Celeriac is an unusual and nutritious vegetable with a wide variety of uses. It may offer several health benefits, such as improving bone and heart health.

Celeriac has green leaves and stalks that grow above ground and roots with a rough, brown skin that grow underground. While farmers grow celery for its edible leaves and stalks, they grow celeriac for its roots.

Some people refer to celeriac as celery root, but it is not the root of a celery stalk.

Other names for celeriac are knob celery and turnip-rooted celery. It belongs to the same plant family as carrots and is related to celery, parsley, and parsnips.

The edible part of the celeriac plant is the root. Inside, the root is pale and resembles a potato or turnip. Its flavor is similar to that of celery and parsley. A person can eat washed and peeled celeriac raw or prepare it using different cooking methods.

In this article, we explain the possible health benefits of celeriac, as well as its nutritional content and how to use it in recipes.

Celeriac potentially boosts bone and heart health, and it may reduce the risk of diabetes.

Bone health

celeriac chopped on a fabric surface. Share on Pinterest
The vitamin K in celeriac may improve bone health.

Vitamin K intake may affect bone health. Celeriac is a plentiful source of vitamin K, with one cup of raw celeriac providing 64 micrograms (mcg) of this nutrient.

A 2017 review of five studies that included a total of 80,982 participants examined the relationship between vitamin K and bone fractures. The participants with higher dietary vitamin K intake had a lower risk of fractures.

Specifically, the authors noted that the risk of fracture was 22% lower among those with the highest vitamin K intake than among those who consumed the least vitamin K.

Diabetes

Millions of people around the world have type 2 diabetes, a condition that impairs the body's ability to control blood glucose levels. A healthful diet may reduce a person's risk of type 2 diabetes.

In a 2012 study that used data from 16,154 people, scientists examined the association between fruit and vegetable intake, including root vegetables, and risk for type 2 diabetes.

They found that the people who ate the most root vegetables had a risk of diabetes that was 13% lower than that of those who consumed the least.

However, a more recent study from 2019 examined the vegetable intake of 424 children and adolescents while also tracking which of them developed metabolic syndrome, a risk factor for diabetes.

The study authors found that eating root vegetables did not affect the likelihood of developing metabolic syndrome.

More research is necessary to confirm the protective benefits of root vegetables, such as celeriac, against diabetes.

Heart health

In one 2015 study involving 2,884 adults, researchers examined the association between plasma ascorbic acid, a marker of vitamin C in the blood, and a person's risk of high blood pressure.

They found that participants with higher blood levels of ascorbic acid had a lower risk of developing high blood pressure.

Consuming foods that are high in vitamin C, such as celeriac, could help a person reduce their risk of high blood pressure by improving their ascorbic acid levels. High blood pressure is a leading cause of stroke and cardiovascular disease.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), one cup of raw celeriac provides:

Celeriac is a concentrated source of many nutrients, including:

  • vitamin C
  • vitamin K
  • vitamin B-6
  • potassium
  • phosphorus
  • fiber

Celeriac is particularly high in vitamins C and K, and it can make a significant contribution toward people's recommended daily intake of these vitamins.

Celeriac is a versatile vegetable that a person can eat raw or cooked.

Raw celeriac is common in salads. It may be best known for its use in a French dish called celeri remoulade.

It is possible to bake, boil, fry, or steam celeriac. People can also mash celeriac and serve it as a side dish or chop it for inclusion in soups.

Try a few celeriac recipes below:

  • smashed celeriac
  • celery root and apple soup
  • celeriac salad with parmesan, walnuts, and parsley

If celeriac is not available, people can use celery and parsley root to achieve a similar flavor in soups. For mashing or roasting, parsnips or potatoes would make a suitable alternative.

People often prepare celeriac and potatoes using similar methods, and it is possible to substitute one for the other in recipes. Celeriac can also serve as an alternative to potatoes for people who are trying to reduce their calorie or carbohydrate intake.

According to the USDA, one cup of boiled celeriac pieces contains 42 calories and 9.14 g of carbohydrate. The same amount of boiled potatoes provides 134 calories and 31.2 g of carbohydrate.

Celeriac is a versatile, flavorful ingredient for soups, mashes, side dishes, and salads.

It is a plentiful source of vitamins C and K, which can help support heart and bone health.

Celeriac may also help prevent type 2 diabetes, although more research is necessary to confirm this.

People who are looking to achieve or maintain a healthy body weight can choose celeriac as a low carb alternative to potatoes.