Celery is consumed widely in many parts. Multiple parts of this leafy vegetable are being put to use, namely its seeds, leaves, etc. Its seeds are powdered to make a salt, which is mainly used as a seasoning agent. Celery juice is gaining added popularity in very recent times. Its juice owes its widespread acceptance to food bloggers and writers. A few prominent bloggers and writers have claimed that celery juice contains detoxing properties in it; this fact is however not scientifically evidenced as yet. It is however known to possess antioxidants (especially, phenolic acid) and a few other antitoxic substances. Celery juice may also give rise to a few allergies and side effects. Of the various parts of this leafy vegetable, its seeds and roots are known to have the highest concentration of allergy triggering substances (i.e., items called as allergens). A few of these allergens may not be destroyed even while the vegetable is cooked or its stalks are juiced.
Celery is considered to originate from the Mediterranean region, and was used as herbal medicine for a very long time. The raw form of this herb is consumed mainly by people keeping a close watch on their bodyweight or those trying to shed excessive weight. The juice contains a wide range of nutrients. A standard serving of 250 milliliter (ml) of this juice has vitamin K (nearly 3/4th of your daily requirement), vitamin C (more than 15% of the daily need) and potassium (~ 15% of daily requirement). Such a serving also has vitamin A, magnesium, calcium, sodium and phosphorous – each of them ranging from 7% to 9% of daily intake value. Recent dietary studies have also identified the presence of rare nutrients like copper, biotin, zinc and folate in its juice. Celery juice is also known for the abundant presence of antioxidants in it.
Celery juice is consumed for its ability to keep your body well-hydrated; staying hydrated is the best way to ensure brain health, easy elimination of waste from your body, improved renal function as well as maintenance of optimal body-temperature and blood-pressure levels. Each standard serving of celery juice has less than 6 grams of sugar in it. This property makes it a preferred drink as compared to fizzy drinks like colas or other sugar-filled variants.
Intake of celery juice
It is way too easy to prepare celery juice in your home. All you need is a juicer and a few stalks of this vegetable. Ensure to wash the stalks well and get your juicer to extract the juice. Those who do not have juicers need not worry. Mince a few stalks and blend them. Once they are fully smoothened, use a cloth mesh or a strainer to filter the juice from this blend. You can consider adding lemon or ginger extracts to add a finer taste to this juice. Celery juice sold in groceries may contain some added sweeteners or sugars. A few manufacturers may also add flavoring agents to enhance its taste.
A typical celery juice-based diet involves drinking nearly 480 ml (i.e., 16-ounces) of it on an empty-stomach in the morning. Thereafter, you may consume a normal diet during the day. A few people may practice this diet for a very long time, while some people take it only for a shorter span of say, a week or ten days. Cleansing properties of celery juice may also be attributed to lesser intake of processed food products or adhering to a strict workout regime. You are advised to stay conscious of a marked reduction in your bodyweight or a persistent spell of hunger. These may eventually lead to an acute insufficiency of essential nutrients. A few clinical studies have evidenced a strong link between cleansing functions of juices (such as celery juice) and a reduction in appetite.
Side effects of celery juice
Celery juice – no doubt – is endowed with a world of goodness. However, it can also trigger a few adverse side effects. Commonly experienced side effects include abdominal discomforts such as nausea, bloating, flatulence as well as headaches and skin conditions such as acne (cystic genre of acne). Intake of celery juice may also result in decrease of blood pressure levels.
Cystic form of acne is an acute skin condition wherein your skin-pores get blocked; this blockage often leads to swelling caused by infections. In some cases, people have turned extremely sensitive to sunlight. Celery juice has organic substances called oxalates; these often join together with calcium. If you already have conditions like formation of kidney stones, the above process can result in increasing the number of stones.
A major side effect of celery juice is – it can lead to an increase in sodium level. This is because of a high concentration of sodium; a standard serving has more than 214 milligrams (mg) of sodium. You need to remember that the maximum permissible level of sodium is 2,290 mg per day. As celery juice-based diet necessitates an intake of more amounts of the juice, your body may experience an abundant supply of this mineral. If you are having a salt-conscious diet with restrictions on the quantum of intake, you are advised to be very cautious.
