Celery Root Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

Celeriac annotated

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman 

Celery root, also called celeriac, differs from other root vegetables in that it is not very starchy. It is a variety of celery grown for the purpose of using both its shoots and its roots, and its flavor does have hints of the familiar green celery stalks.

Celeriac is a little intimidating when you first look at it, as it's quite knobby and rough in appearance. Learning how to peel celeriac takes a little practice and a good paring knife, but once you've got the hang of it, you can make celery root a staple. Use it to make dishes that satisfy a starch craving, but are low in carbs and high in fiber.

Celery Root Nutrition Facts

The following nutrition information is provided by the USDA for 1 cup (156g) of raw celery root.

  • Calories: 66
  • Fat: 0.5g
  • Sodium: 156mg
  • Carbohydrates: 14g
  • Fiber: 2.8g
  • Sugar: 2.5g
  • Protein: 2.3g
  • Vitamin K: 64mcg

Carbs

Although it is a root vegetable, celery root is low in naturally occurring sugar at just 2.5 grams per cup. Celeriac also offers 2.8 grams of fiber.

The glycemic index of a food is an indicator of how much and how fast a food raises your blood sugar. Raw celery root has a GI of 35, which is low (anything under 55 is considered a low GI).

Fat

Celery root has just a small amount of mostly unsaturated fat.

Protein

This vegetable offers a small amount of protein, about 2 grams per cup.

Vitamins and Minerals

Like celery, celeriac is an excellent source of vitamin K providing 53% of the daily value, which is set by the FDA. It is also a good source of fiber, vitamin C, phosphorus, and potassium.

Health Benefits

While often unfamiliar, celeriac can be a healthful addition to most eating plans because of the vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber it offers. White vegetables like celery root sometimes get a bad reputation for not providing enough health benefits, but they do have plenty to offer.

Supports Blood and Bone Health

A 1-cup serving of celery root provides 71% of the adequate intake of vitamin K for women and 53% for men. In addition to being necessary to the blood clotting process, vitamin K is also important for bone health.

A 2017 review study encompassing more than 80,000 participants found an association between higher dietary vitamin K intake and a decreased risk of bone fractures. The highest vitamin K intake was associated with a 22% reduction in risk of fractures compared to the lowest intake. An increase of 50 mcg per day was associated with a 3% decreased risk in total fractures. Celery root also provides a small amount of the mineral phosphorus, which is essential for bone growth.

Repairs Cell Damage

Like most fruits and vegetables, celery root contains antioxidants. These beneficial compounds can help heal damage caused by oxidative stress. This stress can lead to chronic diseases such as diabetes, obesity, and heart disease.

Promotes Gut Health

Like other sources of dietary fiber, celeriac can aid in weight management by helping you feel full when you eat it. Fiber also supports heart and digestive health and provides nourishment for the beneficial bacteria in the gut.

Low in FODMAPs

Unlike celery itself, celery root is suitable for a low-FODMAP diet. Fermentable oligo-, di-, mono-saccharides and polyols, or FODMAPs, are short-chain carbohydrates that can cause digestive symptoms in people with bowel diseases such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Allergies

People who are allergic to celery may also react to celeriac, as the two plants are very closely related. People with pollen allergies, especially to birch tree pollen, may also experience cross-reactivity (oral allergy syndrome) with celery and celery root, particularly when it is handled or consumed raw. If you have a food allergy or suspect that you do, discuss your symptoms with your doctor to make a plan for diagnosis and management.

Adverse Effects

Celery root is high in vitamin K. If you take Coumadin (warfarin) or some other blood thinners, you need to consume a consistent amount of vitamin K. This might mean limiting celery root (and other vegetables that are rich in vitamin K). Talk to your doctor or a registered dietitian about your diet.

Root vegetables are also higher in nitrates than some other veggies, if that is of concern for your diet or health condition. For most people, nitrates are not dangerous and may even offer health benefits.

Varieties

Celery root or celeriac is a variety of the more familiar celery. It is also known as knob celery or turnip-rooted celery because of its bulbous, knobby root (which is really a big, round stem). It does have green stalks and leaves that can be eaten or used as a garnish, although sometimes these are removed before sale.

When It's Best

Celery root is harvested in the winter, but you may be able to find it year-round in stores with large produce sections. To find the freshest celeriac, pick heavier bulbs with no soft spots and few rootlets.

Storage and Food Safety

Avoid washing or peeling celery root until you are ready to use it, but do separate the stalks, if present, from the root before storing. If refrigerated, the root will keep for up to three weeks. Once cooked, you can store it in the refrigerator for a few days or in the freezer for a few months.

How to Prepare

Celeriac can be used instead of potato in many recipes, such as soups, stews, latkes (potato pancakes), gratins, purees, "rice" (chopped in a food processor), or chips (as a substitute for potato chips). The mild taste lends itself to many combinations of herbs and spices. You can also experiment with eating it raw by tossing or grating it into salads.

Since celery root has a very different texture from celery, they don't generally work as substitutes for each other. Instead, celery root can sub for potato, parsnip, or carrot.

Recipes

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