Celery Juice: Worth The Hype?
Celery juice is having a moment. We’re taking a look at why this trend has caught on recently, and testing it out ourselves to see if it’s worth the buzz.
Oh, celery. Once thought of as a boring accompaniment to crudités platters or Buffalo wings, now you’re taking over IG feeds and wellness blogs as the go-to morning beverage. At Ascend, we’re skeptical of wellness trends, but like to examine the health drivers (or lack thereof) behind them. This week, we’re exploring why celery juice is in the spotlight and if it really lives up to the hype.
The Juice Craze: How It Started
Behind the celery juice movement is the medical medium and author, Anthony Williams. The controversial healer (controversial because he claims to read people’s medical conditions with the help of spirits) believes that celery juice is a miraculous tonic that can cure many ills. Celery does contain special mineral salts—many of which have not yet been researched. According to the medical medium, these salts can destroy and kill pathogens in the body, improve the hydrochloric acid in the stomach (which aids digestion), cleanse and detoxify the liver, boost thyroid hormones, calm the nervous system and help build neurotransmitters. For these reasons, Williams (and followers) believe drinking celery juice can be beneficial for those who struggle with Lyme or autoimmune diseases.
The Health Benefits of Celery – What We Know
Celery is low in calories (only 16 per 100g) yet high in water content and other nutrients. This crunchy veg is far more than a diet food, its an excellent source of vitamin K, and a good source of dietary fiber, folate, potassium, manganese, vitamin B6, vitamin C to name a few (you can find the full nutrient breakdown here). What gives celery stardom status are the antioxidants, phytonutrients and beneficial enzymes it contains. Studies have shown that celery and celery seed (not juice, per se) can provide a wide array of health benefits, such as:
· Reduce inflammation
· Improve the gut lining
· Lower blood pressure
· Reduce water retention and bloat
· Protect against cellular damage and oxidative stress
Does juicing the vegetable amplify these benefits? Not necessarily. The thought behind juicing (any vegetable) is that you flood your body with vitamins and minerals more quickly. It’s easier on the digestive system since the fiber is removed and you can consume a larger quantity than if you were to chew the same food. However, juicing should not replace eating vegetables, as fiber is an important component of our diet. Those who have jumped on the celery juice craze tout better digestion, clear skin, and more energy. These benefits could be due to the fact that celery juice is hydrating (so is plain water) and contains the many beneficial nutrients and enzymes (as do other plant foods). Until we have more research on celery juice, there’s no need to give up your ants on a log.
That being said, if you’re curious about trying the #celeryjuicechallenge for one week, follow these guidelines:
· Buy organic celery (celery is on the EPA’s dirty dozen list)
· Drink first thing in the morning on an empty stomach, and don’t eat for 15-30 minutes afterward.
· Consume 16 oz of juice (you can work your way up to this amount to see how your body responds)
· The medical medium suggests consuming celery juice alone (without added citrus or other vegetables)
· You can use a juicer or blend celery with water and use a mesh or nut bag to strain.
The Bottom Line
At Ascend, we encourage the development of healthy habits and lifestyle factors such as eating a wide variety of food—particularly plants—that offer a spectrum of nutrients. Celery juice can certainly compliment a healthy diet, but should not be the sole source of veggies. Your time and energy is better spent working to improve the overall quality of your diet, rather than juicing celery each morning.
I’ll be taking the celery juice challenge this week to test my curiosity and see if I feel any immediate difference. I won’t be changing my stance on celery juice, but follow along on social media if you’d like to hear about my experience!
Blogpost written by AC Health Coach Ashley Hart