What’s That Got To Do With The Price of. . . ?

Suddenly celery is the star of the produce aisle everywhere. In fact, some grocers have spotlights shining down on overly misted and perfectly stacked bunches of celery. And this display remains as is for days due to prices of $3.49 - $5.99 or more. Some glance at the price, then look at the thin stringy ribs on the sparse bunches and walk away. Without hesitation others blindly pick up two bunches, quickly stash them in the store-provided produce bag, and place them into their cart. Celery has always been there for us. It’s the crunchy, green leafy herb that flavors our salads, soups, stews, stir-fries and more. It was usually a fair price and a vegetable drawer staple. But what happened?

It seems back in December “The Celery Juice Challenge,” started by New York Times bestselling author Anthony William, challenged people to drink celery juice daily for a week. This challenge appeared online as well. Claims were made that this wonder juice could fight infections and disease. Epstein-Barr virus and diabetes were also named. You could also quickly lose 20 pounds or more, and have the energy of a teenager. Skin conditions would correct and you would be the picture of glowing good health, inside and out. Makes me wonder what type of diet these persons had
before “celery juicing.”

Sadly, there is no scientific evidence or research to back these claims; only reason to hype prices, grow inferior food and create shortages. The celery found in stores now is bitter and stringy due to lack of water when growing. All in an effort to get it to consumers fast while prices and demand are high, for juicing.

Because we’re human, we trust health claims, even if made by authors and unknown people posting reviews online. We all want to be healthy and if juicing celery once a day will lead to that, why not juice three times a day. More is better, right? The truth, backed by scientific evidence from many journals and published studies, proves that celery with its herbal and medicinal qualities can help with weight loss and blood sugar levels, help in maintaining healthy cholesterol and good gut bacteria and may reduce your risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. But it can’t cure disease or infections.

Celery contains Vitamins, A, C, K, folate, calcium, potassium, sodium, magnesium, phosphorus, electrolytes and water, as well as other smaller amounts of vitamins and minerals. Its flavonoids, and phytochemicals will boost your health. But eat celery whole; don’t juice it. Unless you just love the taste of celery juice, you will get more fiber benefit just eating it. Juicing pulls concentrated sugars and fiber from food. It isn’t healthy for blood sugar balance, sustaining energy or maintaining healthy weight. And as with some other fruits or vegetables, celery juice can lessen the effectiveness of some medicines.

Average Americans consume six pounds of celery each year. I think that number will decrease this year, as we wait for lower prices and this hyped-up misleading trend to burn out. So for now, think celery seed.

By Cheryl Balster