Celery (Apium graveolens), is a widely known plant, part of the Apiaceae family of plants, which is edible by human beings and other live beings (1). Celery is mainly known for a wide variety of healing properties such as its considerable polyphenolic content (which translates to anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, reduction in blood pressure, among many others [1-4).
Nowadays, it is out of discussion that overweight, obesity, diabetes mellitus and metabolic syndrome, make up most of the global chronic disease prevalence; around 422 million people worldwide have diabetes and 1.9 billion adults were either overweight or obese (6-7).
Celery juice and weight loss
Drinking celery juice may be a great way to help you lose weight (6). Drinking high volumes of water and celery juice on an empty stomach may be a great way of reducing hunger since a mechanical expanding of the stomach muscular walls occurs which leads to neurochemical responses involving neurotransmitters and hormones such as ghrelin, glucagon-like peptide (GLP) and gastric inhibitory polypeptide (GIP) which are associated with reducing hunger and thus improving health components which are associated with very high consumption of calories (6).
On the other hand, celery juice on an empty stomach can also help to reduce weight by chelating other food molecules (such as fatty acids, simple carbohydrates, starches, etc.), forming chemical bonds and physical reactions which are unbreakable by intestinal enzymes. This will lead to reduced intestinal absorption of dietary calories, reducing caloric intake indirectly and contributing to weight loss (9).
Polyphenolic benefits of drinking celery juice
Other benefits of celery juice are also a result of its polyphenolic and flavonoid content, containing about 14 mg/100ml of celery (8,10). Polyphenols and/or flavonoids are widely known as “nutraceuticals”, which are secondary chemical compounds found in plant foods with biological activity which aid in further benefits aside from the regular nourishing properties of macro- and micronutrients contained in foods (3). The French paradox was the foundation for the early research on phytochemicals, when the very low cardiovascular mortality was observed in this population whose dietary habits consisted mainly on foods that made up the Mediterranean diet, despite the very high saturated fat intake (3). All of these secondary metabolites have phenol chemical functional groups containing difference benzene or pyrene rings in its chemical structure (3). Subtypes of other polyphenols include flavonoids, flavanones, catechins, anthocyanins, proanthocyanins and flavones (3). Main polyphenols found in celery juice include flavones such as apigenin and luteolin; flavonols such as myricetin, isorhamnetin, kaempferol; selinenes such as α-Selinene, β-Selinene, γ-Selinene and δ-Selinene; limonenes and furanocoumarins such as psoralen, bergapten, xanthotoxin, isopimpinellin, trioxsalen and angelicin (3, 4, 8, 10). The flavones apigenin and luteolin are responsible for the anticarcinogenic effects of celery (3-4, 10). The flavonols quercetin, kaempferol, myricetin and isorhamnetin are responsible for the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory events (3, 4, 10). Another chemical substance found in celery and celery juice is 3-N-Butylphthalide; it has been suggested that this compound may exert neuroprotective properties, as shown in clinical trials (11).
Limonene and apigenin, have been shown to reduce blood pressure through a higher expression of the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 in kidney and as a result of their antioxidant abilities (1).
Type II Diabetes mellitus may improve with celery juice consumption
Benefits regarding the consumption of celery juice in the regulation of hyperglycaemia and T2DM, have also been documented (1). The flavone luteolin, (part of the polyphenol total content of celery juice), has been shown to reduce cytokine release in vitro (1). T2DM is mainly characterised for a massive production of cytokines which compromise and blunt the ability of cells to respond normally to insulin, thus reduction in the production of cytokines could lead to better regulation of glycaemia in subjects with T2DM (1). Luteolin has also been shown to activate the PPAR pathway, which is the main pathway compromised in T2DM (1). The other flavone apigenin has been shown to exert hypoglycaemic effects by a reduction in the synthesis of certain enzymes which regulate glucose metabolism; decrease in hepatic glucose-6-phosphatase was observed in some preclinical studies, which translates to a reduction in the quantity of phosphorylated glucose, further resulting in a dead-end pathway of glucose (glucose stays inside the hepatocyte instead of it being released to the bloodstream) (1).
The role of celery polyphenols on lipid metabolism
Apigenin has been shown to improve, not only the metabolism of simple sugars but also of lipids (1). Enhanced fatty acid oxidation in the liver has been observed in hepatocytes, which results in a reduction of lipaemia and reduces the consequences of metabolic syndrome (1). Augmented levels of the coenzyme NAD+ have been observed as well, which in the end, result in increased availability to accept electrons and oxidise fatty acids (1).
Apigenin has been shown to reduce damaged lipids by increasing its antioxidant activity, further maintaining an equilibrium into the production and neutralisation of carcinogenic compounds (free radicals) (1).
Celery juice is an excellent addition to your diet. As you can see, only a few fruit and/or vegetable juices confer so many benefits as celery juice does.
A little change in your morning routine may lead the path for big metabolic changes and positive improvements for your life.
Hedayati N, Bemani Naeini M, Mohammadinejad A, Mohajeri S. Beneficial effects of celery (Apium graveolens ) on metabolic syndrome: A review of the existing evidences. Phytotherapy Research. 2019;33(12):3040-3053.
FoodData Central Search Results – CELERY [Internet]. U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agricultural Research Service. 2020 [cited 2019]. Available from: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/447185/nutrients
Ross C. Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease. 11th ed. Philadelphia:Wolters Kluwer, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. In: Polyphenols and Flavonoids; 2014: 502.
Kooti W, Daraei N. A Review of the Antioxidant Activity of Celery (Apium graveolens L). Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary & Alternative Medicine. 2017;22(4):1029-1034.
Guide to Soluble and Insoluble Fiber [Internet]. WebMD. 2020 [cited 13 August 2020]. Available from: https://www.webmd.com/diet/features/insoluble-soluble-fiber.
Diabetes [Internet]. Who.int. [cited 13 August 2020]. Available from: https://www.who.int/health-topics/diabetes#tab=tab_1
Obesity and overweight [Internet]. Who.int. 2020 [cited 13 August 2020]. Available from: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/obesity-and-overweight.
Showing report on Vegetables – Phenol-Explorer [Internet]. Phenol-explorer.eu. [cited 13 August 2020]. Available from: http://phenol-explorer.eu/reports/40.
Frølich W. Chelating Properties of Dietary Fiber and Phytate. The Role for Mineral Availability. Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology. 1990;83-93.
Sowbhagya H. Chemistry, Technology, and Nutraceutical Functions of Celery (Apium graveolensL.): An Overview. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition. 2013;54(3):389-398.
Abdoulaye I, Guo Y. A Review of Recent Advances in Neuroprotective Potential of 3-N-Butylphthalide and Its Derivatives. BioMed Research International. 2016;2016:1-9.
William A. Medical Medium Celery Juice Movement [Internet]. https://www.medicalmedium.com/medical-medium-celery-juice-movement.