Celery Juice seems to be hitting the tabloids and the social media scene with all sorts of soft hits. Is it any good some folks cry? Is it a pointless fad or the reason why celebrities keep themselves so young and pure. Bound to be some myth in it somewhere but there is also some science behind it too. Time to start exploring.
Celery is one of the members of the carrot family and actually as a vegetable it is extremely good to eat. It’s also the basis behind sofrittos which are used in risottos so it has some culinary pedigree. The plant and the seeds are also great sources of vitamins and minerals as well as various antioxidants. That in itself makes it something worth having on the dining plate when we eye up a quick and healthy salad.
When it comes to celery juice the hype might be too much though. You also have to remember that celery seed is an allergen.
The Nutrition In Celery
Celery is a good scource of vitamin K as well as other vitamins such as vitamin A, vitamin B2, vitamin B6 and vitamin C. It also has plenty of minerals too like manganese and potassium. There are many other nutrients such as folate and pantothenic acid to think about so we can see that it has plenty to offer. We are also reminded by the nutritionists that it contains phytonutrients. These have very potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. All in all a good start all round for the plant and for the juice.
Incidentally, celery has few calories and no sugar to speak of.
Health Benefits Of Celery
There is very little clinical evidence to support anybody’s assertions that drinking celery juice makes vast difference to your health. We mentioned antioxidants and two in particular such as luteolin and apigenin have been examined individually beause they appear to reduce inflammation to some extent and so would be of benefit in ameliorating inflammatory diseases. They are not however medicines !
Asthma & Rhinitis
Typical inflammatory conditions that might benefit are allergic asthma and rhinitis.
A 2017 study found luteolin could reduce inflmmation and lower the allergic response in mice. In this animal study the mice were given luteolin about 30 minutes before they were exposed to an allergen. The luteolin significantly reduced their levels of inflammation in the lungs and their nasal passages.
There is no evidence yet of a benefit in humans which is the next critical step.
Another animal study revealed that luteolin might stop the growth of particular types of cancer cells in rodents (Tuorkey, 2015). There is plenty of interest in the compound and it is found in a variety of other vegetables as well as chrysanthemum leaves for example.
Some scientists believe that luteolin might stop cancer cells from moving around the body to invade other tissues and organs which is the process of metastasizing. It is thought to do this by preventing blood cells growing around the existing tumours.
A condition called cardiovascular remodeling (CR) occurs in people where the shape, size, structure, and function of the heart, alters because of heart disease and alterations as a result of chronic hypertension (high blood pressure).
The result of CR is to makes compensatory changes to the heart that allows a damaged or heart under pressure to move blood around the body.
In time CR reduces the efficiency of the heart so much that there is risk of heart failure.
A rat study showed that when luteolin was administered, they showed less CR than those rate who did not receive the supplement (Nakayama et al., 2015). It is thought that the antioxidant properties of this molecule can mop up free radicals which reduces their negative impact on the heart and reduce levels of cardiovascular damage.
Nakayama A, Morita H, Nakao T, Yamaguchi T, Sumida T, Ikeda Y, et al. (2015) A Food-Derived Flavonoid Luteolin Protects against Angiotensin II-Induced Cardiac Remodeling. PLoS ONE 10(9): e0137106. (Article)
Tuorkey, M. J. (2016). Molecular targets of luteolin in cancer. European journal of cancer prevention : the official journal of the European Cancer Prevention Organisation (ECP), 25(1), 65–76. (Article)