For a vegetable that has received little attention over the years, it has finally hit the spotlight. That’s right – celery has finally been given the recognition it deserves. But what triggered this recent obsession surrounding celery juice? The Medical Medium.
Anthony Williams from Medical Medium first started the trend of drinking celery juice, and it took off like wild fire. His suggestion of drinking 16 ounces of pure celery juice on an empty stomach was well received, giving celery its fame in the supermarket.
The benefits of celery juice are not limited to drinking it on its own. If you mix an apple or other herbs like cilantro with your celery juice, you’ll only be getting more benefit (like heavy metal detoxification from the cilantro).
I’ve personally been juicing and drinking liters of celery juice mixed with lemon, ginger, apple and cilantro for over 6-7 years, and I haven’t felt better. The compounds found in an apple or lemon are not going to interfere with how the nutrients in the celery are absorbed. If you can’t get your celery juice game on in the morning – don’t fret. You can drink it later in the day, and you’ll still experience beneficial effects. They key is drinking it around a time when you haven’t had solid food in your stomach, hence why the morning is the most optimal time. All juices, whether it is celery juice or a mixed juice will digest and absorb better on an empty stomach.
According to Anthony Williams, drinking celery juice first thing in the morning will strengthen your digestion of foods you eat for the rest of the day. I whole heartedly agree with this statement, considering the massive impact that celery juice has on our gut (and I’ll get into that more down below).
With that being said, if you only have time to drink your celery juice close to a time when you ate solid food, it is still better than not having it at all!
Celery Juice Nutrition
Just one glass of celery has approximately 40 calories, and comes with important minerals and vitamins such as:
– Vitamins A, K, and C
– Pantothenic acid
– Vitamin B2 and B6
Aside from well-known antioxidants like vitamin C and flavonoids, there are at least a dozen other types of antioxidant nutrients in celery that help protect us against unwanted oxidative damage to our cells, blood vessels and other organs.
Top 10 Celery Juice Benefits
Celery juice is a great way to add crucial nutrients into your diet, while also helping you stay hydrated. Here are ten ways that celery juice can benefit your health:
Celery is amazing for any type of inflammation in the body. Aside from magnesium that helps relax tight muscles and vitamin B6 that helps lower homocysteine levels in the blood (an amino acid associated with inflammation), celery is also loaded over 20 beneficial inflammation-fighting antioxidants.
These phenolic antioxidants include things like (1):
• Phenolic Acids
– Caffeic acid
– Caffeolyquinic acid
– Cinnamic acid
– Coumaric acid
– Ferulic acid
A study published in the journal Molecular Nutrition & Food Research found that celery juice and celery extracts may help reduce activity of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-A) and nuclear factor kappa B (NFK-B) – two proteins linked to inflammatory problems (2). Decreased levels of the pro-inflammatory cytokines interleukin 1B (IL-1B) and interleukin 8 (IL-8) have also been seen in these studies.
Another study published in Plants Medica suggests that luteolin in celery may be able to inhibit the production of COX-2, an enzyme that triggers inflammation (3). Other studies have found that when brain cells are exposed to luteolin, the production of a key cytokine in the inflammatory pathway is shut down by over 90 percent (4).
Apigenin, another flavone found in celery, has also been found to lower oxidative stress and prevents the expression of inflammatory factors like COX-2 (5).
By keeping these inflammatory messengers in check, celery helps prevent unwanted inflammation in the body. Reducing inflammation in the body will be highly beneficial for those suffering from chronic illness and autoimmune disease, given these conditions are rooted in chronic inflammation.
The benefits of celery juice wouldn’t be complete without cancer protective effects! In fact, celery contains over eight anti-cancer compounds that help fight against many forms of cancer.
Two major anti-cancer compounds in celery, acetylene and phenolic acid, help terminate cancer cell growth. Another compound called coumarin, helps decrease mutations in normal cells, which would normally trigger certain cells to become cancerous.
A study published in the journal Molecular Nutrition & Food Research focused on the flavonoid apigenin and its anti-proliferative effects in relation to human pancreatic cancer cells. They found that apigenin induced pancreatic cancer cell death through inhibition of the glycogen synthase kinase-3beta/nuclear factor kappa B signaling pathway. It also inhibited a crucial cell cycle of cancer cell development, and activated the mitochondrial pathway of apoptosis (cell death) in the cancer cells (6).
Another study published in Cancer Prevention Research found that apigenin in parsley and celery can stop certain breast cancer tumor cells from multiplying and growing (7). Study leader, Salman Hyder told the University of Missouri, “It appears that keeping a minimal level of apigenin in the bloodstream is important to delay the onset of breast cancer that progresses in response to progestins such as MPA. It’s probably a good idea to eat a little parsley and some fruit every day to ensure the minimal amount.” Imagine what half a liter of celery juice can do!?
