With the rise of the juicing trend, celery juice has been hailed as a hero. Are the health benefits of celery juice as staggering as they claim to be? There are pros and cons to drinking celery juice. The roots of this trend are thought to be sparked by the Medical Medium, Anthony Williams, who continues to tout the superfood powers of celery juice.
Who is the Medical Medium behind the celery juice trend?
Although juicing has been popular for some time now, why did celery become the juice of choice?
The trend was spearheaded by Anthony Williams. A medium who wrote Medical Medium Celery Juice: The Most Powerful Medicine of Our Time Healing Millions Worldwide. Williams has been claiming that there are amazing health benefits of celery juice for years now. He also penned Medical Medium Life-Changing Foods and Summary Medical Medium Thyroid Healing: The Truth Behind Hashimoto's, Graves', Insomnia, Hypothyroidism, Thyroid Nodules & Epstein-Barr. Although he calls himself a “Medical Medium”, he is not a doctor or a dietitian. In fact, according to Williams, his information is coming from spirits in the future he's communicating with.
The Medical Medium way to drink celery juice is to drink 16oz of freshly juiced celery on an empty stomach first thing in the morning. Then you can have breakfast 15-30 minutes later. The medium specifies that it must be pure celery juice to reap the benefits, and at least 16oz. For beginners, it’s fine to drink less, or blend with other fruit or even space it between meals so long as the end goal is to get to the 16oz of pure celery juice.
The Medical Medium does not sell his own pre-made celery juice and is unlikely to condone purchasing some already made from other brands, as fresh celery juice is touted as best.
In a guest post for Goop, Gweneth Paltrow’s lifestyle company, Williams explains that while eating celery stalks is important, it’s not the same as juicing the herb. According to the Medical Medium, because the fiber is removed when juiced the healing benefits become more powerful and people are consuming more celery than they would by simply eating it.
He adds that one of the health benefits of celery juice is increasing and strengthening bile, which is needed to break down fat and eliminate waste from the body. This is because of what he calls “cluster salts”. These cluster salts are “an undiscovered subgroup of sodium”, not yet proven by science but Williams believes they kill toxins in the body.
Williams even appeared on Keeping Up with the Kardashians, where he told Kim Kardashian her psoriasis is caused by too much copper in her liver. He determined this diagnosis after waving his hands around her body. Research does suggest that people with more serum copper levels are more likely to have psoriasis. It well established that copper level is determined by measuring the level in the blood or urine.
The only source saying that celery juice can “disarm toxic metals” comes from the Medical Medium himself, who says that celery juice’s “sodium cluster salts” diffuse the charge from copper and other metals.
Although copper is an essential micro-mineral, too much copper can cause jaundice, irritability, and in severe cases damage to vital organs. Copper toxicity is rarely caused by natural copper in the diet, but usually from water tainted with copper and from taking too many supplements.
Kim Kardashian’s sister, Kylie Jenner who also has psoriasis, jumped on the trend, along with many more influencers.
The health benefits of celery juice
There can be reasons to believe that celery juice is good for you, based on the health benefits of celery alone.
Celery contains folate, potassium, vitamin C, and vitamin K. The low-calorie vegetable is 95% water which means that although it contains vitamins and minerals, other vegetables are richer in nutrients. It is, however, a good source of vitamin K as there’s 30% of the RDA of vitamin K in one cup of celery. While celery is low on vitamin C, vitamin A, and some B vitamins, it will still contribute to your daily needs of these nutrients.
One stalk of celery provides 3% of the RDA of potassium, 4% of the RDA of Vitamin A, 2% of the RDA of vitamin C, 2% of the RDA of calcium, and 3% of the RDA of fiber. One large stalk of celery equates to the 16oz of celery juice.
You need to consume one and a half sticks of celery for it to count as one of your 5 pieces of fruit and veg a day.
As celery contains phytochemicals such as luteolin and apigenin, it has antioxidant properties. As antioxidants protect the skin from free radical damage, it can leave regular celery consumers and even those drinking celery juice with more youthful-looking skin.
Celery’s Phytochemicals and its effect on Cancer
Celery is also claimed to have anti-cancer properties due to the presence of phytochemicals. Phytochemicals are compounds found in plants which developed to help them survive and outlast predators and pathogens. It is important to add that more research is needed to substantiate this claim. The research conducted on this topic has been on mice, human trials are needed to substantiate claims for treatment of humans.
Phytochemicals found in foods in our diets have had a long history with cancer treatment as they’re safe, non-toxic, and easy to come by. Studies have shown that those with high consumption of fruit and vegetables have a lower risk of cancer. Not only do phytochemicals reduce the risk of cancer, but can also be helpful for those going through chemotherapy and radiotherapy. The American Cancer Society recommends that people consume 2 and a half cups of fruit and vegetables a day.
