Is Celery Juice Worth The Hype?

You’ve definitely been there: scrolling through your Instagram feed, seeing more people than you can count talking (or posting) about celery juice. The green concoction has had quite the moment over the past two years, and there are no signs of the trend slowing down anytime soon. But why? 

There’s a lot of skepticism surrounding both the celery juice trend and juicing in general—and rightfully so. You might be asking yourself, is it worth it? Why should I even consider drinking this? Granted, if you don’t love celery, then it might be difficult for you to get on board with this from the start. Celery juice has been credited with helping everything from bloating to psoriasis, which is a lot for a first-time juicer to take in and trust. I bet you’re wondering whether any of this is true, what the benefits are, and if making this an addition to your lifestyle is actually worth it.

Well, don’t worry. I’m here to break it down for you from A to Z. Before sipping on a glass of celery juice, read this. 

Why Juice?

Consuming any kind of green juice—not just celery juice—is great for your overall health. If you feel like you’re struggling to get the right nutrients with your meals, then it’s time to consider regular juicing. Rather than replacing your go-to meals with a glass of green juice or celery juice, add juices to your regular meal plan instead. Greens are loaded with vitamins and minerals, and can only be beneficial to your diet. One of the biggest benefits gained from juicing is the ability to slow down the aging process by preventing free radical cell damage to the skin. For example, Vitamin A, found in kale and spinach, promotes healthy and glowing skin, hair, and nails.

I will add, though, that juicing your fruits and vegetables means that you’re losing out on some of the benefits you get from eating them. Fiber, for example, is not as strongly present in juices as it is in whole veggies. With that being said, juicing is a great way to add more fruits and vegetables to your diet, but that doesn’t mean it’s a replacement for eating them.  

Celery 101

What does this green liquid even do? The truth is, celery is loaded with a ton of benefits to begin with. These include digestion support, anti-inflammatory effects, a ton of antioxidants, and even hormone balance. If you’re looking to de-bloat, trying celery juice wouldn’t hurt. If you’re aware that you have a hormonal imbalance, I’d suggest trying it out and seeing how it affects you. 

One thing that people like to note is that celery contains the cancer-fighting chemical compound luteolin, but I wouldn’t call it a “miracle food” myself. A 2017 study found that luteolin has anti-tumor and anti-inflammatory properties. And a 2019 study found that luteolin also has anti-diabetic properties, working to maintain blood glucose levels and improve the sensitivity of our cells to insulin so that they’re encouraged to work properly. The thing is, though, that there’s not enough research to officially declare that celery has these healing effects. 

Making Your Juice

Since celery juice is only made with a single ingredient, it’s super easy for you to make at home. Making it at home rather than stocking up at your local juice bar is also a great way to save some cash. If you have a juicer at home, great—but you don’t need one to do this in the comfort of your own kitchen. A high-speed blender works just as well and will give you that refreshing, crisp taste everyone loves.

If you don’t shop organic, you absolutely must wash your celery before juicing it, because it’s one of the vegetables with the highest amount of pesticides if non-organic. When making your juice, throw in an entire celery bunch (with the stalks included) to get the most benefits out of it. You’ll just need to strain it afterward (a nut milk strainer bag works great) to remove the pulp.

To wrap this all up, I’ll say that I think any green veggie juice is amazing. You can’t go wrong with it. But do I think it solves everything when it comes to health? Not really. It actually seems unlikely at all, to be 100 percent honest!

We don’t want to get carried away. We should be eating these foods regularly to have a balance of all nutrients in our diets, but juice is just an added boost that won’t hurt us. If you do decide to take on juicing, but have a poor diet and aren’t active, then it’s not going to do as much as you hope. Your overall lifestyle and nutrition habits will always be the number one thing to affect your health, and you’ll have to put in the work to see the results.

Image: Sophie Mikat / Unsplash

The Weirdest Food Trends That Are Going To Be Big In 2020

Another year, another bout of really f*cking stupid food trends on the horizon. Lest we forget the year that cauliflower took over the world in the form of rice, pizza, mashed potatoes, and any other carb that brought us joy. Do you remember when we convinced ourselves that milkshakes with towers of desserts balanced precariously on the rim were a good idea? How about that horrible year that everyone was “eating for the Insta”? How about we eat to like, maintain consciousness? Call me old-fashioned, guys. But much as 2020 has managed to fit a dumpster fire of a year in only 9 days, some of the food trends coming our way aren’t going to be that great, either. But others I can’t wait for. You win some, you lose some. After perusing what experts across the internet have to say about it, here are the top 2020 food trends we expect to see f*cking everywhere this year. God save us all.