Like apigenin, luteolin also possesses strong anti-tumor properties. A study published in BioMed Central Gastroenterology found that luteolin has the capacity to short circuit the replication cycle of cancer cells. The researchers discovered that luteolin is able to block the signal pathways IGF and PI3K, which are necessary for the growth of cancer cells, particularly colon cancer cells (8).
3. Helps Lower Cholesterol
Celery is great for helping lower cholesterol, making it my third most favorite benefit of celery juice. Phthalides in celery help lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol by increasing bile acid secretion in the liver (9). More secretion of bile acids produces better bile flow, which promotes digestion and therefore encourages the absorption of dietary fat and cholesterol. Phthalide also lowers stress hormones in the blood, which allows blood vessels to expand and relax, thereby allowing more blood to flow throughout the body.
Aside from helping relax our blood vessels to allow better flow of blood (and therefore lowering blood pressure), coumarin in celery helps thin the blood. Coumarin is used as a precursor to anticoagulant medications like warfarin and Coumadin, which help promote blood circulation and prevent the formation of blood clots. Who needs drugs, when those very drugs are synthesized from compounds found in celery!
Celery also helps to cleanse and purify the blood. Our kidneys filter over 150 quarts of blood in a single day. If our kidneys aren’t functioning that optimally, then that blood can become toxic quite quick. This can manifest as different conditions and diseases down the road. Thankfully, celery helps filter and clean the kidneys, ensuring the blood that flows through them comes out clean on the other end.
In addition, the mineral salts in celery (aka. natural sodium) help maintain fluidity of the blood and lymphatic fluids, preventing them from becoming too thick and sluggish. Celery also contains vitamins A and C, as well as magnesium and smaller amounts of iron that are all important for nourishing and rebuilding red blood cells.
5. Strengthens the Bones
Celery juice is great for the bones. But wait, doesn’t celery have little to no calcium? That is correct! But what many people don’t know is that sodium makes up over 25% of our bones. What is one of the best sources of all-natural sodium mineral salts? Celery! This doesn’t mean that eating lots of salt in your diet is beneficial for your bones. The structure and natural design of mineral salts in celery nourishes our bones and keeps them strong (quite different from the salt-laden foods at fast food joints).
Fresh celery is also an excellent source of vitamin K1, which helps increase bone mass by promoting osteocalcin activity in the bones. In the Framingham Heart Study, participants whose vitamin K1 intake was highest (250 mcg/day) had a threefold reduction in hip fracture risk (10). Even if your vitamin K1 intake is lower than 250 mcg a day, the Nurses’ Health Study found that consuming a mere 109 mcg of vitamin K1 every day had a lower risk of hip fracture over a ten year period than those who consumed less (11).
Just one cup of celery juice provides your body with almost 100% of your daily intake for vitamin K1 (about 100 mcg of vitamin K1). Double that, and you get over 200 mcg!
As we’ll soon explore, celery is highly alkalizing, which is another bonus for our bones. The average person more often than not consumes a high-acid diet, high in wheat, refined sugar, processed foods, deli meats, and the like. As a result, our bodies try to buffer the high acid by stripping alkalizing minerals from our bones (like calcium and magnesium). This results in weak, brittle bones, and puts the bones at risk of fracture.
Including more celery juice in your diet will remineralize your bones, and also buffer the acid in your body, so that your bones don’t have to.
6. Nourishes the Nervous System
As I’ve mentioned above, celery is rich in mineral salts. These salts are crucial in helping support a healthy nervous system and the electrical impulses that govern it. They’re the building blocks for neurotransmitter chemicals, and support neuron function. Without them, our bodies are like uncharged batteries. So you can think of celery juice like giving your body a new battery; giving it the life it needs to function optimally and with vigor.
According to Anthony from Medical Medium, the central nervous system-supporting mineral salts in celery are “extremely healing for people who are struggling with depression, anxiety, brain fog, confusion, bipolar disorder, memory loss, Alzheimer’s disease, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), as well as people who have difficulty with focus and concentration” (12).
Apigenin in celery also enhances GABA transmission through its activity on the benzodiazepine receptor (13), helping to aid in neurotransmitter performance for better sleep.
7. Alkalizes the Body
One of my favorite benefits of celery juice is that it is one of the best alkalizing drinks on the planet. The highly alkaline mineral salts, minerals and vitamins in celery provide the body with the nutrients it needs to establish a healthy pH. This, in turn, helps protect the cells in our body, lowering the risk of heart disease, protecting the minerals in our bones, reducing inflammation, boosting our immune system and allowing us to achieve a healthy weight.
