Celery has gone from that boring veggie on the crudité tray to a virtual vegetable superstar overnight! And now celery juice is blowing up social media with all kinds of health claims.
What’s up with celery and celery juice?
Celery and celery juice can be a great way to add concentrated health benefits without a ton of sugar or calories. Celery juice is light, refreshing and enjoyable!
One of the best things about celery juice is that it only has 40 calories. It also contains vitamins A, K, and C, and beta carotene, a powerful antioxidant. In addition, it has calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium. Celery is full of powerful antioxidants and flavonoids.
Scientists have identified at least a dozen other types of antioxidant nutrients in celery. The primary antioxidant support we get from celery is largely due to its phenolic nutrients that have been shown to help protect us against unwanted oxidative damage to our cells, blood vessels, and organ systems. These phenolic nutrients include caffeic acid, cinnamic acid, coumaric acid, ferulic acid and flavones and flavonols, apigenin, luteolin, quercetin, kaempferol, and more.
Read on to find out about the health benefits of celery juice.
Celery Juice Health Benefits
1. Quenches Thirst
Celery juice does not contain all that good fiber that celery stalks contain, but the great thing is that celery juice helps you stay hydrated because it is mostly water with lots of healthy electrolytes and antioxidants—so if you are thirsty or dehydrated, celery juice may be just the thing to help you regain your hydration and electrolyte balance.
2. Lowers Blood Pressure
Studies show that celery can have beneficial blood pressure lowering properties. The most effective blood pressure extracts come from celery seed, which contain some specific phytochemicals such as hexanic, methanolic, and aqueous-ethanolic extracts. Celery’s phytochemicals, along with the minerals potassium, magnesium and sodium exist in a perfect balance that relax the walls of your blood vessels. This increases blood flow, lowers resistance and helps lowers blood pressure.
3. Fights Inflammation
As you may already be aware, inflammation is the root of most disease, especially chronic diseases like arthritis, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and on and on. Celery, especially celery juice, fights inflammation with its powerful flavonoids specifically, apigenin.
This study shows how apigenin helps to fight inflammation and helps protect you from diseases. Celery contains flavonoid and polyphenol antioxidants that fight free radical damage (or oxidative stress) that negatively alters genes and leads to inflammation and aging.
Scientists have also identified a dozen different types of antioxidants including phenolic acids as caffeic acid and ferulic acid, and flavanols like quercetin. This makes celery beneficial for health conditions associated with inflammation including, acne, joint pain, gout, kidney and liver infections, skin disorders, irritable bowel syndrome, and urinary tract infections—to name just a few.
4. Protects the Liver
One of the biggest problems with our high sugar (especially high fructose corn syrup) is Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease. NAFLD is a result of too much glucose in the body, and the liver trying to store it as fat. 17 to 33 percent of Americans most likely have NAFLD. This condition tends to go with obesity, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.
This can be a serious health issue and leads to inflammation and cirrhosis . Researchers from Department of Nutrition and Food Science in Egypt studied how a diet that included celery drastically lowered the dangerous fatty acid buildup in the liver. In addition, the celery helped to improve the liver enzymes’ function and blood lipid levels as well.
5. Prevents Ulcers, Helps Heal Digestive Tract
A 2010 study published in the Journal of Pharmaceutical Biology found that celery contains a special type of ethanol that protects the lining of the digestive tracts.
Certain substances in celery have the ability to actually replenish depleted levels of gastric mucus needed in the stomach lining and digestive tract to prevent tiny holes and openings, as in leaky gut syndrome. Celery’s flavonoids, tannins, volatile oils and alkaloids also help to control gastric acid to protect the mucus lining.
6. Boosts Digestion and Reduces Bloating
Celery also contains powerful health benefits including a substance called NBP which has a diuretic effect (makes you urinate more), which helps the body detox better and is good for the kidneys. Celery also helps digestion and relieves bloating and puffiness from water retention.
The compounds apigenin and quercetin have been found in this study to help improve digestion by inducing gastric relaxation which helps to slow things down as food moves through your gut.
Celery juice helps to stimulate the production of stomach acid, easing heartburn, indigestion, and bloating. Many people have low stomach acid, making it more difficult to break down nutrients from food. Low stomach acid can be caused by SIBO or IBS and also drugs such as proton pump inhibitors.
Celery juice stimulates bile, which is necessary for breaking down fats, and similar to hydrochloric acid, it helps to kill off pathogens that have made their way into your body. It also helps to detox the liver from things such as toxic heavy metals and toxic chemicals, like pesticides, air fresheners, detergents, petrochemicals, and preservatives, to name just a few.
7. Helps to Prevent Urinary Tract Infections
Celery helps to reduce uric acid production (helps prevent gout) and stimulates urine production. It also contains substances that help to fight dangerous pathogens and microbes, making it ideal for fighting bacterial infections in the urinary tract. Celery is a powerful preventative for UTI’s, bladder disorders, and kidney problems.
8. Is a Cancer Fighting Weapon
Celery is in the same family as fennel, parsley, carrots and parsnips. This family of vegetables contain compounds called polyacetylenes. Some early studies have shown this compound helps to reduce toxicity of chemotherapy and fight against new cancer cell formation especially in the breast, intestines, and blood (leukemia).
Polyacetylenes have many immune-boosting effects, including their tumor-fighting abilities that stop mutated cells from reproducing. According to studies at the Department of Agricultural Sciences at the Aarhus University of Denmark, polyacetylenes have shown many interesting bioactivities including anti-inflammatory, antiplatelet, cytotoxic, antitumor activity, as well as activity against bacteria and mycoplasma. Celery’s flavonoid, apigenin, also helps to kill off cancer cells.
Buy Organic Celery to Avoid Toxins
Celery has been listed on the Environmental Working Group’s “Dirty Dozen” list for several years. Over 95 percent of conventionally grown celery samples tested positive for synthetic pesticides. Evaluators found up to 13 chemicals on a single sample. Choose organic celery to minimize exposure to these toxic substances.
What to do with Celery?
Besides everyone’s favorite “ants on a log” with nut butter and raisins, celery sticks make the perfect low-carb dipping stick for any type of dip—guacamole, salsa, hummus, etc. It’s bland taste make it a great addition to stir frys, soups, casseroles, salads, and of course, egg and tuna salad.
It’s great in smoothies, where you get to benefit from it’s amazing fiber or juiced with a little squeeze of lemon or lime for added zing. One of my favorite juices or smoothies is celery, cucumber, green apple and lemon. Add a sprinkle of cayenne or a few sprigs of mint for some extra zing!