Is Celery Juice Worth The Hype ?!
Celery juice is the latest health craze, to the point where it is hard to find organic celery in stores nowadays!
Is it worth the hype? Should you be juicing a whole bunch of celery every morning? Read on for some myth-busting…
The juicing debate
I am always hesitant to recommend juicing for a few reasons…
For one, it’s like a straight shot of sugar to your body. When you remove the fiber - which is that big blob of pulp you have leftover after you juice something - there’s nothing to slow down the way the sugar hits your body. Plus that fiber is really good for you! What a wasted opportunity to only use the sugary juice and not the pulpy fiber. Some people say that the nutrients are better absorbed in a juice form. This might be true in some cases, but a blood sugar spike presents its own set of problems including taxing the adrenal glands (most of us don’t need our stress glands more stressed) and depleting our nutrient reserves.
So is juicing REALLY the best way to get phytonutrients (the plant nutrients celery contains)? Truth time: It’s not.
According to Dr. Sarah Ballantyne in her recent blog post on the topic, when you juice the celery and discard the pulp, you are actually wasting 44% of the beneficial polyphenols in the celery! If you eat the celery whole, you would get all those nutrients much more easily. Plus you’re getting the beneficial fibers your gut bacteria need to properly use the nutrients it contains. Win-win!
When in doubt, stick with Real Food, the Way God Made It- because He made it into stalks for a reason! But let’s consider why celery juice is being touted as the new magic elixir and how you might best seek out similar benefits.
Benefits of Celery Juice
#1. INCREASES STOMACH ACID
Here’s why celery juice is recommended. Its proponents say that it’s a great source of easily absorbable nutrients and can boost low stomach acid levels. Low stomach acid can throw off your digestive system, hormones, and immunity, so it’s really important to make sure you’re stomach-acid sufficient.
Celery juice could benefit you if you have long-term digestive issues (as most digestive issues, contrary to popular belief, actually stem from LOW stomach acid levels).
That said, there are many other ways you can boost your stomach acid levels without needing to invest hundreds into 7 bunches of organic celery per week + a juicer… 😉
Avoid snacking. Snacking means your stomach never gets a full rest. Aim to space meals at least 4 hours apart, preferably 5-6 hours apart, to improve stomach acid levels and digestive power (aka less uncomfortable bloating)
Drink lemon water or apple cider vinegar prior to meals to make sure the pH of your stomach is acidic enough.
Avoid drinking too much water with your meals as this dilutes your stomach acid juices and will prolong the amount of time and energy it takes to digest. If you’re thirsty, drink, but don’t think you need to “wash down your food” with big gulps of liquid.
Consume fermented foods like sauerkraut, yogurt, or kimchi with your meals to help you break down foods more effectively.
#2. IMPROVES CARDIOVASCULAR HEALTH
Celery is a natural source of nitrates to help lower blood pressure & improve heart health. Nitrates increase your body’s nitric oxide levels. Nitric oxide molecules improve heart health by dilating the blood vessels so there is less pressure in the system. This reduces the demand on the heart! This benefit is legit, but celery is not the only food that has nitrates in it! (and no, I’m not suggesting processed meat as an alternative nitrate source 🤣).
Other nitrate-rich foods include arugula, spinach, beets, and iceberg lettuce. It’s incredibly important to get a wide variety of nutrients and you can only do that by eating a wide variety of fruits and veggies. So feel free to add the celery in, but also add these other nutrient powerhouses! Your bod will thank you.
#3. HELPS WITH DETOX
This is one of the most vague benefits of celery juice that people discuss! Your liver is your major detox organ and celery juice is said to support the liver’s proper function. Celery juice is a natural laxative which allows for quick elimination of toxins and excess hormones that are often re-circulated if constipation is an issue.
But I would argue that breaking your fast early, by drinking celery juice first thing in the morning as many proponents suggest, actually weaken’s your body’s innate detoxification responses. Prolonging your fast can aid in autophagy (our cellular cleaning process) and gives the digestive organs a break. That is the best thing you can do to aid your detox abilities!
If you want to include celery juice, simply drink it as your “break fast” an hour or so before you eat a true meal. This will still give you the empty-stomach absorption benefits but not impair the effectiveness of your fasting!
I feel like I’m a broken record here, but celery doesn’t have a monopoly on helping with detox. Other foods that cleanse the liver include beets, dandelion root, bitter greens, and cruciferous veggies like broccoli and cauliflower.
A few things to consider when you’re trying celery juice…
It’s not the panacea for all ailments like some people claim.
You don’t need to juice fruits and veggies to increase nutrient availability (in fact, juicing makes some nutrients less available).
Make sure you’re buying organic celery as it is one of the most highly pesticide-sprayed crops.
Have you tried celery juice? What are your thoughts on it?
I’d love to hear from you in a comment below!