Green Machine? Weighing in on Celery Juice by Brian Collins, UNCG Nutrition Student

If you look at most nutrition guidelines, vegetables play a central role in developing healthy eating habits. For some people the idea of eating vegetables brings up traumatic memories of over-cooked mush with little to no flavor. However, now you can find recipes that encourage techniques such as braising, sauté, baking, and even sous vide. Yet one of the most popular methods of health promoters is juicing. The idea being that you can get all of the benefits of our dirt buddies without the complicated task of chewing! Sounds simple enough, but the real question is, does juicing improve the benefits of the mighty vegetable? Celery juicing fanatics would have you believe yes.

Celery, the perpetual friend of diet culture has reached new esteem with the recent juicing trend. Advocates believe this magic elixir can lower bad cholesterol, fight cancer, reduce migraines, control blood pressure, is good for the skin, helps with kidney stones, and aids in digestion. Who knew you had a health goldmine wilting in the back of your fridge! As any good food detective worth their salt or salt substitute, you are probably wondering why we didn’t know about these benefits sooner. The answer lies firmly in this juice’s strongest advocate Anthony William the self-proclaimed medical medium who has written multiple books and boasts a strong following on social media for his green juice knowledge. He believes that the miracle power of celery juice can only be achieved if the juice is fresh, taken on an empty stomach and not diluted with any other juices (so no beets, apples, ginger, or other flavor masking foods). Now if you are one who requires cold hard facts, you will be hard pressed to find any beyond the testimonials of its advocates. Now before you go anointing celery juice as the miracle food of the decade, here are a few things to consider.

Juicing removes fiber

Juicing is simply put, the separating the liquid part of a fruit or vegetable from the solid part of a food. Many self-proclaimed health and nutrition professionals claim that juicing most fruits and vegetables, not just celery, has a greater benefit to your health than eating the food. You may be able to get a greater number of some vitamins that are in the liquid part of the fruit or vegetable, however you miss out on the beneficial fiber and any vitamins and nutrients that are held with the solid portion. This can also increase the concentration of carbohydrates, making the juice higher in calories per serving than its whole food counter-part. Fiber alone has been shown to improve gut health, lowering cholesterol, lower blood pressure, and improve blood sugar control.

Cost

It’s always important to weigh the cost of a health food to the benefits you receive. Buying pre-made celery juice can get pretty pricey, ranging from $8.00-$10.00 for 8 oz of beverage depending on freshness. If the recommended amount is two of these per day every day, you can see where the costs can add up quickly! Juicing at home may be one way to save some money over the long run.

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