What’s Up with Celery Juice?
- Mel’s weekly recipe pick: Celery, Date & Almond Watercress Salad
- Mel in the media:
Have you heard about the latest nutrition trend out there? Celery juice is the new king in town and everyone (well almost everyone) is drinking it! Celebrities from Gwyneth Paltrow to Sylvester Stallone are singing its praises and downing the bitter green drink like water.
Should you drink the green “Kool-Aid” or is it just a bunch of hype?
First, let’s take a look at the benefits of whole celery.
Health benefits of whole celery
A good source of fiber, manganese, magnesium, potassium, calcium, B vitamins, and vitamins A, K and C, celery is oh so much more than “crunchy water”. Interestingly, the celery leaves contain the most vitamin C, calcium, and potassium, so please don’t discard them like I used to do!
The abundance of vitamins, minerals and other anti-inflammatory properties in celery can:
- Promote the health of your gut lining
- Help regulate digestion
- Offer cardiovascular support
Eating whole celery offers the benefit of added fiber too, which can really help to keep you full…especially when it’s filled with fresh ground almond butter.
What about celery juice?
First let me say, I have no problem with celery juice. In fact, those who’ve built a habit of drinking celery juice every morning report better digestion, less bloating and brain fog, and more energy.
But I’ll bet they aren’t eating a cheeseburger and fries for lunch.
It’s difficult to say if these reported benefits are due to drinking celery juice, or because they are likely making healthier food choices throughout the day and overall.
Would I much rather catch you drinking a glass of celery juice instead of orange juice? You bet! Because of its super-high sugar content, orange juice will spike your blood sugar like a rocket to the moon (why do you think it’s given to someone suffering from dangerously low blood sugar?).
Remember all of those abundant vitamins and minerals in whole celery? They are concentrated in juice form!
It’s important to note however, that most studies on the health benefits of celery juice—including lower blood pressure and chronic disease prevention—are animal studies, so we can’t just assume it will have the same effects in humans.
Are there any downside to drinking celery juice?
Making your own celery juice can be time-consuming. Although celery is relatively inexpensive, it takes about 12 stalks of celery (about one bunch) to make 16 ounces of juice. Buy it from the local juice bar and it’ll cost you between $7.00-$8.00 for that same 16-ounce serving.
You could get three bunches of celery for that price!
Plain celery juice has a bitter taste, which can tempt even the most well-meaning person to add sweetener. Mint, cucumber, lemon, ginger, or green apple can all make it taste better…just please don’t add sugar!
Celery juice isn’t a good idea for those on certain prescription drugs like anti-anxiety, cholesterol-lowering and blood pressure-lowering medications. Just like grapefruit, celery contains natural chemicals that can raise blood levels of these drugs. If you take any of these medications, check with your healthcare provider before drinking celery juice.
Ideas for adding whole celery to your meals
I’m not a juice girl. Mostly because I don’t feel any better after consuming even the greenest of green juices…in fact, I feel hungrier! I would much rather eat the whole fruit or vegetable or throw it into my smoothie.
Here are a few fun ideas to help you incorporate more celery into your daily diet:
- Snack on grown-up “ants on a log”: Fill 3-inch stalks of celery with fresh ground almond butter, top with fresh blueberries or raspberries, then sprinkle with hemp hearts, flax or chia seeds! Add a sprinkle of cacao nibs for extra crunch and antioxidants. Want a little sweet? Drizzle with just a touch of raw honey! Mmmmmm.
- Add a stalk to your smoothie and blend.
- Chop and add to egg, tuna, or chicken salad, along with chopped red peppers and onions. For a little fiber boost, I like to also add kidney beans or lentils.
- Add celery sticks to a 3-cup container of raw veggies and snack on it throughout the day when you get hungry. For a little sweet, add chunks of pear or apple to the mix!
- Add celery leaves to your salad.
- Stir diced celery into stews, soups, stir-fries and casseroles.
- Mix in salsa or guacamole.
- Make a celery salad—see this week’s recipe pick for Celery, Date & Almond Watercress Salad.
Mel in the media!
- Watch my latest television appearance on Fox 8’s New Day Cleveland show, where I discuss the benefits of celery!
- Listen to my recent interview on the health podcast, Becoming Elli. Chris and Jill are the two wonderful hosts of this weekly podcast, dedicated to helping women becoming strong and fit in the second half of life. In this interview I discuss how to crave healthy food and stop dieting.
Mel’s weekly recipe pick:
Celery, Date & Almond Watercress Salad