Here Are The 3 Unwanted Side Effects Of Eating Too Much Celery

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When it comes to eating vegetables, the biggest challenge is usually eating enough healthy vegetables to meet the recommendations for minimum vegetable intake.

However, some people have no problem eating plenty of vegetables and may actually struggle to control vegetable intake to prevent unwanted side effects.

In fact, one of the most common questions about whether you can eat too many vegetables or too much of a certain type of vegetable is, “How much celery can I eat?”

But, is there a limit to how much celery you can eat? Can you eat too much celery? What are the side effects of eating too much celery?

In this article, we will discuss the benefits of celery, whether you can eat too much celery and the potential side effects of eating too much celery.

We will cover the following: 

  • Can You Eat Too Much Celery?
  • What Are the Side Effects of Eating Too Much Celery?
  • Celery Nutrition Facts: Are There Benefits of Celery?
  • How Much Celery Should I Eat In a Day?

Let’s dive in! 

A person drinking celery juice.

Can You Eat Too Much Celery?

While eating too many vegetables is not necessarily a dietary problem that many struggle with, if you love vegetables or eat a lot of them to help control your appetite when you are trying to lose weight, you may discover that you can indeed eat too much of certain vegetables.

One of the vegetables that should not be consumed in excess is celery, and if you have eaten too much celery in the past, it is likely an experience you remember.

After all, one of the most common side effects of eating too much celery is explosive diarrhea.

What Are the Side Effects of Eating Too Much Celery?

A person holding their stomach in pain.

#1: Digestive Issues 

The primary symptoms of eating too much celery are digestive issues.

Celery provides about 1 gram of fiber per celery stalk. While this may not sound like a lot, if you’re eating a lot of celery, the fiber can add up quickly.

Excess fiber consumption can result in unpleasant digestive symptoms such as gas, bloating, and diarrhea.

For this reason, overconsumption of celery could have a laxative effect, which is one of the reasons that many people drink celery juice.

However, chronic diarrhea can cause dehydration, and you may deal with urgency and frequency to defecate if you are eating too much celery or drinking too much celery juice.

Moreover, the bloating and gas pains that are often associated with excess fiber consumption are one of the hallmark signs of drinking too much celery juice or eating too much celery.

While these are certainly unpleasant side effects of eating too much celery, the ramifications of eating too much fiber can actually be more severe than just a distended belly, agonizing cramps, and the need to rush to the bathroom.

According to Duke Student Health, eating too much fiber can cause nutritional deficiencies because the fiber can interfere with the absorption of certain essential nutrients such as iron, calcium, magnesium, and zinc.

This can have widespread adverse sequelae for various systems in your body.

Water drops on celery stalks.

#2: Lack of Nutrients

Another problem with eating too much celery is that if you are relying almost exclusively on celery for your vegetable intake, you will be missing out on many of the essential nutrients found in other vegetables.

This could potentially lead to vitamin and mineral deficiencies.

Ultimately, while celery does provide some nutrients and is a great source of water and fiber, the overall micronutrient content is significantly lower than with some other vegetables. 

Celery is relatively devoid of many vitamins and minerals, especially in any appreciable quantity. 

Thus, it’s not like celery is a “superfood veggie” that can serve as a veritable standalone vegetable choice to meet all of your micronutrient and antioxidant needs.

Moreover, even if you were to choose the “most nutritious vegetable,“ relying exclusively or almost exclusively on one vegetable for all of your micronutrient and antioxidant needs will almost surely shortchange the potential nutritional benefits of eating a variety of vegetables.

A rainbow of vegetables.

Nutritionists and dietitians always recommend “eating the rainbow,“ which means that you should eat fruits and vegetables of all different colors.

The pigments of vegetables and fruits are largely a product of the particular antioxidants and phytochemicals in the plant.

Green vegetables, yellow vegetables, orange vegetables, red vegetables, and purple/blue vegetables each provide some unique antioxidants with different benefits.

A well-balanced diet that provides the full swath of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients requires eating an array of vegetables and fruits from different botanical families and of different colors.

Therefore, if you’re eating too much celery at the detriment of consuming a wide variety of other vegetables, you will be missing out on some of the essential nutrients and key antioxidants for optimizing your health and well-being.

Someone spraying pesticides.

#3: Celery Is High In Pesticides

Another problem with eating too much celery is that celery is often loaded with pesticides.

In fact, celery almost always lands itself on the Environmental Working Group’s “Dirty Dozen” List.

