Believe social-media hype and celery in a glass can nix everything from stressed skin to a bloated tum, via supporting the gut. Biohacker Dave Asprey (yep, he of bulletproof coffee fame) extolled its gastro benefits with American food-as-medicine guru Dr Oz, citing a 2009 study that found that antioxidant flavonoids in celery can improve digestion by inducing gastric relaxation (read: speeding up the natural movements your stomach makes as food moves through the gut). Dietitian Leanne Ward isn’t convinced. ‘There’s no evidence in humans linking celery juice consumption to improvements in gut healing,’ she explains. ‘If anything, it may worsen the effects of irritable bowel syndrome, as celery is high in FODMAPS [the group of compounds thought to contribute to IBS symptoms].’ But she’s not hating on the crunchy stems. ‘They’re packed with vitamins A, B, C and K and minerals such as potassium, calcium, folate and phosphorus,’ she adds. ‘They’re hydrating,
too – but they don’t need to be juiced to get these benefits.’
THE BOTTOM LINE
By all means, stick a stalk in your green blend. But keep in mind that, just as crunching celery sticks won’t make you lose weight (remember when that was a thing?), juicing won’t gift you a healthy microbiome. The latter outcome – as with the former – is the outcome of good habits (more fibre, veg and fermented foods; less sugar, booze and processed food),not some quick fix.