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Health benefits fresh celery

Health benefits fresh  celery 

Health benefits fresh  celery

Once dubbed a poor man’s vegetable, Instagram is now inundated with hundreds of thousands of posts about celery juice – crediting it with everything from boosting the immune system to restoring gut health and preventing migraines. The rapid rise in popularity of this humble vegetable is being lauded as the ‘global celery juice movement’, with celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Miranda Kerr saying they start their days by consuming it in liquid form. Kim Kardashian also revealed that she was drinking the “pretty gross” juice to help her psoriasis. While it may be the trend of today, celery has been used in folk medicine for centuries. In China, Egypt, and Rome, the plant was used as a remedy for a range of issues, including curing hangovers and as an aphrodisiac.  Recently it’s been claimed that drinking 450ml of celery juice on an empty stomach each morning could help those with chronic illnesses, digestive issues,  skin conditions and fatigue.

What health benefits does celery have?

 Whether juiced or eaten whole,  celery is a source of antioxidants and polyphenols. It contains vitamin K, which supports healthy blood clotting, and potassium, which plays a role in many bodily functions, like maintaining a healthy blood pressure. Studies have shown that celery seed extracts have anti-hypertensive properties, thanks to  a phytochemical that relaxes the tissues of the artery walls. Due to its high water content, and slight diuretic effect, celery can also help ease bloating and water retention.

 Why juice celery? 

The thinking behind juicing celery is that it removes the fibre, therefore making its beneficial nutrients more bioavailable and more adept at entering the body’s circulation. However, registered dietician Kirsty Barrett says that while juicing celery makes it easier to digest, as it removes the fibre, “one of the biggest benefits of fruit and veg is the fibre, which will be missing.” But she notes that one portion of celery (around 150ml) “will provide one of your five a day and contains  a good amount of vitamin K.” Celery is also a rich source of flavonoids, such as apigenin and quercetin, which have been found to have anti-inflammatory properties, and a 2012 study found that juicing celery was an effective way to consume flavonoids. They may also help with digestion, with a 2009 study finding that flavonoids helped improve digestion  by inducing gastric relaxation. In other words, it aids the natural movements your stomach makes as food moves through your gut.

juice celery
juice celery

Does it work?

There have been a few studies backing the benefits of celery. One pilot study, published in the Natural Medicine Journal in 2013, had 30 patients with mild to moderate hypertension take daily celery seed extract supplements for six weeks. By the end of the study period, researchers found a statistically significant decrease in participants’ systolic and diastolic blood pressure. It has also been shown to protect against some side effects of chemotherapy treatment, as active components of celery can alter the effect of certain drugs. A 2009 study saw Serbian researchers give rats doxorubicin (a chemotherapy drug) and juices made out of celery roots or leaves to see if it had any protective effect against side effects during treatment. The juice appeared  to decrease the intensity of one of the oxidative stress markers they measured. As it’s an excellent source of flavonoids, celery may also help to prevent chronic diseases. While  further research is needed, one study from 2014 found that a flavonoid isolated from celery leaves promoted antioxidant activities in the brain, heart, liver and kidneys of mice, which had  a beneficial effect on health. Meanwhile, a 2014 study published in the Journal  of Ethnopharmacology found that supplements of the flavonoid apigenin – also found in parsley and chamomile – may have  helped slow the progression of gastritis and gastric cancer in gerbils. However, it’s important to note that many studies on celery have been  done on rats and mice in laboratory settings, and so  the findings won’t necessarily be the same among humans in  real-life scenarios.

 juice celery
 juice celery

How do you drink it?

 If you’re want to try it, most recipes  will call just for celery, with no other additions. However, celery juice can have quite a strong taste, so if you find it overpowering, you can add cucumber, apple or lime. As you get used to the flavour, try increasing the ratio of celery. The best way to store your juice is to refrigerate it in a sealed glass mason jar. You can also freeze celery juice and drink it as it defrosts, or save time by preparing the celery the night before  so it’s ready to juice in the morning. When it comes to celery, however, the fresher the better, as after five to seven days, celery begins to lose significant amounts of its antioxidants. Those following a low-FODMAP diet should also only drink a small amount of  celery juice (between 120-180ml),  as the vegetable is high in  fermentable carbohydrates.