Is there anyone in America who's not on a diet right now? After indulging in holiday must-haves during the last two months, most of us are doing an about-face. Everyone seems to be trying to shed the pounds packed-on after eating things like Halloween candy, pecan pie, Christmas cookies, ham and cornbread.
Food manufacturers are well aware of the fact that consumers are now eager to try anything that promises weight loss with very little effort.
This year, the hot, new "miracle drink" is celery juice. It's trending on social media and featured in grocery stores and coffee shops. But does it work?
Health experts say it depends on the type of celery juice. There's a big difference between celery juice and juiced celery.
In general, processed celery juice in cans and bottles often contains harmful added sugar. To make matters worse, it's usually missing the nutritious fiber – one of the most essential parts of celery.
On the other hand, juicing celery at home in a juicer or purchasing celery juice at a juice bar can prove quite beneficial as long as there is little to no sugar added. That's because this process uses the entire celery stalk, including the fiber, which is quite healthy.
Dr. Michael Roizen, chief wellness officer at the Cleveland Clinic and author of the new book, What to Eat When says, "Celery is a natural diuretic and may prevent bloating," adding, "Celery has been linked to reduced inflammation, which may help decrease the chance of tumor development."
Roizen says celery is what's known as a pre-biotic, which is a type of fiber that provides a healthy environment for good bacteria to grown in the gut. "Celery is a water-filled veggie with almost zero calories," he said.
Dr. Roizen says celery is a pre-biotic which means it is a type of fiber that helps the growth of good bacteria in the intestines. These gut bacteria improve our immune system and boost brain health.
Chris Wark, author of the book, Chris Beat Cancer says, "Juicing is the best way to quickly extract massive amounts of vitamins, minerals, enzymes and phytonutrients from fruits and vegetables and get them into your body."
Celery is chock full of healthy folate and potassium as well as vitamins K and C and has virtually no fructose, the type of naturally-occurring sugar found in fruits and vegetables.
Wark said juicing helped reverse his stage four colon cancer, but like most health experts he points out the right way versus the wrong way to consume juice, saying store-bought juice is "typically not fresh and has been pasturized, which does destroy nutrients, and it may be oxidized as well. So it's really not an acceptable substitute. If you are buying fresh, unpasteurized juice from a local smoothie bar made within a day or so, that's fine."
Wark told CBN News weight loss and overall good health is never a matter of one single good habit, such as drinking celery juice, cancelling-out the damaging effects of other bad habits, such as eating too much junk food. He recommends a plant-based diet low in processed food and sugar.