Have you heard about the celery juice craze? The idea that drinking 16 ounces a day of freshly pressed celery juice will work wonders for your body, mood, and even your skin.
Well, if you’re tempted to give it a try, here’s what you need to know before you do.
What Makes Celery So Special?
Celery is much more than a crunchy medium for delivering delicious dips. For very little calories, it’s an excellent source of fiber as well as vitamins and minerals. It’s especially high in vitamin K, folate, and molybdenum.
But what’s even more impressive is that celery is packed with antioxidant nutrients, such as vitamin C, flavonoids (i.e., quercetin and apigenin), and phenolic acids (i.e., caffeic acid and coumaric acid). However, celery also contains many other phenolic compounds that reduce inflammation throughout the body as well as protect our cells from oxidative stress. Some of these include apiuman, lunularin, psoralen, and bergapten.
Health Benefits of Celery
It’s safe to say that the health benefits of celery are most attributed to its high concentration and variety of antioxidants. These nutrients have been well-studied in and out of context with celery and among animals, humans, and cell cultures. It’s no secret that they can help prevent many diseases, including cancer, heart disease, diabetes, male infertility, degenerative brain diseases, liver disease, and so much more!
Thus, I definitely recommend including celery in your diet. It works great raw for dips, but it can also be added to salads, soups, stews, and many other dishes. You can use the stalks, leaves, and seeds. However, it’s worth noting that heating celery (e.g., boiling for 10 minutes) can cause a significant loss in phytonutrients (up to 40%).
Here are a few other points to consider:
- While celery contains an impressive list of antioxidants, they are not unique to celery. So eating (or juicing) celery is not the only way to consume these nutrients. Eating a colorful assortment of fruits and veggies will also do the trick.
- Most of the studies done on celery have been performed using a celery extract as opposed to whole celery or celery juice. Although there are a few human studies, many studies were only done in cell cultures. And scientists are mostly looking for specific therapeutic effects of individual nutrients as opposed to the overall health benefits of eating or juicing celery.
So what about celery juice?
Now you know that celery is a nutritional powerhouse. But what about its juice? Well, this debate is nothing new. Some believe you should just eat the whole vegetable because juicing removes some nutrients, including the fiber. And the fiber is what feeds our good gut bacteria that work so hard to keep our bodies healthy and happy.
On the other side, some promote freshly pressed vegetable juice as a concentrated source of nutrients. For instance, a 16 ounce of celery juice is roughly one large head of celery. You could easily drink two cups of celery juice in one sitting, but it would be almost impossible to eat an entire head of celery at once. Plus, there is evidence that juiced nutrients are more readily absorbed.
There was actually a study that demonstrated 44% of flavones (an antioxidant group) in celery remained in the pulp after juicing. However, as I just mentioned, you can probably consume at least 50% more celery in the form of juice than whole form and the nutrients may be more bioavailable. So maybe it’s a toss up.
But what about all the testimonials? Many people are claiming that celery juice has miraculously healed all that ails them. And I don’t doubt it. But *maybe* it’s not the celery juice alone.
You see, when people adopt a new habit such as drinking 16 ounces of celery juice a day, they often tackle other things that may also be contributing to their ailments or add other new healthy habits. Sometimes knowingly and others unknowingly.
Also, I suspect many people are replacing their cups of sugar-laden cups of coffee or diet sodas with celery juice. But, maybe if they drank any freshly pressed vegetable juice or even lemon water instead, they would experience the same benefit? Unfortunately, there haven’t been any studies comparing different types of juice to really know for sure.
Something else to consider is that many people are chronically dehydrated. Just adding 16 ounces of any healthy liquid to your day could help alleviate symptoms, such as headaches, fatigue, brain fog, and much more.
Is Celery Juice a Miracle Elixir?
While I do think celery juice is a good source of antioxidants that are essential for optimal health, I wouldn’t go as far as say that it’s a cure all miracle elixir. But, I don’t think it can hurt. If you enjoy it and it makes you feel good, go for it! However, if you’re on a low-carb diet, keep in mind that a 16 ounce glass of celery juice could contain as much as 7 grams of sugar
Keep thinking Big and living BOLD!