It is said to inhibit inflammation, purify the intestines, cleanse the skin and more: the hype about celery juice knows no bounds. It would hardly be surprising if it were soon to be said that it can make the blind see. But what is true about the alleged miracle effect?
Together with the nutritionist Dr. med. Matthias Riedl we took a closer look at the green drink. Dr. med. Riedl is a specialist in internal medicine, diabetology and nutritional medicine at medicum Hamburg, Europe’s largest centre for diabetes and nutritional medicine, and is the author of several books, e.g. on appropriate nutrition.
Where does the hype about celery juice come from?
If you enter the hashtag #celeryjuice on Instagram, you will find thousands of promising before-and-after photos that show a magical effect of celery juice. Many people with skin problems swear by the green juice. Supposedly you only have to take the miracle drink every morning and pimples and co. disappear. Sounds almost too good to be true? It kind of is. Then where does this belief come from?
The hype was started by Anthony William, a spiritual guru from America. In his opinion, celery juice should not only have a legendary anti-inflammatory effect, but should even be able to cure metabolic diseases and cancer. What is true about these claims?
Do the positive reports about celery juice and its magical effects mean that it really has miraculous effects? No. “In most cases, these are individual reports that are made public,” says our expert Riedl. But they are not representative and therefore not a benchmark.
Riedl: “People who are prepared to prepare a glass of fresh celery juice every morning usually eat a healthier diet and live more consciously than the average citizen. So the positive effect is not only due to celery juice.” Factors such as a healthy lifestyle with lots of sport, good nutrition and little stress have a major influence here.
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In addition, more and more old and actually ‘uncool’ vegetables can be found in the supermarket, which are now being marketed hip to get them out of the organic corner. The concept works. “Even here in Hamburg there are more and more shops and large chains selling fresh detox juices. And at a proud price: 300 ml Detox Juice for around 5 euros – sounds like a good business model,” says Dr. med. Matthias Riedl.
Celery juice is above all one thing: a good marketing measure. © Rukxstockphoto / Shutterstock.com
How healthy is celery juice really?
With all due caution against the exaggerated Insta depictions, celery juice is quite healthy. With many valuable ingredients such as antioxidants, minerals and secondary plant compounds, celery has anti-inflammatory properties. So celery has a positive effect on your health – just not as extreme and ‘all-healing’ as it is currently praised everywhere.
In traditional Chinese medicine, pure celery juice has been used for thousands of years as a medicinal plant to treat diseases such as rheumatism and high blood pressure.
Which ingredients of celery are healthy?
Celery contains many important minerals that your body needs to maintain health. With its high water content, celery juice is perfect for hydration and also provides vitamin C, vitamin K and many antioxidants. Here are other possible positive effects:
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1. celery is easy on your stomach
Anti-inflammatory polyphenols, which belong to the secondary plant substances, help the body to neutralize excess stomach acid. “So of course it is not harmful to drink a glass of celery juice every now and then,” says Riedl. “However, in a generally healthy diet it is not absolutely necessary to resort to this juice. The important thing is what we eat the rest of the day.”
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2. celery juice has a draining effect
The combination of potassium and terpenes (flavours that give celery its taste and smell) make the juice an additional health booster. The formation of special enzymes that have a positive effect on your intestines is stimulated and harmful bacteria are expelled from your body. With 344 milligrams of potassium per 100 grams, celery is the forerunner among foods.
Celery juice is highly praised in the net. © Tatyana Aksenova / Shutterstock.com
A sufficient supply of potassium is particularly important for normal nerve and muscle function and supports the kidney in draining the body, which also has a positive effect on blood pressure.
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3. celery protects against stress
With 12 grams of magnesium per 100 grams, this tasty vegetable is a real protection against stress. In challenging and unpleasant situations, the mineral protects the nerves by reducing the release of adrenaline and cortisol. So they keep a clear head and can concentrate better.
4. celery provides a radiant complexion
The vitamin C in celery (7 milligrams per 100 grams) boosts collagen production, which can make your skin particularly radiant. Collagen is a protein that gives your skin elasticity, but also holds your bones together.
Furthermore, the antioxidants contained in celery protect your cells from environmental influences such as UV -radiation and pollutants such as cigarette smoke and car exhaust fumes. Nevertheless: The effect promised on social media cannot be achieved by celery alone. If you suffer from acne, you should rather make an appointment with a dermatologist than drink litres of celery juice.
