Everybody is talking about celery juice. It is dominating our social media. Instagram influencers and wellness gurus have been recommending celery juice amid claims of it being an all-healing elixir that will change our lives for the better. So let's take a look at this stringy-vegetable which is having its moment in the spotlight.
Celery provides fibre, Vitamin K, folate, potassium and over a dozen types of antioxidants. It also contains natural substances that have been shown to help optimise circulation and boost endurance and enhance strength training when consumed pre-workout. Celery contains a phytonutrient called phthalide which can increase blood flow and reduce blood pressure. Celery also contains important electrolytes, potassium and sodium. We know that vegetables high in potassium can help offset some of the effects of excess sodium.
The optimal time for drinking celery juice is apparently first thing on an empty stomach - some claim that its mineral content can help boost stomach acid production to enhance digestion, although this hasn't been confirmed by clinical research. There is a chemical in celery that is helpful in protecting of the lining of gastrointestinal tract, so that may help with ulcers and inflammation. Celery also contains anti-inflammatory substances that may help protect against cellular damage and support a healthy gut.
So why aren't we all guzzling celery juice?
The thing is, while it seems like there's a great benefit to eating celery, celery juice is not a miracle elixir. Juicing celery or blending it into a smoothie makes it easier to consume large amounts, but there's nothing magical about celery juice in and of itself. It's important to remember that many studies on celery have been done on rats and mice in a laboratory setting.
This means we don’t know the optimal amount or frequency to consume, the potential risks for certain people, and possible interactions with medications and supplements.
Allergic reactions are possible, especially for people sensitive to birch, dandelion and other plants. We don't have a robust picture of its benefits. I think celery juice is fine, in moderation, as part of an overall healthy diet.
It's fine to drink it daily if that’s something you want to do, just be sure to not overdo it, and mix it up by consuming other green vegetables and various colours of fruits and vegetables. If you have a glass of celery juice in the morning, you haven't completed your vegetable quota for the day. Mixing vegetables up does the body good as there are an array of various health-supportive phytochemicals in all different vegetables. When you eat the same few vegetables over and over, you miss out on the other nutrients found in the plants you aren't eating.
Don’t feel pressured to stuff a bunch of celery stalks in your juicer and prepare a 12 oz glass of the stuff. I don't think it's essential as you'll get similar benefits from eating celery and plenty of other fresh vegetables in a variety of ways throughout the day.