You may have noticed a flurry of interest recently online regarding the benefits of celery juice and celery itself. Traditionally, this pale green vegetable took the spotlight as a diet food. I clearly remember the days, in my late teens / early twenties, trying to lose weight so I'd munch on celery and carrot sticks at parties while looking longingly at the other goodies on the snack table. Little did I know back then, that depriving myself of anything never works. However, times have changed, and so has my outlook on health, so instead of looking at celery as a "diet" food, I look at it as a "health" food and spend my time drinking celery juice and scouring the internet for celery recipes.
Why should you care about the benefits of celery juice and celery?
Celery and celery juice are not just diet foods. In fact, they are power houses of nutrition and possess a number of important health benefits beyond the weight-loss advantage. All this, and without any celery juice side effects! At the same time, there are also a number of myths or misconceptions about celery and its juice that we will bring to light.
What are the health benefits of celery juice and celery?
Before we look at some of the misconceptions about this often overlooked vegetable, let’s explore 5 health benefits of celery juice and celery.
1. Immune system support. Celery has a high level of vitamin C, which is important for supporting immune system function. A number of cells in the immune system accumulate vitamin C and use this potent antioxidant to support immune system function.
2. Anti-cancer properties. Celery contains flavonoids, which have been shown to help prevent and fight cancer cells. This discovery has driven scientists to try to find ways to transform dietary flavonoids into drugs to fight cancer, but many challenges are hindering this effort. In the meantime, we suggest you get your flavonoids from whole foods, such as celery and other vegetables and fruits.
3. Vitamin K. Celery and celery juice are an excellent source of vitamin K. This vitamin promotes and supports heart and bone health. Vitamin K may also have a significant role in preventing diabetes and in retaining memory.
4. Blood pressure. Celery is one of the vegetables that has a very high water content, which means it can act as a diuretic. At the same time, it also provides potassium, magnesium, and phthalides, all of which can help if you are living with high blood pressure. In fact, phthalides are a phytochemical that can relax the muscles of blood vessel walls and thus reduce blood pressure.
5. Anti-inflammatory properties. Celery has several components associated with anti-inflammatory activity, including phytosterols and a number of unidentified polar substances. Because so many of symptoms and diseases are associated with inflammation, including heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, numerous gastrointestinal disorders, acid reflux, acne, eczema, asthma, and more, incorporating celery and celery juice into your diet may provide some relief from these conditions.
Celery juice side effects and misconceptions
For the majority of people, celery juice side effects are virtually nonexistent if the juice is consumed in moderation. However, if you have a pre-existing kidney condition, consuming a lot of celery juice could place a strain on this organ. Although an allergy to celery juice is not common, it may occur. It is characterized by swelling of the throat, tongue, or lips.
Perhaps the most common misconception about this vegetable is that it is nothing but water. As we’ve already shown, the health benefits of celery juice and celery are impressive. In addition, celery and its juice are a good source of vitamin A, folate for red blood cell production, and (the stalks) fiber. However, this does not mean celery juice is a wise meal replacement beverage. Instead, you can use it as a refreshing early morning detox drink or to complement your diet.
Another consideration is that celery is a highly sprayed vegetable [with pesticides]. Therefore, be sure to choose organic celery juice and celery to avoid intake of pesticides and other toxins.
We invite you to share this post with your family, friends, and co-workers so they, too, can reap the health benefits of celery juice and celery! If you’d like to learn about new ways to prepare this vegetable, check out these celery recipes.
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Amawi H et al. Cancer chemoprevention through dietary flavonoids: what’s limiting? Chinese Journal of Cancer 2017 Jun 19; 36(1): 50
Cleveland Clinic. Celery may help bring your high blood pressure down. 2015 Apr 9
Dianat M et al. The effect of hydro-alcoholic celery (Apium graveolens) leaf extract on cardiovascular parameters and lipid profile in animal model of hypertension induced by fructose. Avicenna Journal of Phytomedicine 2015 May-Jun; 5(3): 203-9
Lewis DA et al. The anti-inflammatory activity of celery Apium graveolens L. (Fam. Umbelliferae). International Journal of Crude Drug Research 2008 Sep 27; 23(1): 27-32
Strohle A, Hahn A. Vitamin C and immune function. Med Monatsschr Pharm 2009 Feb; 32(2): 49-54