Cel­ery juice, mush­room cof­fee, moon milk and schisan­dra tea… are these new brews ben­e­fi­cial – or just hype? We ask di­eti­tian EMILY FOS­TER for the low­down


Cel­ery juice is hav­ing its mo­ment in the spot­light. It’s all over In­sta­gram with more than 85,000 #cel­eryjuice posts and count­ing. Gwyneth Pal­trow’s Goop site has ex­tolled its virtues, su­per­model Mi­randa Kerr drinks it every morn­ing and its pop­u­lar­ity means stores are sell­ing out of the crunchy salad sticks. Ide­ally meant to be juiced solo and swigged straight on an empty stom­ach, its list of pur­ported health ben­e­fits in­clude low­er­ing in­flam­ma­tion in the body and re­duc­ing bloat­ing.

Emily says: “Cel­ery, like many veg, con­tains phy­to­chem­i­cals and an­tiox­i­dants (vi­ta­mins A, K and C), which are as­so­ci­ated with re­duc­ing in­flam­ma­tion. It’s true that – although the ef­fects are small – cel­ery does have a di­uretic ef­fect that can po­ten­tially re­duce bloat­ing.

“How­ever when you juice any fruit or veg­etable you lose a large amount of its fi­bre. Fi­bre helps us stay full for longer and also con­trib­utes to a stead­ier rise and fall in our blood sug­ars. It’s great added to a bal­anced diet but do re­mem­ber that eat­ing it whole would give you added ben­e­fits.”

Hot milk, the quin­tes­sen­tial bed­time drink to help you nod off, has had an Ayurvedic over­haul. Say hello to your new mel­low sleep he­roes – moon milks. The frothy milks look pretty on Pin­ter­est and “saves” of pic­tures and recipes on the site re­cently soared by more than 700 per cent in six months.

It’s made by sim­mer­ing milk in a pan then whisk­ing in spices such as car­damom or nut­meg, for their calm­ing prop­er­ties, plus an adap­to­gen (an Ayurvedic herbal sup­ple­ment such as ash­wa­gandha, said to help sup­port your adrenal sys­tem and bal­ance hor­mones). How­ever is it re­ally the se­cret to a good night’s sleep?

Emily says: “Milk con­tains an amino acid called tryp­to­phan. Tryp­to­phan can be con­verted in the body into a mol­e­cule used to make sero­tonin and mela­tonin, which in­flu­ence sleep and mood. Yet the like­li­hood of a moon milk help­ing you sleep isn’t great as the amount of tryp­to­phan found in a glass of milk is re­ally too small to have an ef­fect.

“As for the adap­to­gens, be sure to re­search any po­ten­tial side ef­fects and rec­om­mended dosages of what you choose (such as gin­seng, ash­wa­gandha, holy basil or maca root). More is not nec­es­sar­ily bet­ter; es­pe­cially true if you’re preg­nant or breast­feed­ing.

Grown in China, schisan­dra – or “five flavour” ber­ries – are said to con­tain all five nat­u­ral flavours: salty, sweet, bit­ter, sour and spicy. Steep­ing the dried ber­ries or dis­solv­ing the ex­tract pow­der (avail­able in health shops) in hot wa­ter makes a tea said to sup­press anx­i­ety, lower stress, in­crease en­ergy and boost mood.

Gwyneth Pal­trow is said to sprin­kle her break­fast smooth­ies with a blend that con­tains the pow­dered ex­tract of the ber­ries.

Emily says: “The schisan­dra berry con­tains plenty of healthy an­tiox­i­dants and in an an­i­mal study where the ex­tract was used, the pow­der ap­peared to show an an­tide­pres­sant type ef­fect. Preg­nant or nurs­ing women, along with peo­ple with gas­tric con­di­tions, shouldn’t take schisan­dra without GP ap­proval. It can cause heart­burn or stom­ach up­set.

“For a hit of health­boost­ing an­tiox­i­dants, I’d stick to home­grown black­ber­ries and rasp­ber­ries. We have such a great va­ri­ety that grow in the UK

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