If you’ve been scrolling through Instagram lately you will have probably seen a wellness guru or two juicing up a big bunch of celery first thing in the morning. Celery is popping up everywhere at the moment as the latest ‘cure-all’ trick to get your health back on track. But what is the hype surrounding celery juice and is there any evidence backing the wonder status it has been given?
Celery (like all vegetables) is good for us. It’s full of antioxidants, flavonoids and minerals. While vegetables aren’t quite as glamorous as other members of the super food world, they are without a doubt the most important aspect of our diets. Australian’s are currently way off meeting their daily requirements for 5 serves a day. I am all for people finding new ways to up their veggie intake, but I do think it’s important to clear up a few little misconceptions about this whole celery juice thing.
First of all, there is very limited scientific evidence to show that juicing is any better than eating whole foods, where as countless studies show that eating whole foods is most beneficial. When you eat whole vegetables and fruits over juice you’re getting the added benefit of the fibre, which not only helps move food through your system, but also helps feed the good bacteria in your gut. You don’t just have to juice it to get the health benefits – there is actually more benefits to the whole celery. So why not enjoy it with some home made hummus or blend it up in a smoothie as well?
I’ve read a lot of claims about celery juice for weight loss. Alot of people are recommending it as a breakfast substitute. Celery juice is by no means a suitable meal replacement. It lacks a good balance of all essential macronutrients and micronutrients. Our bodies need a balance of the macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins and fats) for us to function optimally. None of these macronutrients are found in adequate amounts celery juice. You can have the celery juice, but remember this does not count as breakfast. Make sure you having something balanced (ideal containing protein) afterwards so you’ve plenty of energy to seize the rest of the day.
One of the best aspects of the celery juice challenge is that it encourages people to hydrate first thing in the morning, which so many people don’t do. There is lots of information being thrown around regarding the bowel cleansing benefits of celery. While some studies have shown celery to have both diuretic (water excreting) and cholagogue (bile promoting) properties that may assist this process. I believe the main reason people are noticing an increase in output is purely due to the fact they are sufficiently hydrating in the morning. Constipation is something I see all the time in clinic and along with a lack of chewing and stress, poor hydration is one of the biggest contributing factors to this.
One thing I do need to stress, is that celery is one of the most highly sprayed vegetable crops. By all means include celery juice in your diet, but please make sure you go organic to avoid excess consumption of nasty pesticides which will counteract all the detoxifying effects of celery.
To conclude my celery rant, I think the misconception is that once again there is one ‘thing’ that cures all…one vegetable, one powder or one supplement that is the answer to ultimate health. Unfortunately, there is no magic bullet. Health is so much more than juice. Yes, celery has beneficial health properties and can be part of a great, well balanced diet, but it is not the be all and end all.
You can’t out-juice a bad diet and an unhealthy lifestyle. So drink the (organic) celery juice if you wish, but don’t forget about all the other wonderful vegetables and ways to include them. Our bodies thrive off diversity.
This article originally appeared on www.wholefoodhealing.com.au and was re-published here with permission.