The fact that celery juice also acts as a natural diuretic makes it effective at rapidly removing toxic waste matter from the body. The more toxic matter that gets dislodged from our cells and shuttled out of the body, the happier our internal ecosystem will become.
8. Heals the Digestive Tract
One of the reasons celery juice has become the latest wellness trend is because of its ability to heal the digestive tract. When celery is juiced, it releases beneficial nutrients within the fibers that we wouldn’t normally be able to digest. These nutrients promote optimal functioning of the digestive tract by nourishing our beneficial gut bacteria, and relaxing the nerves that have been damaged as a result of an unhealthy lifestyle.
When consumed on an empty stomach, celery juice fires up the digestive tract, allowing you to better utilize and absorb the nutrients from foods you eat throughout the day. The enzymes in celery work to raise the hydrochloric acid in the stomach so that digesting is easier, and also so that food doesn’t sit in your GI tract and ferment.
The pectin-based polysaccharides found in celery (like apiuman) produce special anti-inflammatory benefits for the gut. They actually help improve the integrity of the stomach lining and decrease the risk of developing gastric (stomach) ulcers (14).
9. Dissolves Calcium Deposits
Calcification happens when calcium builds up in body tissue, blood vessels or organs. This buildup can harden and disrupt your body’s normal processes. Because calcium is transported through the bloodstream, calcium deposits can quite literally end up in almost any part of the body. The most common form of calcium deposits you might be familiar with is the deposits that form in and around the eyes (you know, those stubborn hard white balls that form just under the surface of the skin).
The mineral salts in celery (aka. natural organic sodium) has the ability to dislodge calcium deposits from the joints and elsewhere, suspending them in a solution that is then shuttled to the kidneys for excretion. It is also great for eliminating calcification of arterial walls and provides a health environment for the kidneys to prevent formation of kidney stones.
10. Kills Viruses and Bacteria
The concept of celery’s virus and bacteria-killing effects are described by Anthony. According to him, the mineral salts in celery juice act as an antiseptic to stave off pathogen growth in the liver (like Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) and shingles). When these salts come in contact with viruses, they break down the pathogen’s cell membrane, eventually killing them.
In his article on celery juice, Anthony mentions cluster salts in celery, and how they work “symbiotically and systematically to flush out toxins, dead pathogens such as viruses and bacteria, and pathogenic neurotoxins and debris from every crevice of the body.” He then mentions how “Your white blood cells use these cluster salts as both a shield and weapon to go after viruses and unproductive bacteria — and that translates to relief from numerous symptoms and conditions they cause.”
If this may seem too far-fetched for some, don’t forget about everything we just spoke about. If the compounds in celery are able to defeat cancer cells, there is no doubt in my mind that the antioxidants and other phytonutrients found in celery can eradicate viruses and bacteria in the body.
How to Make Celery Juice
Making celery juice is incredibly simple, but first things first. Make sure your celery is organic. Conventional celery is one of the worst foods you could put in your body. If they had to list the amount of pesticides and herbicides sprayed on celery as an ingredient label, I’m sure no one would consume it.
Secondly, you’ll want to make sure you’re drinking at least 16 ounces (half a liter) of celery juice a day. That usually equates to about one whole bunch of celery.
As for making celery juice, there are a couple different ways you can make it (depending on the type of appliances you have in your kitchen). You can use a vegetable juicer, or a blender.
The juicer I’ve been using for years is the Omega NC800HDS Slow Masticating Juicer. I prefer masticating over centrifugal juicers, since they extract more juice, and more nutrients from the plant material you’re using. The juicer runs at a low speed of 80 RPMs, so you get minimal heat buildup and the juice doesn’t oxidize as fast. Plus, the warranty lasts over 15 years!
For the juicer, clean an entire head of celery and press each individual stalk through the juicer.
For the blender, put an entire head of freshly cleaned celery into a blender and blend into a fine pureé. Then, take a cheese cloth or nut milk bag to filter out the pulp.
For either method, make sure you drink immediately. If you’d like it to last a bit longer (a couple hours or so), add some lemon or lime to the mix to help slow oxidation.
While some (like Medical Medium) recommend drinking the juice on its own in the morning before eating anything, I strongly encourage everyone to get the juice in when they can. If the morning doesn’t work, do it later in the day. No matter when you do it, you’ll benefit. Try to drink on an empty stomach if you can! Juices absorb into our bloodstream better and also digest better when drunk on an empty stomach.
Straight celery juice can be a bit intense, so if you want to add an apple or two, and zest it up with some lemon/lime or ginger, be my guest! I personally love adding apple, lemon, ginger and even cilantro for some added heavy metal detoxification effects.
Have you ever made celery juice? Let us know in the comments below if you like it plain, or if you like to add other things to it!