Food and Nutrition

Is Celery Juice Really as Healthy as Its Backers Say? We Asked Nutrition Experts To Weigh In

Erin Magner

Photo: Getty Images/Johner Images
Feels like it was just yesterday that celery juice started to flood our Instagram feeds, but this trend has been in full force for more than three years now (what even is time?), and it seemingly hasn't slowed. Everyone from celebrities to nutrition pros to influencers have proclaimed their deep passion for fresh-pressed celery juice—so much so, in fact, that many grocery stores sold out of the veg when the trend first arose. By drinking it in the morning before breakfast, devotees claim it has given them glowing skin, increased energy, and better digestion.

So what gives? Is celery juice good for you?

Celery juice benefits

If you've ever tried celery juice yourself, you'll know that most people probably aren't drinking it for the flavor. (It tastes exactly like you'd think it would—bland, grassy, and slightly salty, like liquified celery—in case you had any doubts.) Rather, the celery juice obsession stems from its purported health benefits. Find them here, as outlined by an MD, RD, and a holistic health coach.

1. Rich in antioxidants

According to holistic health coach Molly Alliman, studies have shown that there are some benefits of celery that come from eating the vegetable in its whole form. “Celery is a powerhouse vegetable with antioxidants, enzymes, and phytonutrients,” she says.

2. Helps flush out toxins

Furthermore, “celery [root] is a natural diuretic, and along with its ability to help the liver flush toxins, it also can reduce bloat,” Alliman says.

3. Anti-inflammatory properties

Research also shows celery extract may also have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, plus the ability to balance blood sugar.

4. Supports hydration

Drinking celery juice can also support proper hydration. “Celery mostly consists of water, meaning drinking celery juice can help you reach your daily hydration goal and prevent dehydration,” says Dr. Amy Lee, MD, head of nutrition for Nucific. “It’s perfect for a hot summer day and for those who don’t find themselves drinking enough water every day.”

5. May help with skin conditions

Although celery juice isn’t a cure for any chronic condition, Dr. Lee says that because of its anti-inflammatory benefits, drinking celery juice may help with the severity of chronic skin conditions such as psoriasis.

Celery juice nutrients

Dr. Lee notes that celery contains many vital nutrients and minerals that our bodies need, and drinking celery juice regularly can help those who may not otherwise get those nutrients through their normal diet. Here are some of the key celery nutrients to note.

Apigenin

“This plant compound found in various fruits and vegetables, including celery, is a super antioxidant and anti-inflammatory,” Dr. Lee says. “It also plays a role in boosting immunity.”

Luteolin

Luteolin is a plant flavonoid that is also rich in anti-inflammatory benefits. In addition, Dr. Lee says, it may also have anticancer effects for its ability in induction of cell death, preventing DNA damage, and its role in inhibition in cell proliferation.

Ferulic acid

Ferulic acid is another form of antioxidant that decreases oxidative stress in the body. “This can protect the cell as well as blood vessels,” Dr. Lee says.

Vitamin K

Celery also contains high levels of vitamin K, which Dr. Lee explains it is “a fat soluble vitamin that promotes bone health and prevents osteoporosis.” One serving of celery, she adds, can provide 33 percent of the daily value.

So really, is celery juice good for you?

The short answer is yes. According to Dr. Lee drinking celery juice on the reg does have its health benefits and certainly doesn’t hurt. That is, of course, assuming you don’t mind the grassy flavor. But, is celery juice a magic cure-all? Of course not, she says.

Still, if you’re into the raved-about green juice, then by all means drink up. Dr. Lee recommends drinking up to 16 ounces of celery juice daily. And, as far as drinking it first thing in the morning on an empty stomach, that’s optional. “There is no perfect time in drinking celery juices but I do feel that being consistent is most important,” Dr. Lee says. Furthermore, she adds that ensuring you’re focusing on an overall healthy lifestyle is what is most beneficial.

That said, experts also point out that by juicing celery, you're missing out on the major benefits of celery as a whole plant. "I don’t recommend using celery juice or any green juice as a means to replace actually eating the whole vegetable, which reaps so many benefits from gut health, digestion, and blood sugar balance,"  says Well+Good Council member and Nutrition Stripped founder McKel Kooienga, MS, RDN, LDN. "But it’s a fantastic way to get more nutrients into your diet than you would otherwise, as long as you’re also eating whole foods." She believes that when people start seeing celery juice benefits, it could be a cumulative effect from other healthy lifestyle choices they're making at the same time—for instance, eating more plants or being more mindful of self-care.

Possible side effects of drinking celery juice

If you’re jumping on the celery juice band wagon, there are some important things to note. For one, people on a low sodium diet may want to skip celery juice, as Dr. Lee notes celery juice is reported to have a higher level of sodium compared to other juices. People who are on blood thinning medications for heart cardiovascular conditions are also advised to avoid the popular green juice. “Celery also has a high level of vitamin K, which is known to have a blood thinning effect,” Dr. Lee says.

How to make celery juice at home

Another benefit of celery juice? Since it only contains one ingredient, it's easier and more affordable to make than other green-juice blends. Simply put one bunch of celery, celery stalks included, through a juicer or whip it up in a high-speed blender and strain out the pulp.

Ideally, you want to drink your celery juice freshly squeezed. “Antioxidants such as vitamin C and ferulic acid can break down once exposed to light, so it is important to take it all in as fast as possible,” says Dr. Lee.

If you’re grossed out at the thought of starting your day in the morning on an empty stomach with nothing straight-up liquified celery, you’re not alone—but there is something you can do to help it go down a little easier, if you’re interested in trying it at home. “I recommend adding citrus to help cut the bitter taste of celery,” says Alliman, who says half a lemon or lime for every 16 ounces of juice should do it. You may also want to opt for organic, as celery's high on the "dirty dozen" list of most pesticide-laden produce.

Or, if you're pressed for time, you can prepare the celery juice ahead of time and leave in the fridge, Dr. Lee says, although it may lose some of its nutrients. Another easy option? You could always just buy it in a bottle—Pressed Juicery is just one juice shop with its own celery-and-lemon blend. “Juicing a glass of fresh celery every morning is tedious,” says CEO and cofounder Hayden Slater. He has a point.

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