Celery Juice – Is It Worth the Hype?
Has anyone been hearing more and more about the benefits of drinking celery juice? As a kid I viewed celery as a waste of a vegetable. Probably because I actually liked it, it must not have been good for me. But more likely it was because my mom, who I thought was the healthiest of healthy people, always told me she didn’t eat celery because it had “literally no nutritional value.” That said, I continued to eat it throughout my life and yes, always added it to my morning juices, gobbled it up in any veggie tray and continued to think lovingly of this crunchy veg.
So now there is a celery juice “thing” – a trend if you will. So I decided to dig into this idea and see what celery really does for you, your body and your skin. Note: I have not tried this myself (yet).
In digging deeper about celery, many tout it as one of the most nutritional plants on the planet. (hear that mom?) People who swear by this fad claim that in order to reap the full benefit of celery juice, you must drink at least 16 oz FIRST THING in the morning, while your stomach is empty.
Celery is 95% water. So by drinking its juice, you are hydrating yourself which is ESSENTIAL for your skin’s health. One could argue that you could get the same effect by drinking water… and they would be right. Minimum 8 glasses of water per day is what everyone needs to drink in order to promote skin and body health.
BUT, the true believers say drinking celery juice is more beneficial to the skin than drinking plain water, because of its other attributes. It is rich in antioxidants (see below) and packed full of vitamins that help the skin like A,B,C, and K. Throw in some other good stuff like niacin, folate, calcium, potassium, magnesium, and celery juice does in fact, on paper, appear to be manna from heaven.
Because of its higher magnesium content, it may just aide in better sleep. Magnesium helps maintain healthy levels of a neurotransmitter (GABA) which promotes restorative sleep. People who lack magnesium in their diet may suffer from restless sleep and still feel tired when they wake up. As Pamela always tells our clients – if you don’t get at least 7-9 hours of sleep per night, you are doing your body, and your skin, a huge disservice. So it makes sense that if celery juices helps you sleep deeper, your skin will reap the benefits.
So apparently, according to a study from the University of Chicago, there is a chemical found in celery called “phthalide” (I can’t pronounce it either) that’s been shown to lower bad cholesterol (LDL) by 7% and blood pressure by 14%. In conclusion, the study declared that celery lowered LDL (bad cholesterol) and triglycerides while increasing HDL, the good cholesterol.
Improves Liver Health and Function:
Properties in celery juice purge the liver of toxins and therefore helps any sluggish liver function. When digestion is eased (see below), your liver is not working overtime and therefore has enough time to get its original job done – processing toxins, balancing sugars, dealing with hormones etc.
Celery is rich in antioxidants. Quick biology lesson. You’ve all heard of free radicals, right? What are they? Free radicals are molecules in your body which attack healthy cells in your body. Long story but they are unstable and cling onto stable cells to become neutral (sounds like a bad relationship doesn’t it?) If you have an abundance of free radicals attacking your body, your body will age more quickly and be more prone to big, bad diseases like cancer, heart disease, brain diseases and immune system issues.
How do you get these suckers in line? Your body has a natural defense system – antioxidants. Antioxidants get a hold of free radicals before they attack the healthy cells and neutralize them. Consuming foods that are high in antioxidants should be a daily priority for us all. Eat high antioxidant foods such as celery, as well as choose other food sources that are rich in vitamins C, E and beta carotene.
Celery’s natural sodium content raises stomach acid and therefore, eases the digestion process. For many people, digestion of food becomes a daily battle and one that, when unchecked, can cause a huge amount of physical pain and long lasting health issues. With a higher level of stomach acid, the digestion process proceeds as it should, without other organs in your body having to step into help. What many have found is that by doing this, the heavy sluggish feeling after eating is a thing of the past.
This one goes hand-in-hand with digestion. With what you consume flowing through your body in the manner it is MEANT to, not sitting there in your stomach undigested, you will notice that you will not have the gas level that goes with poor digestion. Less gas = less pain and less bloating. Win win win!
When you start digging into this craze, you will realize some people claim celery juice is the miracle drink for nearly everything. Want to lose weight? Celery juice. Want to be smarter and think more clearly? Celery juice. Want to stop food cravings? Celery juice. Blood pressure issue? Celery juice. Want to meet Prince Charming tomorrow? Celery juice. (ok I made that last one up). But like I said at the beginning of this – I have not tried this craze so I can’t corroborate any of these claims.
There really don’t appear to be any. BUT. If you dig deeper into this trend, many renowned dietitians think the fad is hogwash.
Raw vegetables in general are extremely good for you, so there is nothing to say that having an abundance of celery in raw form will do anything bad, but you may very well have the same effects with having many other vegetables in their raw form as well. One noted dietitian believes that you can ascribe this sudden craze to the human’s innate desire for a quick fix, an elixir. And she notes, that by juicing celery, you are getting rid of one of its best attributes – its stringiness, which adds much needed fiber to every diet.
Regardless, it won’t hurt and is actually good for you to have a stalk a day!