Most people experience a bloated stomach every now and then, after eating a big meal or stuffing themselves with junk food and beer. For many it may just be a minor inconvenience, but for others it can be a regular occurrence. As well as cutting down on bloat-inducing foods and eating in moderation instead of pigging out, a bloated stomach can be soothed by improving gut health and digestion. According to Sian Baker, nutritionist at Lifelab, there is one particular juice which may help to soothe a bloated belly.
This juice is celery juice. Celery juice has become a popular beverage with health and diet gurus, who promote it for having various health benefits.
Drinking 500ml of the vegetable juice each morning has been attributed to health benefits from reducing inflammation and improving gut health, to minimising toxins and bloating.
“Recently, social media has been awash with wellness gurus and influencers singing the praises of celery juice,” said Baker.
While it may seem like a diet fad, there is some truth in these claims, according to Baker.
The nutritionist notes that celery juice acts as “fuel for our gut flora”, allowing good bacteria to flourish.
This may be the reason people who drink the juice regularly experience a reduction in bloating.
In addition, celery contains fibre, which helps digestion by bulking up the stools and making them easier to pass.
On top of this, the fibre found in celery can bind to cholesterol and transport it out of the body, helping to lower cholesterol, explains Baker.
This is important as having too much cholesterol in the blood can lead to heart disease.
“Celery is a food rich in micronutrients and fibre. It offers vitamin C which is used in the body as a natural antioxidant, and is also a good source of vitamins A and K, B vitamins, phosphate, iron, manganese, calcium and magnesium.”
Vitamin A helps the immune system to work properly, and also promotes eye and skin health. Vitamin K is needed for blood clotting, which allows wounds to heal properly.
The B vitamins serve a variety of roles, including keeping the nervous system healthy and breaking down and releasing energy from food.
Iron helps the body make red blood cells, while calcium helps build strong bones and teeth.
Manganese helps make and activate some of the enzymes in the body, which help to break down food. Magnesium turns the food we eat into energy.
“There is no doubt that celery has a lot to offer in terms of nutrients, and having it in a juice makes it more concentrated therefore enabling a greater intake of all these micronutrients,” said Baker.
“Many fruits and vegetables provide this kind of array of nutrients, however the key difference with celery is that comparatively to many other fruits and vegetables it is low in calories, so consuming large quantities as a juice is realistic and doesn’t lead to a large calorie intake.”