Food Focus: Celery Juice
Tons of posts toasting 2019 with a tall glass of celery juice. What is all the hype about and is it just another trend or truly a miracle drink? I had a bunch of clients and friends asking my opinion so I told them I'd do some research and let them know my findings!
This new craze was started by a man named Anthony William, aka the Medical Medium. He claims to have been predicting cures for viruses and autoimmune diseases since he was 4 years old. Any validity to this? I truly have no idea. But he is taking the nutrition world by storm, so I intend to at least read his 4 books covering subjects like thyroid and insomnia.
He makes some pretty big claims about celery juice, stating "I’ve seen thousands of people who suffer from chronic and mystery illness restore their health by drinking 16 ounces of celery juice daily on an empty stomach." Celery juice does have anti-inflammatory properties, so it does make sense that (like all other anti-inflammatory foods) it would help chronic disease caused by inflammation.
The reason he claims it works better than other vegetables is because "Celery is able to starve pathogens, plus it contains a multitude of undiscovered mineral salts that act together as an antiseptic. When these powerful mineral salts make contact with viruses such as Epstein-Barr, HHV-6, and shingles; bacteria such as Streptococcus; and other pathogens—troublemakers responsible for chronic illness—the salts begin to break down the pathogens’ cell membranes, eventually killing and destroying them." Anthony goes on to say these salts are a battery charger for the brain, helping with mental wellness as well.
Do I think it's a cure-all for every chronic disease out there? Most likely not. There are many genetic and environmental factors that go into diagnosing and curing a specific chronic disease to a specific person. I see the functional med doctor I work with go through this every day. We know there is not a one size fits all cure for everyone, since we are all different. One person's food is another person's poison.
Would I tell my clients not to drink it each morning? No! I'd say go for it. Fresh celery juice is low in fructose, and packed with vitamins like A and C, folate and phytochemicals called phthalides that relax muscle tissues in artery walls to increase blood flow. These vitamins are great for improving our immune system, which is our body’s main defender against illnesses from the common cold to cancer, and has been shown in Chinese medicine to help lower blood pressure.
I might even add a glass to my daily routine! But I certainly will not stop my probiotics, discontinue eating other anti-inflammatory foods and only drink the juice of this mostly-water veggie.
In not such a strong conclusion, I do not believe adding celery juice to your morning routine would be a bad thing. I'm just not sure it's a true cure-all miracle. As Anthony says himself, many of the claims he is making are "not yet discovered by science" so until it is, I'll safely say that celery is a healthy food with many benefits. Just don't put all your stalks in one glass.
One last important point: most years, celery is on the EWG's top 12 foods sprayed most heavily with pesticides. If you are going to be juicing (or just eating) make sure it's organic.
Photography: D. Eviyahya
"The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth", Bowden, Jonny. 2007.