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Can I blend celery instead of juicing?

Introduction

Celery has become an increasingly popular vegetable in recent years, praised for its crunchy texture and mild, fresh flavor. But beyond taste, celery is also packed with nutrients that offer some impressive health benefits. Celery is low in calories but high in fiber, antioxidants and beneficial plant compounds. Incorporating more celery into your diet can come with some major perks in terms of heart health, inflammation, digestion and more.

When it comes to reaping the many benefits that celery has to offer, there are a few different preparation methods to choose from. Two of the most popular ways to enjoy celery are blending and juicing. Blending keeps the fiber content intact while juicing extracts the liquid and leaves behind the pulp and fiber. Some people opt for juicing celery to get a more concentrated dose of the nutrients. However, others prefer blending to retain the filling fiber.

So should you be blending or juicing your celery? Keep reading for a detailed overview of the differences between celery blending vs. juicing and tips on how to determine which option best fits your health needs and goals.

Nutritional Differences

One of the biggest differences between celery blending and juicing comes down to their effects on the nutrient profile. Specifically, blending and juicing differ in terms of their fiber and antioxidant content. Here’s a closer look at how blending and juicing compare nutritionally:

Fiber

One large celery stalk contains about 1.6 grams of fiber, which is over 5 percent of the daily fiber needs for men and 7 percent for women (1). Getting enough fiber in your diet has been linked to benefits like improved regularity, increased satiety and better blood sugar control (2, 3). The fiber content also feeds the beneficial bacteria in the gut microbiome (4).

Blending: Blending celery retains the entirety of the fiber content. Enjoying blended celery can help meet your daily fiber needs to optimize digestion and gut health.

Juicing: The juicing process extracts the liquid from celery and strains out the pulp and fiber. Drinking celery juice eliminates a major portion of the fiber.

Antioxidants

In addition to fiber, celery contains antioxidants like vitamin C, beta-carotene and flavonoids like luteolin and kaempferol (5). These compounds protect against oxidative stress to reduce inflammation and protect cells (6, 7, 8).

Blending: Blending retains the antioxidant content of celery to provide the same benefits that you would get from eating it whole.

Juicing: Some antioxidants like vitamin C are water-soluble so they are extracted and found in celery juice. However, juicing eliminates fat-soluble antioxidants like beta-carotene.

Overall, both celery juice and blended celery contain antioxidants, but blending maximizes the antioxidant content.

Volume and Satiety

Celery is very low in calories, with just 6 calories in a medium stalk (9). This makes it a great option if you’re looking to cut calories. However, the high water and fiber content of celery also means that it’s low in overall volume and may not be very satiating on its own.

Blending celery adds volume and thickness, which can increase satiety. The fiber also slows digestion to keep you feeling fuller for longer (10).

Meanwhile, juicing extracts the liquid from celery, resulting in a juice with very minimal volume. Drinking celery juice is unlikely to have much of an effect on satiety levels.

If keeping hunger levels under control is a priority, blending celery into smoothies and shakes rather than juicing it may be a better option for increasing volume and satiety.

Preparation and Storage

Prepping and storing celery juice and blended celery also differ:

Preparation Time

Juicing: To make celery juice with a home juicer takes just a minute or two. Simply run cleaned celery stalks through the juicer then serve immediately. It’s super quick and easy.

Blending: Blending takes a bit more time, especially if you’re adding other ingredients. Chop ingredients, combine in a blender, then blend, pour and clean the blender.

Storage

Juicing: Celery juice has a short shelf life and is best consumed immediately after juicing. It can be stored in the fridge for up to 24 hours but may lose some nutrients.

Blending: Blended celery can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for two to three days. The shelf life is increased compared to juicing.

Overall, juicing celery is quicker and more convenient but it has a shorter shelf life than blended celery.

Taste

Taste is another factor that differs between celery juicing vs. blending.

Juicing concentrates the flavors while also eliminating some of the harsh, bitter notes that can be associated with celery. Many people find straight celery juice to have a refreshing, mild taste.

With blending, celery is combined with other ingredients that can cover up the harsher aspects. By blending into smoothies, shakes or soups you can get the nutrients from celery while altering the strong flavor.

So for a sweeter, more palatable celery-based beverage, juicing may be preferred over blending. But blending opens the door for mixing with other fruits, veggies and ingredients to customize the flavor.

Potential Downsides

Although blending and juicing celery can add more of this nutrient-packed veggie into your diet, there are some potential downsides to these preparation methods to keep in mind:

– Juicing eliminates beneficial fiber, which supports digestive health.

– Juicing removes fat-soluble antioxidants like beta-carotene.

– Juices have less volume and satiating benefits than blended drinks.

– Juices spoil more quickly than blended products.

