Celery Juice is NOT a miracle drink
Ooops I did it AGAIN! I am taking on another fad or misinformed celeb and hitting it with the hard stuff….yep science. As you guys know with my food-as-medicine focus I am all about starting with whole real foods, limiting or removing those that are proinflammatory and aiming for an abundance of those that provide health supporting compounds such as antioxidants, minerals, and bioavailable vitamins. I have had so many people ask me about celery juice over this past year and really thought the trend would die down but yesterday when a client of mine who is a physician asked me about it and told me she had migraines when off it, I felt I needed to really get in there and share with you all some of the concerning mechanisms of action based on the concentration of compounds in celery juice. Beach babes, take note, celery juice is not your friend!
How could a vegetable juice help someone with migraines and have them noticing the increased headaches when off? Well, when you consume something with furanocoumarins you may get the “grapefruit juice effect” where cytochrome p450 enzymes in liver (those primarily involved in processing of drugs) are impacted by either slowing down or increasing the metabolism of medications. Beyond medications, this enzyme plays a role in phase 1 of detox, the activation of toxins in the body. As I have mentioned in various podcasts and in my 10-day Real Food Detox program, when someone has an increase of phase 1 activity but inadequate phase 2 activity, they are prone towards more free radical damage as the body is over-activating but not able to keep up with the excretion pathways to support removal of toxins.
So for some people that have increased phase 1 activity but are metabolically hindered with phase 2 enzyme function, they may see improvements when drinking celery juice as they are making less free radicals by slowing activation which again when not paired with excretion supportive nutrients creates inflammation and oxidative damage; however this creates a build up of toxins in the body and is not beneficial. Essentially when consuming concentrated amounts of compounds that block cytochrome p450 enzymes you are creating a dam which may make someone feel dependent on celery juice or see a flare when stopping.
Rather than following some soft dietary fad, when using food-as-medicine and really looking for a detox boost, you are better off consuming foods rich in sulfur, glycine, glutathione, cysteine, and nutrients that drive phase 2 encapsulation with ample fiber in the diet (yep celery juice is free of all these things) to support the excretion of toxins from your body to actually detox vs. prevent detox process for short-term outcomes.
The psoralen in celery is reduced when cooking so the UV damage risk is truly from concentration in juiced celery. For both of these reasons you will not see me consuming celery juice, regardless of the impact on pH of the gut or potential influence on the microbiome, there are plenty of alternates and go-to foods such as lemon, Braggs Apple Cider vinegar, coconut oil, garlic, oregano, and more that I discuss in my Beat the Bloat dysbiosis cleanse! Now with that said I am not celery phobic, I totally include it in my bone broth as a beneficial contributor to flavor and nutrients and may even occasionally put it in a stir-fry or chop it up into a tuna salad for a contributor of salt and pectin fibers, but I will not be consuming it in a concentrated form juiced as I practice food-as-medicine that is grounded in nature and supported by scientific evidence based practice.
If you are interested in detox and how to support BOTH phase 1 and phase 2 activity, I’d highly recommend my 10-day Real Food Detox program that you can purchase as a virtual class which includes ebook of protocol or you can just start with the ebook to dig into the mechanisms of detox and what nutrients are required. When doing a detox you need to consume an abundance of nutrients that drive the biochemical processes, these are included in my formulated Reset, Restore, Renew Detox packs which are used successfully in my clinic and I have received wonderful testimonials from those that are shifting from weight loss stalls, autoimmune flares, fatigue, inflammation and more!
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