Another important adverse effect is the decrease in quantum of fiber. This is mainly because of the removal of celery stalks from its juice. The major role of fiber is to give you a feeling of fullness; this is needed to avoid staying hungry for long. The downside of celery juice-based diet is – you may have a persistent feeling of not having eaten enough. Fiber is also essential for the health of the intestinal system, reduction of blood cholesterol level, control of body weight as well as its maintenance. Fiber is also an essential item that helps maintain a proper balance of your blood sugar levels. In order to avoid hunger or absence of fiber in diet, your dietitian will advise you to take celery stalk along with its juice.
Other side effects of celery juice
Celery – beyond any doubt – is a powerhouse of multiple minerals, antioxidants and phytochemical substances. When you take celery juice, you are using a lot of celery to get a serving of this leafy vegetable. As a result, your body gets a lot of these chemicals. But, there are no established studies or research on how much of these chemicals is good for your system. There is no scientific evidence on the side effects of an excessive intake of phytochemical substances present in celery juice. As a note of caution, celery juice can influence the elimination of lithium from your body. Hence, you may experience a marked increase in lithium levels. Those who take lithium need to talk to their treating doctor prior to starting a diet based on celery juice.
Interactions with blood thinners
Vitamin K present in celery makes it to work adversely with blood thinning medicines. If you are taking blood thinning drugs such as warfarin, you need to consult your treating physician before starting to consume celery juice. You may also need to note that celery has a high level of residue of pesticides. The environmental working group (popularly called as EWG) suggests intake of organically grown as well as sourced celery to minimize risks associated with harmful residues of chemicals or pesticides.
Interactions with other medicines
Intake of celery juice can alter the functioning of anti-anxiety drugs as well as medicines taken to treat high levels of blood cholesterol or triglycerides. Also, if you are taking drugs to treat a thyroid related condition, you need to exert an added level of caution before drinking celery juice. As the juice may alter the functions of the thyroid gland, it can have an impact on drugs taken to boost the hormone. It is hence a good practice to talk to your treating doctor about the drugs you already take prior to consuming this juice.
Allergies and hypersensitivity
Celery juice can cause a few allergies in some people. It is important to share details about all known allergies or hypersensitivity. You may develop skin conditions like hives, inflammation (dermatitis) or rashes. People who take celery juice are also likely to witness detox related signs; these include loosening of stools, gas formation or bloating. Gases are formed because of the release of hydrogen and carbon dioxide. Release of such gases is more likely with the intake of pulp along with celery juice. When its pulp is metabolised, the fermentation process leads to an accumulation of gases, thereby causing other side effects (such as bloating, flatulence, etc.).
In the early months or the first trimester of pregnancy, celery juice can do wonders to bowel movement. It is a godsend for difficulties experienced while passing stools (constipation) among pregnant women. However, intake of celery juice at the later stages of pregnancy can lead to miscarriage. Women may develop breakage of uterine walls if the juice is taken in larger quantities. Women who are nursing a baby are also advised to stay away from the intake celery or celery juice. It is believed to decrease the quantum of breastmilk. Also, it can lead to excessive internal bleeding.
Surgical interventions and intake of celery juice
You need to inform your surgeon or dentist about intake of celery juice prior to a surgical or dental intervention. As it can influence the functioning of your nervous system, co-administration with anesthetic drugs can seriously impair the health of your nerves. In general, you need to be more careful if you are taking drugs like phenobarbital, lorazepam or sedatives. It is also important to stop taking the juice at least 3 weeks prior to your date of surgery or dental interventions.
In general, eating celery or drinking celery juice may not cause any major side effects. But, if you are experiencing discomforts such as nausea, decrease in blood pressure, mood shifts, respiratory disorders or skin related problems, you are advised to seek medical attention immediately. Those who live on a salt-free or salt-controlled diet need to be additionally cautious before starting to drink celery juice. People living in US need to promptly reach out to a local poison control center or call 911 if you develop symptoms of high sodium levels. If you are living in Canada, it is recommended to contact Health Canada or get in touch with a poison control center in your province. The abovementioned side effects however do not represent a complete list of reactions or side effects. Hence, if you witness new signs or symptoms soon after taking celery juice, it is strongly recommended to contact the helpline numbers of food and drug administration (FDA) in the US.