Limited research did find that both celery and green peppers can combat inflammation as they contain luteolin. However, this study looked at whole celery stalks, and not celery juice.
Although celery is good for you, is it the cure-all it is claimed to be by the Medical Medium?
Anecdotal Evidence of Celery Juice working
Anecdotally, some followers of the trend believe that it works and that they have reaped the health benefits of celery juice. One writer who was curious about the health benefits of celery juice, challenged herself to drink it every morning for one week. In the end, she found that her skin was much clearer.
Youtuber, More Salt Please, also tried the week-long celery juice challenge. Although she admitted that it will take more than a week to see real results, she felt that she was craving fewer sweets, and had good digestion. She also encouraged people with acne to try it.
There are countless non-experts singing the praises of celery juice online. This has been magnified with celebrity attention to the fad. Remember that the roots of this fad are from a person claiming to communicate with spirits telling him to drink celery juice. That being said, consuming celery juice is rarely harmful. If you are otherwise healthy, consuming celery juice may be something to try to find out if there are any benefits for you.
Can celery juice be bad for you?
A stalk of celery has 3% of the RDA of fiber, but celery juice has less. Juicing any fruit or vegetable can strip it from fiber and antioxidants. Although the Medical Medium believes that the removal of fiber from celery juice is good for you, it is well established that we need fiber to absorb nutrients in fruit and vegetables.
The big claim in the overall juice trend is that it detoxes your liver and kidneys. Our bodies already naturally detox themselves. By simply eating well and being active, our organs do the rest without the need of celery juice and other detox juices.
Juicing might strip fiber and antioxidants, but what it doesn’t strip is sugar. Although celery is already low in sugar, it still gets concentrated in its juice form. One medium stalk of celery has only 1 gram of sugar, whereas 16oz of celery juice has 12 grams of sugar. As celery juice is already bitter, drinkers may be tempted to add more sugar to make it palatable. With the fiber removed from the juice, the sugar is absorbed quicker causing a spike in blood sugar level.
Not everyone should consume celery
Celery is a natural diuretic due to the presence of butylphthalide. This triggers the kidneys to produce more urine. People who are pregnant, and those who may have issues with their kidneys or bladder may want to avoid celery juice as urinating more may put more strain on these organs. Celery juice is perfectly safe to drink during pregnancy, but the diuretic effect might be irritating. However, everyone else, and especially those who are bloated due to excess salt and water in their diet, might find the diuretic properties of celery juice to be a good thing.
Citrus and celery can cause sunburn
Citrus fruits and celery have the potential to increase sensitivity to sunlight. Phytophotodermatitis is a condition where the skin that came into contact with the juices of celery or citrus fruits is more likely to get sunburnt. Drinking celery juice won’t cause phytophotodermatitis but it’s likely that your hands came into contact with some celery juice when making it. As our hands are one of the areas of our body with the most sun exposure, and often the one we forget to protect from the sun, this can be a bit worrying if you’re going out into the sun after your morning glass of celery juice. Make sure you didn’t spill any juice on yourself first, or either cover the areas that came in contact with the celery juice or use a strong SPF before going outside. Even carrots, parley, parsnip, and figs can cause phytophotodermatitis so keep this in mind when juicing.
Celery is an allergen
Celery is also an allergen, people who are allergic to celery, celeriac, and celery seeds shouldn't partake in this superfood trend. Interestingly, allergic to celery can also be associated with an allergy to pollen, specifically birch pollen and mugwort pollen.
Despite the potential health benefits of celery juice, it’s not something everyone should try.
The bottom line
To answer the question, is celery juice good for you? There are health benefits of celery juice such as the boost in vitamins and minerals. It also counts as one of your five portions of fruit and vegetables per day. However, claims made by the Medical Medium saying that its "undiscovered cluster salts" will cure conditions like psoriasis is unproven.
Despite this, celery juice is good for you in the sense that it's a vegetable, packed with vitamins and minerals, and in most cases there’s nothing wrong with eating a stalk of celery.
Unlike most vegetables that lose nutrients as they cook, steamed celery is just as healthy as raw celery. Boiling can leach some nutrients, a lot remains. If you want more celery in your diet it’s just as good cooked in a meal or as a light snack with your favorite spread.
If you're looking for a way to try to get some extra nutrients, celery juice will do the job but feel free to add in other vegetables to get a varied distribution of vitamins and minerals.
If you’re hoping celery juice is good for treating medical conditions, you will find a lot of the claims unfounded. A better approach will be to speak to your medical team first.
If you’re sure the diuretic effects and risk of phytophotodermatitis aren’t reasons for concern, then drinking celery juice is mostly harmless.