constipation which may lead to the formation of hemorrhoids.  It is high in potassium which helps to send and receive neurotransmissions throughout the body.

Healthy ways to Prepare Celery Root

Eating celery root raw, without adding a dip or topping to it, is the healthiest way to consume it, however, it lacks flavor when eaten raw but does provide the highest nutrients.  Adding celery root to dishes that are steamed or boiled brings out the flavor of the celery and contributes a great deal of nutrition as well.  Cooking tends to reduce the nutritional value of celery which is why one should steam the vegetable instead of allowing it to cook or simmer for long periods of time.  

Health Benefits of Celery Root

Celery root is loaded with dietary fiber which helps to maintain a healthy digestive system, prevent constipation, and the onset of hemorrhoids.  Because celery root has a high content of Vitamin B6 along with the high content of dietary fiber, the consumption of celery can greatly decrease your chances of colon cancer.  The content of Vitamin C in celery root helps to build a strong immune system by fighting off harmful free radicals that damage cells and are said to cause many types of cancer. 

Riboflavin [2] also found in celery root, helps to convert the food you eat into energy to be stored and used as needed. Individuals who exercise on a regular basis, as well as pregnant and breastfeeding women would be wise to include celery root into their diet as a much-needed source of energy is provided to the tissues and muscles from the riboflavin that is found in celery.  Because celery root is cholesterol and saturated fats-free, its consumption can help reduce heart-related diseases such as heart attacks and clogging of the arteries from cholesterol build up.