Do you remember hearing that celery didn’t have any nutrients or that it counted as “negative calories”? So basically, celery was only good for ants on a log (peanut butter and raisins), fiber, and for some crunch factor. Well, the myths have been dispelled, and celery via juice bears new health benefits and leads nutritional trends.
Celery Juice Trend
According to the celery juice trend originator, Anthony William, drinking the juice rather than eating celery has more health benefits. It’s because removing the pulp makes the nutrients readily available to the body and therefore more powerful.
Williams claims “cluster salts” in celery juice are a subgroup of sodium that have unique properties that support the liver by binding to and flushing out toxins. He also suggests “cluster salts” rebuild hydrochloric acid in the stomach that break down proteins and increase bile content that breaks down fats.
While Anthony William’s claims have not been scientifically proven, celery does have nutrients that are very beneficial. For one, celery juice is mostly compromised of water and is very hydrating. There are, however, nutrients found in celery and science-based new health benefits:
Nutrients Found in Celery Juice
Celery juice is made with two to three stalks of celery. One stalk of celery has approximately ten calories and contains these nutrients:
- A (beta carotene)
- K – One cup of celery contains 30% of the recommended daily values
Flavonoids are where the nutritional value of celery shines. Celery contains several types of flavonoids. Flavonoids are plant chemicals (phytonutrients). So far scientists have identified over 6,000 flavonoids. Flavonoids are known for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits and give plants their vivid colors. They are known to support the cardiovascular and nervous system.
Research results published in Molecular Nutrition & Food Research showed that celery juice and celery extracts might reduce inflammatory activity in certain tumors. Also, a report in Planta Media suggests the flavonoid luteolin may inhibit the enzyme COX-2 that triggers inflammation.
A 2013 laboratory study by the University of Illinois found the flavonoids apigenin and luteolin found in celery, artichokes, and some herbs inhibited enzymes in pancreatic cancer. According to Elvira de Mejia, a lead author of the study “‘Apigenin alone induced cell death in two aggressive human pancreatic cancer cell lines….'”
Celery Health Benefits
Reduced Effects of Chemotherapy
An animal study in 2009 found that phytochemicals in celery could counter the free radical damage caused by the chemotherapy drug, doxorubicin. They protected cells from oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is caused by an imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants.
Remedy for Heartburn
Celery is a natural remedy for heartburn because of its low acidic and high alkaline content. Although, its efficacy as a heartburn remedy has not yet been proven by science. The University of Maryland Medical Center does recommend celery to reduce the risk of inflammation of the stomach lining (gastritis). They claim the flavonoids help stymie gut bacteria that causes inflammation and leads to gastritis.
Cholesterol and Blood Pressure Lowering
The phytochemical phthalide found in celery reduced bad cholesterol levels by seven percent according to researchers at the University of Chicago. The study also found that blood pressure was reduced by fourteen percent. The phthalides work by lowering stress hormones in the blood which allow blood vessels to expand and relax. The expansion and relaxing of blood vessels allow blood to flow smoothly and more blood to circulate throughout the body.
Other research results published in Pharmacognosy Magazine suggested that celery not only lowered low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or bad cholesterol, but it also increased high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels in laboratory tests.
Potential Risks of Drinking Celery Juice Daily
While celery contains large amounts of salt, according to Michigan dietician, Vicky Ferguson, celery isn’t considered a high-sodium food. Although, eating large quantities of uncooked celery has the potential to cause a goiter because it can interfere with iodine production. A goiter is the swelling of the neck due to an enlarged thyroid that isn’t functioning correctly.
It is safe to consume the suggested daily serving of 2 stalks daily which is about the amount used in celery juice.
When possible, eat organic celery because celery is one of the vegetables that is heavily sprayed with pesticides, and the pesticides get absorbed into the stalks. It is considered a pesticide-rich plant according to the Environmental Working Group (EWG).
How to Make Celery Juice
This recipe makes one to two glass of celery juice.
To make celery juice, you will need a juicer or a powerful blender. Using a blender may require you to use a fine sieve to remove any remaining celery solids or pulp after pureeing the celery.
2 to 3 stalks of celery
A few cubes of ice
Optional: Apple, cucumber, mint, lemon or lime
Clean the celery and trim off the leaves and white bottoms of the celery. Press celery stalks and any other fruit or vegetables into the juicer along with the ice. Chop celery into large pieces if using a blender.
Fresh celery juice can be kept for up to two days in the refrigerator.
While the “cluster salt” claims by the founder of the celery juice rage have yet to be scientifically verified, according to research celery’s flavonoid content shows promise for preventing and treating many medical conditions.
So, maybe it’s time to give celery it due for being more than just a vessel for peanut butter and raisins.
- Celery, artichokes contain flavonoids that kill human pancreatic cancer cells (August 15, 2013). Retrieved from https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130815172358.htm
- Flavonoids. Retrieved from http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=nutrient&dbid=119.
- Cronkleton, Emily. Reviewed by Olsen, Natalie, RD, LD, ACSM EP-C. Benefits of Celery Juice (June 6, 2017). Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/celery-juice#recipe.
- Melodie, Anne. The Risks of Eating Excess Celery. Retrieved from https://www.livestrong.com/article/472691-the-risks-of-eating-excess-celery/.
- Williams, Anthony. The Mecial Medium on the Virtues of Celery Juice. Retrieved from https://goop.com/wellness/health/the-medical-medium-on-the-virtues-of-celery-juice/.
- Science Daily. Celery, artichokes contain flavonoids that kill human pancreatic cancer cells, August 15, 2013. Web.