Celery - The Health Bandwagon You May Want to Jump On8 months ago | Nutrition
By Joy Stephenson-Laws, JD, Founder
Apparently, drinking fresh celery juice is the hot, new health and weight loss trend of the New Year. And the person responsible for starting this trend is Anthony William, a self-proclaimed “Medical Medium.” At the age of four, Anthony reportedly told his family at the dinner table that his “symptom-free” grandmother had lung cancer. It turns out, he was right.
He is now an author of multiple books and has celebrity endorsements from big names including Naomi Campbell, Robert De Niro, Gwyneth Paltrow and more. Anthony also started the global celery juice movement, which simply advocates drinking 16 ounces of celery juice on an empty stomach daily. He claims celery juice is the perfect health elixir for digestion, weight loss and for people who suffer from all types of chronic illnesses.
Socialite and mega celeb Kim Kardashian, who suffers from the skin condition psoriasis, is on the celery juice bandwagon. She recently posted on social media a picture of a tall glass of the green juice with a caption that said “pretty gross...” but “helps psoriasis…”.
Anthony claims that you will not get the same benefits of just eating celery stalks as you would juicing it.
“The reason we juice the celery versus eating it is because juicing and removing the pulp (fiber) is the only way to get the powerful healing benefits for healing chronic illness.”
Fiber also plays an important part in maintaining good health, so I am not sure I fully agree with getting rid of the pulp. Nevertheless, I agree that celery is a very healthy food to include in your diet.
After doing some research myself on this crunchy, watery, low-calorie veggie that is often underrated, I have to agree with the “Medical Medium” that incorporating celery into the diet is a good idea. And if the thought of drinking celery juice is unbearable, eating celery will still deliver nutrients your body needs and may deliver some much needed health benefits.
Potential Health Benefits of Celery
- Celery may fight inflammation.
Chronic inflammation throughout the body is believed by many medical professionals to be the root cause of numerous health problems, including cancer and depression. Celery is chock-full of antioxidants and phytonutrients, which are great for fighting inflammation and helping to prevent disease.
“Celery, because of compounds such as caffeic acid, p-coumaric acid, ferulic acid, apigenin, luteolin, tannin, saponin, and kaempferol, has powerful antioxidant characteristics, to remove free radicals,” reports the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
The NIH reports that celery may reduce glucose levels, blood lipids and blood pressure, all of which may strengthen the heart. On top of celery being an anti-inflammatory, this veggie may also provide anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties.
- Celery may help you conceive.
Research with rats provided some evidence that extracts from celery increased spermatogenesis (development of sperm cells). So if you’re a man who is having issues with a low sperm count, it may not hurt to try adding celery regularly to your diet.
Celery has also been called an aphrodisiac for men. It contains naturally occurring nutrients such as vitamin E, potassium, magnesium, zinc and niacin. All of these nutrients are reported to enhance sexual drive in men. Some have gone as far as calling celery the “Viagra in vegetable form,” according to one source.
- Celery may fight cravings.
If you tend to crave crunchy, salty snacks, like pretzels and potato chips, celery may be a good replacement. It’s crunchy, hydrating (95% water) and naturally rich in sodium.
- Celery may help your gut.
We always emphasize how important it is to trust and take care of your gut! According to one source, the flavonoids (plant pigments) in celery may stop the growth of harmful bacteria in the gut that can cause inflammation and cause stomach issues.
- Celery may help keep your pearly whites pearly.
Some people complain that celery is just too much work to chew! But this is exactly the reason why noshing on celery may help your teeth.
“Celery might get a bad reputation for being bland, watery and full of those pesky strings, but like carrots and apples, it acts a bit like a toothbrush, scraping food particles and bacteria away from your teeth,” reports one source.
