What’s the Deal with Celery Juice?
Have you been hearing whispers of the potent healing potential of celery juice lately? If you haven’t picked up on this new nutrition trend, don’t be surprised if you begin to see and hear more about this in the days and months to come.
New York Times best-selling author, Anthony William, Medical Medium, has turned the spotlight on celery juice as a “cure-all” for everything from autoimmunity to acid reflux. But does celery juice deserve all of this hype? Is there truth to the claim that 16-ounces of celery juice each morning can reverse disease and optimize health? Nutrition is powerful but can celery juice, alone, improve or heal all of the conditions that the Medical Medium purports? Let’s break down the science and you can decide for yourself.
I searched the medical data bases for studies that have examined celery (Apium graveolens L.) and I uncovered human and animal studies touting some pretty significant benefits. While many of these studies used celery extract in concentrated forms, there is potentially increased benefits to consuming celery juice which is rich in phytochemicals alongside the vitamins, mineral and minerals salts. Anthony William puts great weight on the value of the special mineral salts within celery juice, but most of the available studies do not specifically identify the compounds within celery that are responsible for its health-boosting qualities. Nonetheless, research is definitely in favor or celery and this is why.
#9 Celery Juice Improves Digestion and Hydration
Celery juice is thought to improve digestion, in part, due to the powerful mineral salts. Another factor that may make this a beneficial choice for digestive therapies is that is anti-bacterial and anti-fungal, leading to a potentially healthier gut microbiome.
Many people struggle to maintain a healthy electrolyte balance which can lead to acidity or alkalinity within the blood. Celery Juice is rich in electrolyte minerals like magnesium, sodium and potassium. This makes it a great electrolyte drink, hydrating cells on a deep level.
#8 Celery Juice improves Male Fertility
A review of over 16 research studies found that celery juice, in the right dose, can protect the testicles from damaging chemicals, therefore, improving sperm production. This may be a fairly safe and effective preventative protocol for men concerned with fertility
# 7 Celery Juice is Anti-inflammatory
Celery juice seems to be an effective anti-inflammatory agent. Inflammation causes heat, pain, swelling and redness, which can lead to tissue damage and disease over time. Inflammation is experienced in your body as anything from skin problems to joint pain, GI upset or even insulin resistance.
The fact that celery juice can combat the damaging effects of immune-regulated inflammation is promising. Studies suggest that celery may be especially potent for inflammation caused by the toxic bi-product of unhealthy gut bacteria, lipopolysaccharide (LPS). LPS can activate special cells called dendritic cells.
This is important because dendritic cells are responsible for processing toxins and pathogens, like LPS. They present the harmful molecule (antigen) to immune cells so the immune system is stimulated to recognize and kills the dangerous molecule. Once the immune system is triggered, the landslide of immune responses (including inflammation) turn on. Celery extract has been shown to override this process, therefore reducing inflammation.
Celery’s anti-inflammatory properties are somewhat mysterious. In fact, animal studies found that the majority of the anti-inflammatory properties of celery juice are due to an unidentified polar molecule.
# 6 Celery Juice is a Strong Antioxidant Elixir
Not only can celery juice reduce inflammation, but it can prevent damage that leads to inflammation. That is because celery juice contains compounds including caffeic acid, p-coumaric acid, ferulic acid, apigenin, luteolin, tannin, saponin, and kaempferol, all powerful antioxidants capable of removing damaging free radicals from the body. By decreasing free-radicals, the body’s overall oxidative stress is reduced.
This is BIG because increased oxidative stress leads to tissue damage and inflammation. It is known to lead to type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Because celery juice can remove free radicals from the system, healing is enhanced and injury to cells can be prevented.
#5 Celery Juice Improves Kidney function and Reverses Gout
High levels of uric acid in the body means that the kidneys aren’t working well. Uric acid is a bi-product of protein metabolism and should be excreted by the kidneys. This can cause further damage to the kidneys and lead to gout, a condition in which uric acid crystals deposit in joints causing sometimes excruciating pain and swelling.
In animal studies, 1000mg of celery extract was used to effectively reverse elevated uric acid levels in mice. This is significant because elevated uric acid can lead to gout and kidney damage. Liver function was improved and the extra benefit that this study uncovered is that dangerous oxidation of lipid cholesterol molecules was diminished, underpinning its value for health-promoting benefits in the cardiovascular system as well!
#4 Celery Juice Decreases Risk of Stroke and Promotes Recovery
Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the US killing over 140,000 people per year. That said, almost 800,000 people are affected by stroke each year and many are left to recover from the debilitating brain damage they incurred.
Obviously, with the prevalence of stroke, researchers are interested in prevention and improved recovery time. For hundreds of years traditional Chinese medicine has used celery for cardiovascular treatments, so it’s not surprising that a pharmaceutical “copy-cat” was approved by the FDA of China for treatment of ischemic stroke over 15 years ago.
A 2018 study reviewed the effectiveness of this synthetic celery-seed-molecule and found that it was, indeed, beneficial for stroke recovery. It is thought that this special molecule improves symptoms and promotes long-term recovery of stroke due to its anti-oxidant, anti-inflammation, anti-apoptosis, anti-thrombosis, and protection of mitochondria.
#3 6 Celery Juice for Parkinson’s and Neuro-protection
Researches were curious to see if the ancient Chinese use of celery for gout, diabetes and hypertension may also provide benefits to neurons and therefore, positively impact Parkinson’s disease. They dosed Parkinson’s induced mice with 375mg of celery extract (Apium graveolens L.) and found that celery extract was indeed neuroprotective, inducing antioxidant effects that improved dopaminergic neurons and benefited behavioral performance.
It’s not clear if celery juice is helpful for humans with Parkinson’s as we cannot always trust animal studies as a crossover for human effectiveness. However, celery juice will not likely cause harm and may be a safe method to enhance neuroprotection.
#2 Celery Juice as a Therapy for Melanoma
A brand new 2019 animal study found that celery extract not only reduced total cholesterol while increasing HDL cholesterol in mice with melanoma, but their tumor growth actually regressed during treatment. As I said, it’s hard to extrapolate animal studies into human application, but these are pretty promising results with little risk. Hopefully this animal study will prompt human studies in the field of cancer.
# 1 Celery Juice for Improved Cognitive Function and Better Mood
In yet another positive animal study, celery extract improved cognitive function and depression while improving antioxidant functions and neurotransmitter systems in the brain. This led to measurable increases is neuronal density within the brain. Researchers concluded that celery extract may have an important role in preventing age-associated cognitive decline in tandem with depression.
Ready to Sip on Some Celery?
Well, there you have it. I am not sure if celery juice is the “cure-all” but it sure seems to have some powerful healing qualities. If you want to try this out to see if it makes a difference in your health, purchase 1 organic celery bunch per day. Chop the end off and wash thoroughly. Dry gently and juice the whole bunch. This should make close to 16 ounces. Drink your juice immediately on an empty stomach. It may not be your favorite flavor, but you can rest-assured it is doing good things for your health. Wait at least 30 minutes before reaching for coffee or breakfast. Happy Juicing!