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5. celery helps to prevent cancer
That’s a real plus: The US -American Cancer Research Institute National Cancer Institute (NCI ) has found that celery is one of the top 10 foods that best prevent cancer. However, long-term studies to find out more about this mechanism and how it works are still missing.
Do I have to drink the celery as juice?
Definitely not! “Drinking a lot is important, but water should still be the number one drink on the menu,” recommends Dr. Riedl. Instead of celery juice, you can use celery as an ingredient for a smoothie, for example.
“When making a smoothies, the fibre from the celery is retained by pureeing in the blender. For the intestine, this fibre is a very important nutritional component. On the one hand, they promote healthy digestion, allow the blood glucose level to rise more slowly and keep you full longer”, explains Dr. Riedl.
Celery also fits into a green smoothie. © New Africa / Shutterstock.com
So if you want to include celery in your diet and do something good for your digestion, a celery smoothie is a better choice than celery juice. But celery is also suitable on its own, for example as a raw food snack. Dr. Riedl recommends celery with hummus as a dip.
Is celery juice healthier than other juices?
“In general, all vegetable juices are considered healthy. In contrast to fruit juices, they contain only a very low fruit sugar content. Caution is required, for example, with juices made from fruit and vegetables. For example, mixtures such as kale apple or beetroot and pear juice often contain a higher proportion of fruit juice than vegetables,” warns the expert.
In general, it is better to eat the fresh vegetables, for example in a salad or a vegetable pan, rather than to consume only the juice made from them.
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The tastiest recipes with celery
Did you get the urge to eat celery, but not in juice? Let’s do it. We’ve put together some of the most delicious recipes for you:
Celery salad with walnuts and apple
This salad is bursting with healthy ingredients. But best of all: It tastes wonderfully fresh and crisp and pleasantly different from other salads. Perfect for a little variety.
You can also use celery for salad. © A. Zhuravleva / Shutterstock.com
Ingredients (for 4 people):
- 1 bunch of celery stalks
- 1 small bunch
- 1 medium-sized green apple
- 1 bunch of flat parsley
- 50 g walnuts
- 4 EL Rapeseed oil
- 4 EL White Balasamico/Apple Balsamico
- 1 pinch of salt
- 1 pinch of pepper
- Clean the celery and cut into fine strips. Peel the apple and cut it into small cubes. Then peel and finely chop the onion.
- Mix the rapeseed oil and the balsamic vinegar with salt and pepper to a vinaigrette.
- Roughly chop the walnuts and then mix all the ingredients together.
- Leave the salad to stand for 30 minutes and garnish with other nuts or dried fruit as desired.
Recipe for celery-potato puree
This puree is ideal as a side dish for meat, fish and vegetables. Due to the celery, the mashed potatoes contain more fibre and less carbohydrates.
Delicious alternative to juice: mashed potatoes with celery. © Superelaks / Shutterstock.com
Ingredients (for 4 people):
- 400 g potatoes (floury)
- 400 g celery
- 1 garlic clove
- 200 ml milk (0,3%)
- Half bunch curly parsley
- 1 pinch of salt
- 1 pinch of pepper
- 1 pinch of nutmeg (grated or canned)
- 3 EL Rapeseed oil
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1. peel and dice the celery, potatoes and garlic and let it simmer together with the milk for about 40 minutes
2. season with salt and pepper, pluck and chop the parsley leaves
3. pour off the water and let it evaporate at a mild heat in an open pot.
4. crush everything together with the hand mixer, season if necessary.
What remains of the celery hype?
Celery is a great vegetable that you should definitely include in your diet. With many valuable ingredients, green vegetables support a healthy lifestyle. And it doesn’t necessarily have to be celery juice – unlike juice, whole celery contains important fibres which have a positive effect on intestinal health and the feeling of satiety.
But the most important thing: “If you do not change your eating habits and continue to reach for salami baguettes, ham pizza, pasta & Co., the celery juice does not help you to stay or become healthy”, emphasises Dr. Riedl. “Therefore, it is recommended to pay attention to an overall package of healthy nutrition and exercise.
So you see: celery is healthy, but celery juice is no miracle cure! You can also take advantage of the benefits of green vegetables in other ways, for example through our tips and recipes.