If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Here’s what you need to know about the latest juicing trend with celery.
In case you haven’t seen a sea of green all over your social media recently, celery juice has become a huge trend.
Celery juice? You mean from the vegetable that’s long ben accused of being air and water, annoyingly fibrous, and perceived as having no nutritious benefits for the longest time?
Yes, it’s true, and people are no longer just simply slathering stalks with peanut butter and topping it with raisins – they’re juicing up to 16 ounces each morning and drinking it on an empty stomach.
This latest cure-all trend came from the internet by the name of the “Medical Medium”, who claims celery juice:
- “Has an incredible ability to create sweeping improvements for all kinds of health issues”
- Calms inflammation
- “Contains a multitude of undiscovered mineral salts that act together as an antiseptic”
- Can break down and flush out viruses that cause autoimmune disease
- Balances your body’s pH.
Sounds suspiciously miraculous, doesn’t it?
Long story short, there isn’t much research out there to back up most of the claims made about it. Here’s what we know:
1. It’s not unique to celery.
Celery is rich in phytonutrients and antioxidants such as vitamins A and C that have long been associated with reducing inflammation, which may reduce autoimmune symptoms and disease risk. However, these phytonutrients and antioxidants can be found in a whole host of other fruits and veggies as well.
2. There are no magic salts.
While the Medical Medium claims there are mineral salts in celery juice that are undiscovered by science, there’s no research to actually support and verify his claims. Celery does contain minerals that have known health benefits, such as potassium and folate.
3. Diseases are complex.
The cause of many of the autoimmune diseases that Medical Medium claims to cure with celery juice are multifactorial and, in many cases, unknown or not completely understood. However, there are no mechanistic explanations or research to explain the claim that celery juice “starves” these viruses and cures a multitude of diseases.
4. Your pH is balanced already.
Foods don’t change your body’s pH. Your body has a very, very narrow window for blood pH that it will tolerate, but luckily it does a fantastic job of maintaining that pH all on its own. If it isn’t, you’re likely reading this from the hospital.
So what about all the people who are claiming to see the vast health benefits of celery juice? This can likely be attributed to the following.
The vast majority of us are perpetually dehydrated, so it’s likely that simply drinking more liquid is helping to improve skin and digestion. Your gut works better when it’s well hydrated, and your skin loves moisture!
Consuming more antioxidants.
Research has shown that consuming a diet rich in antioxidants can help reduce inflammation. Antioxidants and other phytochemicals are also abundant in all fruits and vegetables, so you can get the benefits from more than just celery.
Participating in more health-promoting behaviors.
It’s likely that if you’re juicing celery daily, you’re also trying to improve your health in other ways such as eating more fruits and veggies, drinking more water, participating in more physical activity, not smoking, and reducing alcohol consumption. You also probably have more money to invest in other ways to improve your health (juicers aren’t cheap!). If that’s the case, it’s likely that the combination of everything else you’re doing has more of an effect than juice.
Yes, the mind is a very powerful thing.
In general, it’s always important to be cautious around any claim about one food (or beverage in this case) being a miracle cure. Claiming that a single food can cure multifactorial, complicated diseases is a stretch and pretty implausible.
Remember, no single food will ever make or break your health.
It’s always about the combination of your health-promoting behaviors and other contributing factors (e.g. environment, socioeconomic status, genetics). In the case of celery juice, It’s also important to know that the man behind Medical Medium, Anthony William, has no formal training in nutrition, medicine, or science in general (major red flag). He claims to receive his information from “the Spirit”, which only he can communicate with and tells him facts that science hasn’t discovered yet.
That being said, if celery juice is something that you feel works for you, makes you happy, and doesn’t hinder your life in any way, feel free to continue enjoying the benefits of consuming it.
Just keep in mind that it’s no magical cure.
Adapted from the original article.
HEADER IMAGE: KONSTANTIN KOLOSOV
Samantha Osterhaus, MPH, RD, LD is a registered dietitian based in Minneapolis, Minnesota who helps individuals embrace mindful eating and find their definition of balance. Practicing from a weight-neutral lens, her philosophy is that nutrition should be kept simple in order to achieve ultimate well-being. A self-proclaimed research nerd, she’s also pretty sassy when it comes to debunking fad diets. Learn more about her work and discover delicious recipes at livemindfullywell.com.