– Celery liquid may irritate the mouth or digestive tract for those with sensitivity.

– Oxalates in celery could contribute to kidney stone formation in some people.

To minimize adverse effects, be sure to enjoy celery juice and blended celery in moderation as part of a healthy, balanced diet. Additionally, listen to your body, and scale back if you experience any digestive issues or discomfort.

Blending vs. Juicing Celery: Which Is Better?

So when it comes to deciding whether you should be blending or juicing your celery, which method is better?

Here’s a quick summary:

– Blending maximizes fiber and antioxidant content.

– Juicing is quicker and more convenient.

– Juicing has a milder, more palatable flavor.

– Blending is more satiating and has a longer shelf life.

There’s no definitive answer for which option is better, as it depends on your personal health goals and preferences:

Blending May Be Better If:

– You want to boost fiber intake.

– You’re looking to increase satiety.

– You prefer thicker drinks over juices.

– You want to retain all antioxidants.

– You like combining celery with other ingredients.

Juicing May Be Better If:

– You want a quick, nutrient-dense drink.

– You don’t mind less satiety or fiber.

– You enjoy the light, refreshing flavor.

– You want the benefits of celery but dislike the taste.

As long as you’re consuming celery in some form, both juicing and blending offer benefits and can fit into a healthy lifestyle. Some people even opt to enjoy celery both blended and juiced to take advantage of the unique benefits of each.

How to Use Blended Celery

Here are a few simple ways to start enjoying more blended celery:

– Add it to green smoothies along with leafy greens, fruits like apples or berries and a liquid base.

– Purée into soups, especially potato, tomato or cauliflower soups.

– Mix with olive oil, garlic and herbs for a healthy salad dressing.

– Make celery sauce by blending roasted celery into a nut milk or broth.

– Combine with yogurt, milk and sweeteners for a creamy, nutritious shake.

– Swap blended celery for some of the liquids in baked goods like muffins, breads or cakes.

The options are endless when it comes to blending celery into recipes, so get creative! Adjust portions based on taste and consistency preferences and experiment with your favorite flavor combinations.

Potential Health Benefits

At the end of the day, both blending and juicing come with an impressive set of potential health benefits thanks to the diverse array of nutrients found in celery:

1. Promotes Heart Health

With antioxidants like vitamin C, polyphenols and flavonoids, celery protects against oxidative stress and inflammation to support heart health (11, 12).

2. May Lower Inflammation

Celery contains potent anti-inflammatory compounds that can reduce levels of inflammation to offer protection against chronic disease (13, 14).

3. Rich in Antioxidants

In addition to vitamin C, celery contains antioxidants like luteolin, kaempferol, beta-carotene and phenolic acids with powerful health-promoting properties (15).

4. Supports Digestion

The fiber content of celery promotes regularity and healthy digestion. Celery also acts as a diuretic to maintain fluid balance (16).

5. Optimizes Immune Function

Celery is high in vitamin C, an essential micronutrient that supports immune health by protecting cells and fighting infection (17).

6. May Have Anticancer Properties

Some research shows that celery contains compounds that may help inhibit cancer cell growth and tumor formation (18, 19).

7. Lowers Cholesterol

The fiber, vitamin C, flavonoids and potent antioxidants in celery may help lower levels of total and LDL cholesterol (20).

8. Regulates Blood Pressure

Phthalides, which are unique organic compounds in celery, have been shown to help lower high blood pressure (21).

9. Promotes Liver Health

Animal studies demonstrate that celery extract protects against liver injury and oxidative stress to support liver health (22).

10. May Have Antimicrobial Properties

Some test-tube studies indicate that celery extract may inhibit the growth of certain strains of bacteria and fungi (23, 24).

Conclusion

Both blending and juicing celery can be nutritious additions to your diet that deliver the many benefits associated with this versatile veggie.

However, there are some key differences between the two preparation methods. Juicing is quicker and has a milder flavor, but it removes beneficial fiber. Meanwhile, blending maximizes fiber and nutrient retention but has a thicker texture and stronger taste.

Determining whether you should blend or juice celery ultimately depends on your specific health goals, needs and personal preferences.

No matter which option you choose, incorporating more celery into your routine can give your health a major boost. Celery is low in calories but high in antioxidants, polyphenols, flavonoids and important micronutrients like vitamin C.

Plus, it’s linked to a long list of health benefits, including better digestive health, lower inflammation, improved heart health, enhanced immunity and more. Best of all, it’s versatile and budget-friendly, making it easy to enjoy as either a refreshing juice or nutrient-packed smoothie.

So pick your favorite preparation method and start taking advantage of the multitude of nutrients and health benefits that celery has to offer. Your body will thank you.