I'm sure there are many of you who have noticed the ridiculous price of celery lately, I know I have!! So, what's driving this insanity - the drought conditions, a shortage of celery farmers, natural disaster? Nope, quite the contrary, but it is something that happens very frequently in the food industry - A FAD, and a FAD in my eyes is something that Fades Away Drearily...
So where did it all start?
Like any fad, it generally starts with some 'professional/celebrity/do -gooder/clever marketer' telling you a particular food is a cure-all. Unfortunately, this just isn't true and the person/company making the miracle claims unfortunately plays on the fears and seekers of miracle cures.
All food plays a role in communicating with our cells and no food should be excluded unless there is a diagnosed condition to sanction the removal. One food is not a cure-all, so please look at all foods playing their own specific role in good health. Too much of anything can, in itself, cause potential issues. *Be mindful if you're consuming a lot of celery and are on blood thinning medications.
I have no doubt of celery's benefits but at present there are no substantial scientific studies on humans to warrant the extremes of drinking large and regular quantities of celery juice. Research in rats does suggest however, its high antioxidant profile may contribute to reducing free radicals and lipid peroxidation within the body. (1)
Another study, again in both mice and rats, has had promising results using celery leaves in conjunction with specific chemotherapy drugs, yet again, study has not been undertaken in targeted human trials. (2)
If we are to determine the potential therapeutic pathways that celery (Apium graveolens) can provide, more research (and in human trials) will need to be undertaken.
Let's enjoy celery in all its glory
Our bodies are designed to breakdown food, absorb nutrients, detoxify, heal and age best when given a variety of nutritious foods.
The celery craze is not new, it's just been revived and rejigged by someone wanting to make money, just as all FAD's are.
The problem lies in the fact that juicing reduces the wonderful fibrous properties of the plant itself. The fibre in plants such as celery has been well documented and proven to improve beneficial gut bacteria, cholesterol and cardiovascular health. (3) For this reason it's a wonderful vegetable to eat regularly and there's nothing wrong with a celery juice now and again, but the whole vegetable is the better option.
Celery is naturally high in sodium and because of this, has been used for centuries as a natural seasoning in cooking. If you are concerned about the sodium content and blood pressure, rest assured that celery is also a good source of potassium which helps balance out the sodium levels.
Because of its high water content too, it's a great vegetable for hydration and helps the beneficial insoluble fibre move smoothly through the digestive tract.
So if you are on the celery juice bandwagon, there is no reason not to enjoy it, but it would be more beneficial for you to eat the vegetable itself and reap more health benefits in turn. Just be sure to wash thoroughly and, if possible, buy organic where you can, as pesticides are commonly used on celery.
If you buy whole celery (not cut, packet ones) you can even grow your own from the base for free, just another reason to enjoy it.
Besides, it makes the best dipping stick for peanut butter!
Enjoy whole foods x
(1) Kooti, W. and Daraei, N. (2017). A Review of the Antioxidant Activity of Celery (Apium graveolens L). Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary & Alternative Medicine, 22(4), pp.1029-1034.
(2) Kolarovic, J., Popovic, M., Mikov, M., Mitic, R. and Gvozdenovic, L. (2009). Protective Effects of Celery Juice in Treatments with Doxorubicin. Molecules, 14(4), pp.1627-1638.