Originally from the Mediterranean basin, ancient literature documents suggest that celery was first cultivated for medicinal purposes. Back then, it was used by Ayurvedic physicians to treat various conditions such as cold, flu, poor digestion, and spleen ailments. It wasn’t until the 17th century when Egyptians first domesticated the plant to a vegetable.
Today, celery has come a long way from a crunchy low-calorie snack to the newest juicing fad. Dominating the #juicing tag on Instagram and ranking #1 among celebrities and health enthusiasts, celery is undoubtedly the king of healthy juices. And, with good reason. In its raw vegetable form, celery is abundant in enzymes and antioxidants. It’s also filled with essential vitamins and minerals like potassium, vitamin C, vitamin B6, and vitamin K that help our body in various ways.
Want to know the science behind the trend? Here are some of celery’s amazing benefits:
PROMOTES GUT HEALTH
More than just a crunchy, low-calorie vegetable, celery is packed with mineral salts which are critical to your gut health. One of the most common gut problems stems from the inability of our stomach acid to break down the food we eat. People with various gut issues, including those with low hydrochloric acid levels and digestive problems, will benefit from celery’s gut healing properties. Celery juice can help boost digestion, absorption, and utilization of the food you eat. When consumed regularly, it can increase your stomach’s HCL (Hydrochloric acid) levels. This will help your body easily break down and assimilate what you eat as well as cleanse and repair your stomach and liver.
Inflammation isn’t just a feeling of puffiness. In our bodies, inflammation is our natural response to injury or infection. There are two main types of inflammation: chronic (long-term) and acute (short-term). But, inflammation can also occur from various autoimmune diseases. With all these variables, inflammation is a just your body’s first line of defense to harm.
“Celery is perfect for reversing inflammation, because it starves the pathogens, including unproductive bacteria and viruses such as Epstein-Barr (EBV), that create it.”
- The Medical Medium
Other medical studies have found:
Celery may be able to slow down or prevent the production of the enzyme (COX-2) that triggers inflammation in the body. (Source)
Two animal studies showed that celery stem significantly decreased inflammation which explains its use as a remedy for individuals with arthritis. (Source)
In a 2013 study, it found that the apigenin, an enzyme found in celery, could help combat inflammation in the stomach. (Source)
The liver is our body’s natural detoxifier. It helps us metabolize food, filters toxins, stores energy, and regulate hormones. Needless to say, a healthy, proper-functioning liver is essential for a healthy body.
In traditional Chinese medicine, celery juice has been used as a great tonic for your liver. Rich in iron, fiber, and essential vitamins, its diuretic properties help flush toxins from the body.
A 2011 study conducted on rats with high cholesterol found that celery (in combination with barley and chicory) had a significant decrease in fat buildup within their livers. The research goes on to suggest that these foods could also be beneficial for humans who suffer from hypercholesterolemia or liver disease.
LOWERS BLOOD PRESSURE & IMPROVES HEART HEALTH
According to Dr. Partha Nandi, an internal medicine physician and holistic health practitioner, celery’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties make it an ideal food for heart disease. Celery contains a phytochemical called phthalides that work to dilate the tissues of your artery walls and muscles in your blood vessels. This can help increase blood flow and aid in reducing your blood pressure.
In a 2013 pilot study conducted on 30 mild to moderate hypertensive patients, results showed that celery seed extract significantly lowered their systolic blood pressure (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) over a 6 week period. And, after just three weeks blood pressure had decreased.
Other studies have found that celery juice may help prevent stroke and reduce plaque buildup in our arteries.
Consuming an appropriate amount of water is vital to feel and look your best. With a 95 percent water content and filled with essential minerals, celery is touted as a veggie that will give your skin healthy hydration and glow.
But, why is that?
In an interview with the Daily Mail, Dr. Susan Shirreffs, an exercise physiologist and hydration expert at Loughborough University, explained, “To be properly hydrated, you need to replace fluid lost from the body with one that's similar to the body's natural composition. Watery fruit and vegetables often contain levels of minerals and sugar that mirror this, so they can hydrate you more effectively than water alone.”
In combination with its high water content, celery is rich in sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, iron and zinc. These naturally occurring minerals are easily absorbable in the body. This in combination with the water content helps you hydrate twice as fast as a drinking a glass of water. (Source)
4 Tips Before You Start Juicing Celery
The recommended amount of celery juice is 16oz in the morning on an empty stomach. (Source)
Best to drink the juice on an empty stomach and wait 15-30 minutes before eating anything. (Source)
Don’t combine your celery juice with other fruits or veggies for maximum benefit. (Source)
Celery was found to be one of the top pesticide-laden vegetables in 2018. Due to these high amounts, it’s best to buy organic if possible. (Source)
The Truth About Celery Juice
While many naturopathic and eastern medicine practices preach the benefits of celery, western natural medicine isn't sold on the “life-altering” benefits that many claim celery juice to have. From my research, it would be important to note that the majority of these studies were on animals. Therefore to make real, proven claims, more human studies are needed.
DISCLAIMER: Please note I am not a doctor, medical professional, licensed nutritionist, or registered dietician. This blog is a reflection of my personal beliefs and opinions, based on research I’ve come across in the food and fitness industry. Please always consult with your doctor first before changing your diet, or starting a new exercise program. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. No products or information are intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.