So what gives? Is it really that good for you? Ahead we delve into the benefits of celery juice, according to the experts.
5 health benefits of celery juice
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 (not juice). “Celery is a powerhouse vegetable with antioxidants, enzymes, and phytonutrients,” she says. Keep in mind, celery is not to be confused with it's closely-related cousin, celeriac, which also boasts impressive health benefits like helping boost the immune system and supporting gut health.
2. Helps flush out toxins
Furthermore, other evidence indicates that celery can potentially help rid the body of certain toxins. “Celery [root] is a natural diuretic1, and along with its ability to help the liver flush toxins,” 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 sugar2. Additionally, a study on rats revealed that celery seeds can also pose anti-inflammatory benefits, helping treat some conditions such as bronchitis, asthma, chronic skin disorders (including psoriasis), vomiting, fever, and tumors.
4. Supports hydration
Consuming celery 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," she says. For context, celery is comprised of 90 to 99 percent water.
5. May help with skin conditions
Although celery juice isn’t a be-all end-all 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.
What happens if I drink celery juice everyday?
Dr. Lee notes that since celery contains many vital nutrients and minerals that our bodies need, drinking celery juice regularly can help those who may not otherwise get those nutrients through their normal diet meet those needs. Here are some of the key celery nutrients to note.
“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 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. For more luteolin foods, check out this list of the top seven.
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.
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.
What is the best time to drink celery juice?
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.
Who should not drink celery juice?
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.
Although it shouldn't replace any foods, it certainly can help supplement your daily nutrient intake, "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.
What are the side effects of celery juice?
If you’re jumping on the celery juice bandwagon, 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. Easy enough, right?
Ideally, you want to drink your celery juice freshly squeezed to reap the most benefits. “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.
But 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 produce whenever possible, 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 it in the fridge. Although, it may lose some of its nutrients as time goes on. Another easy option? You could always just buy it bottled in-store—Pressed Juicery is just one (of the many) juice shops with its own celery-and-lemon blend. “Juicing a glass of fresh celery every morning is tedious,” says CEO and co-founder of Pressed Juicery, Hayden Slater. He does have a point.
Up for something new? This CBD-infused celery juice lemonade might pique your interest (or taste buds):
- Kooti W and Daraei N. “A Review of the Antioxidant Activity of Celery (Apium graveolens L).” Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary & Alternative Medicine. 2017; 22(4): 1029-1034. doi:10.1177/2156587217717415
- Li, Meng-Yao et al. “Advances in the research of celery, an important Apiaceae vegetable crop.” Critical reviews in biotechnology vol. 38,2 (2018): 172-183. doi:10.1080/07388551.2017.1312275
- Hedayati, Narges et al. “Beneficial effects of celery (Apium graveolens) on metabolic syndrome: A review of the existing evidences.” Phytotherapy research : PTR vol. 33,12 (2019): 3040-3053. doi:10.1002/ptr.6492
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