Celery contains a lot of water and eating it causes more saliva production, two weapons for washing away tartar and plaque.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the specific nutrients in one cup of raw chopped celery:
- Calcium, 40 mg. Celery is an unexpected source of the essential mineral calcium. An adult between 19-50 years of age (male or female) in general should aim to have about 1,000 mg. of calcium per day. This mineral is needed to build and maintain strong bones and teeth. Calcium is also needed for clotting of the blood to stop bleeding and for proper functioning of the nerves, muscles and heart. The National Cancer Institute conducted a study that monitored calcium intake in 135,000 men and women. The subjects who had a calcium intake of more than 700 mg. per day had a 35-45% reduced risk of cancer of the distal (lower) part of the colon than those who had a calcium intake of 500 mg. or less per day.
- Magnesium, 11 mg. This must-have mineral helps with blood pressure regulation and also has antioxidant properties. Several studies have also shown an improvement in the severity of symptoms of depression when study participants were given 125-300 mg. of magnesium with each meal and at bedtime.
- Phosphorus, 24 mg. This mineral often does not get the credit it deserves, but it does so much for your body. Phosphorus is almost as abundant in your body as calcium and helps calcium build strong bones and teeth. Phosphorus is also important for how your body stores and uses energy, repairs cells and is needed to make proteins like the one responsible for the oxygen-carrying capabilities of our red blood cells. This mineral has also been linked to weight management. In a study of almost 40,000 women in Korea, phosphorus deficiency correlated with weight gain from oral contraceptives. Furthermore, a study from Lebanon showed that phosphorus supplements in a small group (63 people) for 12 weeks significantly decreased body weight, BMI, waist circumference and subjective appetite scores.
- Potassium, 263 mg. Potassium may help lower blood pressure by balancing out negative effects of salt. According to Harvard Health, “[w]hen it comes to fighting high blood pressure, the average American diet delivers too much sodium and too little potassium. Eating to reverse this imbalance could prevent or control high blood pressure and translate into fewer heart attacks, strokes, and deaths from heart disease.”
- Sodium, 81 mg. When it comes to enzyme operations and muscle contractions, an electrolyte like sodium is SUPER important! Sodium regulates the blood and protects the body from body function impairment. Sodium also regulates body fluids while transmitting electrical impulses in the body.
- Folate, 36 mcg. Most adults need about 400 mcg. of folate daily. If you are pregnant, you may need more. Folate is essential for cell growth and many other bodily functions. To see how much folate you need, click here.
- Vitamin A, 453 IU. This vitamin is an antioxidant that supports the immune system and is good for skin and eye health. Vitamin A also promotes cell growth.
- Lutein + Zeaxanthin, 286 mcg. These are two carotenoids and antioxidants that concentrate in eye tissue. According to the American Optometric Association, “[l]utein and zeaxanthin filter harmful high-energy blue wavelengths of light and help protect and maintain healthy cells in the eyes. Of the 600 carotenoids found in nature, only these two are deposited in high quantities in the retina (macula) of the eye.”
- Vitamin K, 29.6 mcg. This vitamin plays a role in helping blood clot properly, protecting the heart, building bones and balancing insulin levels. Some reports even say vitamin K may help prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
Ways to Include Celery in Your Daily Diet
If drinking celery juice (although it may not be a bad idea) is too much for you, snack on it in between meals or chop up a few pieces of celery and add to a regular salad for some extra texture and crunch. Celery stalks are also great vehicles for dips like hummus and guacamole.
Some people need to implement more salt-free cooking in their lives, but this doesn’t mean it has to come with the sacrifice of flavor. Because celery is a natural source of sodium, an essential mineral, it adds a salty flavor without adding actual added salt from a salt shaker. Celery makes a great base for soups and pasta sauces. You can even make a bed of celery in a pan, roast a chicken on top of that in the oven and then you have an instant, delicious side dish.
Risks with Eating Celery?
If you are someone who really needs to be mindful of sodium intake, talk to a doctor or a competent healthcare professional about whether celery is a good food for you to include in your diet. As always, if you have any existing health issues or are pregnant or breastfeeding, it is highly recommended to seek medical advice regarding your daily diet.
Enjoy your healthy life!
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