It’s hardly the most exciting vegetable, but then again most of the things that are good for us tend not to be. In its stick form, it's a healthy source of fibre, vitamins C and K and potassium. However, when juiced, it’s worthy of Instagram superstar status. A search of #celeryjuice returns a whopping 68,000 posts, with its bright green colour making it perfect fodder for people’s feeds.
Looks aside though, it’s its list of purported health benefits that are largely responsible for its cult following. It's been dubbed a ‘miracle juice’ by Goop due to what they call its 'cluster salt' content, salts that reportedly aid the liver's detoxification process and reduce bloating. Some social media users and websites have attributed drinking a glass of the pure stuff on an empty stomach every morning with curing mental health issues, eczema, chronic illness and infertility and even slowing down cancer. Hmmm...the ‘C’ word automatically raises alarm bells.
It’s “pseudoscience,” says leading Harley Street nutritionist and author of Re-Nourish , Rhiannon Lambert, who addressed the claims in an Instagram post as part of her #MythbustingwithRhi series. Despite what your feed is telling you, there’s in fact very little solid evidence to substantiate any of these claims.
From a nutritional perspective, juicing does provide a way to consume far more celery (and therefore its vitamins) than you would by eating it. However, it's worth bearing in mind that you'd be losing out on its valuable fibre content. “Juicing celery (and any other vegetable) strips away the beneficial fibre that helps you feel full, improves intestinal health and feeds the healthy bacteria in your gut,” she says. This is especially relevant in light of new World Health Organisation findings, showing that eating high-fibre foods can reduce the risk of developing coronary heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and colorectal cancer by a significant 16 to 24 per cent. The review found that we should be eating at least 25g to 29g of fibre a day, with indications that over 30g is even better. However, most people in the world manage less than 20g, meaning more of us could probably benefit from upping our intake instead of reducing it.
As far as celery juice’s detoxing benefits go, she’s just as dubious. “The good news is that you've already got a detoxification system. It’s called the liver and no tea, juice or diet will do its job any better!” Her advice is to give your juicer a break and give your skin and health a boost from other sources instead. “If you really enjoy bitter stalks juiced, by all means go ahead and drink it, but if suffering unnecessarily isn't your thing, just drink plenty of water instead.” Considering that celery is 95 per cent water, that makes a lot of sense.
So, is celery juice the miracle cure that certain corners of the internet would have you believe? While there are vitamins and minerals to be gleaned, the answer's unfortunately no until there's further evidence to back up the claims.
For more #MythbustingwithRhi, follow Rhiannon on Instagram