If you haven’t heard about the celery juice wellness craze, then it’s time to jump on the bandwagon. Celery has been somewhat the “black sheep” of the vegetable world. It’s known for a very neutral or bland flavor and has traditionally been used to thicken broths and soups or give that macaroni salad a crisp crunchy texture.
Yet, is celery nutritious to begin with? Is it more nutritious when juiced? Are there any health concerns with drinking celery juice? Here’s the down low on the most recent health trend to hit the scene!
What is Celery Juicing?
A new trend is blowing up the health scene. What is it? Celery juicing. It’s regular juicing, yet, someone thought to pick up a stick of celery and try it out. Juicing is best done with an actual vegetable juice extractor instead of a citrus juicer. There are a variety of juicers available at a range of prices, such as this Black+Decker 400-Watt Fruit and Vegetable Juice Extractor for $41.00, this Aicok Centrifugal Juicer for $59.99, or this Mueller Austria Juicer Ultra 1100W Power for $79.97.
The popularity of the trend stems from purported health benefits. By juicing celery, you are able to extract and concentrate powerful micronutrients offering certain purported health benefits such as easing digestive discomfort, boosting skin health, and increasing energy. This is in part due to the fact that celery is incredibly low both calories and sugar, yet naturally offers an array of vitamins and minerals. Plus, celery is rich in antioxidants!
The Pros and Cons of Celery Juicing
If you look up the nutritional value of raw celery, you’ll find that it is high in water, low in sugar, and offers essential nutrients such as vitamins — A, C, E, and K, folate and choline — minerals — calcium, iron (in trace amounts), magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, and sodium — omega-6 fatty acids, dietary fiber, and protein (in trace amounts). With that said, raw celery is not celery juice. Here are a few pros and cons of consuming celery juice.
One of the main pros of drinking celery juice is quantity. Most of us are good after one stick of celery (or maybe even less). Celery is rich in water making it somewhat flavorless. Consuming the juice means you would be drinking multiple sticks of celery, therefore increasing the amount of vitamins, minerals, and hydrating water.
A lesser-known pro is that celery juice is easy on your digestive system, making celery juice a great way for those with digestive tract issues to consume this veggie. The process of juicing actually breaks down vegetables and fruit, therefore making them easier to digest. Plus, if you substitute a glass of celery juice for a processed food item or unhealthy snack, it can make you feel full, hydrate your body, and help you lose weight.
While celery juice offers many of the same nutrients such as “vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, calcium, potassium, sodium, magnesium, phosphorus, electrolytes, water and smaller amounts of other vitamins and minerals,” by juicing this veggie you are depleting the fiber content. Why is this important to note? When you remove fiber via juicing you are also decreasing the amount of “health-boosting flavonoids and other phytochemicals,” as well as the health benefits of fiber.
On top of that, while juicing celery will amplify the concentration of micronutrients, it also amplifies the concentration of sugars. Sugar is naturally present in most foods, including celery. When you juice veggies — such as celery — you create a concentrated source of this natural sugar content. Why is this a problem? When you concentrate sugar and remove blood sugar stabilizing fiber, you may find that your blood sugar spikes much easier and is harder to regulate.
Health Benefits of Celery
The gaining popularity of celery juicing has me pondering the truth behind the purported benefits. So, I did some digging. While some of the health benefits of drinking celery juice are substantiated by scientific evidence, I discovered that other said benefits (such as its ability to fight diseases) were unsubstantiated by scientific evidence. Many of these purported health benefits include reduced bodily inflammation, reduced blood sugar levels, improved skin conditions (such as psoriasis), and even the ability to relieve digestive tract issues.
While research has yet to substantiate many of these claims, celery is known to have “powerful antioxidant characteristics,” which means it is an agent to reduce oxidative stress. In an interview with Parsley Health, Gabriella Safdieh, MS MD, a New York-based pediatrician and rheumatologist, broke down the possible scientifically-based health benefits of consuming celery juice:
“In addition to its anti-oxidative properties, celery can prevent cardiovascular diseases, jaundice, liver disease, urinary tract obstruction, gout, and rheumatic disorders. Celery can even reduce blood sugar levels, blood lipids, and blood pressure. Experimental studies show that celery has antifungal, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties. Celery seeds have even been used in the treatment of skin conditions including psoriasis, and respiratory diseases including asthma and bronchitis.”
Even though celery juicing is new to the scene and more research is necessary to illuminate the true health benefits, unless you are allergic to celery or are worried about blood sugar levels, there aren’t any safety concerns for consuming celery juice.
Celery is a great ingredient for plant-based eating. It’s naturally low in carbs, calories, and sugar, yet is rich with water, vitamins, and minerals. Along with juicing, celery can be a great addition to many veggie-based beverage recipes. Here are a few creative and delicious ways to get you started on your celery ventures.
With that said, before making the change to celery juice (or any dietary change), it’s always important to speak with your doctor!
If you’re determined to try out the celery juicing trend, this Magical Celery Juice for Beginners by Nikki and Zuzana is guaranteed to be simple, delicious, and addicting! With three easy ingredients — one bunch of celery, one lime, and filtered water — all you have to do is follow your juicer directions. Along with the previously mentioned nutrition from the celery, the lime juice will add a pop of sweet flavor, as well as a ton of vitamins (A, C, E, K, B6, thiamin, folate, choline, and niacin) and minerals (calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, sodium, zinc, and selenium).
Once you get the hang of it, try out this Celery Sunshine recipe by Maryea Flaherty — with lemon instead of lime and an addition of apples — this Green Juice Detox by Carlota Cassou — a nutritionally complex and diverse mixture of celery, leafy greens, apple, ginger, cucumber, lemon, and fennel — or this Liver Protecting Fennel Juice by Olivia Budgen — which features celery along with other liver protecting ingredients such as fennel, vitamin-C rich oranges, and cleansing ginger and mint.
If celery juice is a bit too bland for you, try using it in your favorite smoothie. Generally, smoothies are rich in robust ingredients including fruits, green leafy veggies, and even sweet delights such as raw cacao and honey. Due to celery’s under-the-radar flavor palate, you can pretty much add it to any smoothie in order to get those wonderful health benefits. Try out this Plant-Powered Muscle ‘Milk’ — naturally sweetened with dates, rich in detoxifying cilantro, filled with fiber and protein-packed kale, healthy fat coconut milk, hydrating coconut water, and, of course, inflammation-fighting celery.
So, you’re interested in getting all those wonderful celery-derived benefits, yet you just can’t get down with celery juice or smoothies. Enter liquid-rich soups and stews! Celery is a traditional component in many broths, due to their bland flavor palate, rich-nutrient content, and ability to break down and liquefy when plied with heat and water. Add this ingredient as a thickener such as in this One Pot Lentil Stew or this Creamy Corn Chowder. Include celery in a soup to give it that extra kick of nutrition such as in this Healthy Chick’n Noodle Soup or this Savory Split Pea Soup.
We also highly recommend downloading our Food Monster App, which is available for iPhone, and can also be found on Instagram and Facebook. The app has more than 15,000 plant-based, allergy-friendly recipes, and subscribers gain access to new recipes every day. Check it out!
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