If there’s one thing we’ve learned from the wellness industry, it’s that nothing’s permanent in this world — at least when it comes to diet fads that pop out of nowhere, some of which are popularized by famous celebrities and non-health experts.
This year, one specific trend has taken over our social media feeds, with hordes of people claiming that it worked wonders for their bodies.
We’re talking about the celery juice craze that has captivated the masses, replacing last year’s kale juice movement – but almost four times more popular, according to statistics.
You must have seen the #celeryjuicechallenge on Instagram and wanted to prove to your followers that you too can finish strong.
For months we’ve heard miracle stories from women who effortlessly lost weight with this alleged health elixir, or improved their metabolism and overall skin texture.
Reading about these benefits can tempt anyone to jump on this wellness bandwagon – but not so soon, my friend. You may have heard the adage that the grass is greener on the other side.
Well, in the case of celery juice, we mean this quite literally. How good is this bright green concoction for your health? It’s time to put on our detective hats and investigate a little.
Who Started the Hype?
The celery juice trend that’s sweeping the internet today sounds promising, to say the least. There are countless reviews from proponents claiming that drinking this solution daily has helped them ward off illnesses.
Green juices have been known for some time already, however, it is now celery’s turn to get the spotlight, thanks to Anthony William, a New York Times-best-selling author, who popularized the celery juice challenge, wherein participants must drink the neon green beverage for a week to see its miraculous benefits.
Williams is not exactly a health expert per se, in the true sense of the word. He is neither a doctor nor a medical practitioner, but has been sharing the word about celery juice for two decades now and interestingly, he has gained quite a number of believers for this wellness trend.
The man is a self-proclaimed “medical medium” who allegedly possesses a very special power that allows him to communicate with the Spirit of Compassion and find medical solutions that are way ahead of our time.
He has written four books and has a number of high profile fans including the Goop founder Gwyneth Paltrow and singer Pharrell Williams.
History of Celery Juice
You’ve heard of celery, right? It isn’t exactly a newly discovered vegetable; in fact, University of California’s plant geneticist Carlos Quiros said that the remains of an arcology in Switzerland show that the celery seeds were first dispersed back in 4,000 BC. The plant is also used in ancient Egyptian, Roman, and Chinese medicine to ease hangovers.
We can’t forget Cel-Ray, a tasty celery-flavored soda created by Dr. Brown in 1868 which is best paired with sandwiches. Marianna Santora, whose family owned the J & R Bottling company, said the drink was known to ease restless stomach.
According to William, to get the maximum benefits of the wonder tonic, gulp on a 16-ounce glass of juiced celery on empty stomach every morning at least 30 minutes before breakfast.
There should be nothing added to the liquid, not even ice. William claims that it helps address a myriad of stomach problems like bloating, constipation, digestion issues, and acid reflux.
He also noted that it could also be a cure for a number of illnesses including urinary tract infection, Lyme disease, sinus problems, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Meanwhile, there are others who go as far as saying that the drink may be a “cure-all,” for diseases such as colitis, inflammation, high blood pressure, liver problems, high cholesterol, and even mental illness.
Is the Trend Worth Trying?
Dietician and “2 Day Diabetes Diet” author Erin Palinski-Wade explained that there is plenty of research that supports the claim that celery could help combat oxidative stress and reduce blood pressure and inflammation.
But, to say that the tonic can address serious health issues like the Epstein-Barr virus is a little far-fetched. The expert believes that these claims are not backed by any scientific research and are simply based on personal experiences.
Chef Devin Alexander echoes the same sentiment and said that even though celery, juiced or whole, is healthy, there is simply not enough proof that it works better than other vegetables.
She also questioned those who claim that they lost weight or achieved clearer skin after swapping unhealthy foods with celery juice.
According to her, it’s quite likely that the benefits were prompted by eliminating the bad foods instead of the celery juice itself.
As for the lack of scientific research, William believes that it is because there’s an undiscovered cluster salt in the stalky plant that could kill pathogens, or infection-causing bacteria and virus inside the body.
However, for Dr. Jill Baron, it is still too early to say if celery is effective or not because it isn’t simply studied as much as other fruits and vegetables like avocados and blueberries that are also proven to be beneficial for our health.
While experts have varying opinions on celery juice, the British Skin Foundation said that drinking 16 ounces of the neon green tonic on an empty stomach could bring about wrinkles and pre-mature aging, and even worse, it could increase your chance of acquiring skin cancer.
It explained that the vegetable contains “psoralens,” which heightens your skin’s sensitivity to UVA sunlight.
The organization’s spokesperson, Emma Wedgeworth, said that UVA sunlight is best for reducing psoriasis inflammation, but it could also cause a reaction on the skin once you sit out under the sun.