1. Mocktails And “Soft” Alcohol

Apparently, 2020 will see the rise of mocktails as less something to make fun of and more something that your bestie orders at the bar without trying to be funny or ironic. I guess the good news is that your pregnant friend can still feel like she’s having fun, which means she has one less excuse to bail on girls’ night. The bad news is, from my experience, those bougie juices are gonna run you close to the price of a cocktail anyway. According to Today, “Non-alcoholic bars are popping up all across the country and zero-proof concoctions with delicious juice and tea blends may become just as popular as a glass of wine when it comes to unwinding after work.” Hmm. I’m not sure if a hibiscus kombucha tea-tail will be able to take the edge off a day of meetings and marathon conference calls quite like a gin and tonic, but here’s to trying.

2. Nashville Hot Chicken

I have to hand it to the South: when it comes to comfort food, they know what the f*ck is up. It looks like Nashville Hot Chicken, a southern staple, is going mainstream in 2020, giving me the excuse I didn’t need to eat fried chicken every day from now on. For a dish that was literally born out of rage and spite, the addition of this hot chicken to the KFC menu last year predicts big things for 2020. Fried chicken coated in either pepper oil or crusted with spices then dunked in more hot sauce sounds like a phenomenal way for me to blow out all my hangovers this year.

3. Harissa Everything

Remember the year of Sriracha? It was on pizza, in your pasta, in desserts, and played a starring role in one of my nightmares that I’m still working through in therapy. This year, expect the same fervor around harissa, a spice paste originally hailing from Africa. Named a food trend by TIME in 2015, harissa actually died off a bit between then and now, but is expected to make a comeback. Uber Eats is reporting that orders for dishes containing the spice paste have been on a sharp upturn, so stay tuned for this condiment to end up in nearly everything this year.

4. Zero-Waste Food

Suck it, boomers. Although most of our parents’ generation was all about styrofoam and like, destroying the planet, millennials are clearly here to save the day with zero-waste food taking a firm grip in our collective food culture in 2o20. According to Insider, “Composting and avoiding purchasing foods with excess or wasteful packaging are all ways that home cooks and restaurant chefs will be incorporating the zero-waste trend into the kitchen in 2020.” I’m personally curious how this is going to affect my addiction to GrubHub, PostMates, and Uber Eats, all of which require restaurants to have a lot of to-go packaging (some of which is less green than others).

5. Veganism And Plant-Based Meat

Good news: Vegans will have even more of a reason to share their lifestyle choices with you in 2020, thanks to the huge push toward alternative, lab-grown, and plant-based “meats”. If you can get a fast food behemoth like Burger King to sell a burger made of plants (and a lot of unpronounceable ingredients), you’re well on the way to getting “regular” Americans (see: rednecks) to try something other than deep-fried cow. Spoiler alert: I’m betting there will be a HUGE pushback once people realize the amount of chemicals that are used to make plant-based meats.

6. Healthy Comfort Foods

You know what I want? HEALTHY mac and cheese. Good-for-me fried chicken. Pizza that boosts my energy and gives me clear skin. That sentence started out sarcastic, but now it doesn’t sound so horrible. Apparently, 2020 will see the emergence of comfort foods created to be, like, better for us. That means that the decadent, cheesy, greasy goodness you normally associate with self-soothing, sweatpants, and binge-watch sessions could be getting makeovers with vegan meats, alternative butters, and sauces created from (gag) squash and veggies. These are truly the end times.

7. Ube

If you enjoy desserts and colors that just barely occur in nature, boy, is this the trend for you! If you aren’t familiar, ube is a purple yam used mainly in Filipino cooking and desserts. And with stay at home moms regular people searching the interwebs more than ever for Filipino desserts (see: those tired of the usual Oreo cheesecakes for Jan’s monthly neighborhood get-together), expect to see this weird sh*t everywhere by summer.

8. Alternative Butters And Spreads

According to Whole Foods, the evil empire that allows me to spend my entire paycheck while patting myself on the back for what a great localvore I am: “Think seed butters beyond tahini—like watermelon seed butter—and seasonal products like pumpkin butter year-round. Nut butters beyond cashew, almond, and peanut (hello, macadamia) and even chickpea butters (no, it’s not a new name for hummus).”

Watermelon seed butter? I gotta hand it to some of these hipsters companies for making use of literal trash and attempting to turn it into something trendy. Hot tip, restaurants: swap that avocado toast for watermelon seed toast and charge $25. Brunch just got a lot bougier. And, probably, grosser. Change my mind!

I’m sure there will be stupider trends than these, and I for one can’t wait to see them takeover our Instagram feeds, one influencer at a time. In the meantime, I’ll be chowing down on hot chicken and watermelon seed spread, waiting for the rest of the world to catch on.

Images: Anna Pelzer, Unsplash; Blake Guidry, Unsplash; Fey Marin, Unsplash; Christoper Williams, Unsplash; Sharon McCutcheon, Unsplash; Megumi Nachev, Unsplash; Giphy (3)