A craving for celery could be an indication of anemia caused by an iron deficiency. Studies in patients with iron deficiency anemia show they sometimes replace the typical ice craving with celery.
Iron-deficiency anemia is most prevalent in vegetarians. Therefore, a craving for celery by a vegetarian may be a particular red flag that a diet needs to be supplemented with iron. The practice of craving and constantly consuming ice or cold foods is called pagophagia. The cooling effect of the ice and cold food is thought to relieve a symptom of iron-deficiency anemia in which the surface of the tongue becomes swollen and painful.