This is a list that is released every year showing the fruits and vegetables most heavily sprayed with pesticides and fertilizers or those that contain the most toxic pesticide load or most pesticide residues per serving, even after they are washed.

Paying attention to the produce found on the “Dirty Dozen“ list can help you make informed decisions about which fruits and vegetables to avoid if you cannot afford to buy organic or grow your own.

Celery consistently ranks among the produce products containing the most pesticide residue.

For example, a report in Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology from several years ago evaluated the amount of pesticide that remained on celery after harvesting.

Celery stalks and celery juice.

Over 300 different samples of celery were tested from different farms in China. There were 25 different types of pesticides found on various celery samples. There was at least one pesticide found on 58% of all of the celery sampled.

Even though the celery in this particular investigation was sourced from farms in China, similar findings are likely to be found with celery from the United States and other countries.

In fact, according to a 2019 report in Environmental Health, China bans significantly more pesticides than the United States, which means that the amount of pesticides found on celery crops in the United States is likely to be even higher than the results from the celery evaluated in China. 

Although you might not immediately experience pesticide side effects of eating too much celery, evidence suggests that consuming foods with pesticide residues can cause a host of health issues, including endocrine issues, disruption of the gut microbiome, and even certain cancers.

Therefore, if you’re chomping down on tons of conventional celery or drinking too much celery juice from non-organic celery, you could be exposing your body to a toxic pesticide load.

Chopped celery on a cutting board.

Celery Nutrition Facts: Are There Benefits of Celery?

Celery is not an unhealthy food, but at the same time, it does not contain much in the way of nutrients.

It is composed primarily of water, so it can help hydrate you, and it’s very low in calories, but aside from a little bit of fiber, potassium, and trace amounts of vitamin A, you will not be getting any other nutrients from eating celery.

This is why eating too much celery can cause nutrient deficiencies.

If you love celery and enjoy making it a big component of your daily diet, it is important to make sure that the rest of your diet contains a lot of nutrient-dense foods to help prevent nutritional deficiencies and provide enough calories to support your body.

Although it is definitely possible to eat too much celery, you do not need to eliminate celery from your diet unless you seem particularly sensitive to it.

Celery juice in glass containers.

There are benefits of celery and drinking celery juice.

Celery is high in water content, which can help you feel full on a few calories, potentially supporting weight loss.

Celery is also a good source of fiber and potassium.

For example, a single stalk of celery provides 166 mg of potassium which is about 5 to 6% of your daily potassium needs (5% for men and 6% for women).

Potassium is a key electrolyte that helps balance out the water-retaining nature of sodium, which can help regulate your body’s fluid levels and blood pressure. 

Potassium is also important in forming healthy bones and teeth, and diets that provide an adequate amount of potassium may help reduce the risk of stroke.

Furthermore, celery does provide certain antioxidants, such as phenolic acid, and may have anti-inflammatory and antifungal properties.

Due to the antioxidants and potassium in celery, evidence suggests that eating celery can reduce the risk of hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, heart disease, urinary problems, liver disease, gout, arthritis, and type 2 diabetes by way of reducing blood sugar.

Celery and celery juice.

How Much Celery Should I Eat In a Day?

So, this leads us to try to answer the question: “How much celery can I eat?“

As with most foods and nutritional advice, there is no established daily limit for how much celery you can eat.

The recommended serving size of celery is one cup, but some people may be able to eat more or less celery depending on body size, sensitivity to fiber, digestive issues, overall diet, weight goals, etc. 

It is inadvisable to eat more than two servings of celery a day. As with any food, it is best to consume celery in moderation. 

Focus on other more nutrient-dense vegetables as well. If you are experiencing digestive symptoms from drinking too much celery juice or eating too much celery, you should pare back or try removing celery from your diet. 

Lastly, due to the high pesticide contamination in conventionally grown celery, it is highly advisable to buy organic celery if possible. If not, you should consider further limiting how much celery you should eat in a day and be sure to wash all celery thoroughly before eating it.

For guidance on well-balanced, healthy diets, click here!

Colorful vegetables.
Photo of author
Amber Sayer is a Fitness, Nutrition, and Wellness Writer and Editor, as well as a NASM-Certified Nutrition Coach and UESCA-certified running, endurance nutrition, and triathlon coach. She holds two Masters Degrees—one in Exercise Science and one in Prosthetics and Orthotics. As a Certified Personal Trainer and running coach for 12 years, Amber enjoys staying active and helping others do so as well. In her free time, she likes running, cycling, cooking, and tackling any type of puzzle.

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