Although celery has never had a reputation as the most delicious vegetable, its high nutritional value has earned it a place (often topped with peanut butter) on our plates for many years. Celery juice is a popular drink touted by health gurus and Internet celebrities alike – but is it good for you?
Celery juice nutritional information
A serving of celery juice is about one cup (236 grams) and contains:
- Calories: 33
- Protein: 1.63 grams
- Total fats: 0.4 grams
- Total carbohydrates: 7 grams
- Fiber: 3.78 grams (13.3% recommended dietary intake [RDI])
- Sodium: 189 milligrams (8.2% RDI)
- Calcium: 94.4 milligrams (3.8% RDI)
- Potassium: 614 milligrams (15.35% RDI)
Five Benefits of Celery Juice
Much of the research on the benefits of celery juice is unclear about just how the juice benefits our bodies, and celery juice doesn’t have the same benefits for everyone. Bio-individuality is IIN’s unique concept that you’re the only version of you and what works for you won’t work for everyone else. It applies to everything – from the environment you thrive in to the relationships that nourish you to the foods you eat (or don’t eat!).
So while some people might immediately respond well to adding a glass of celery juice to their morning routine, others might experience changes more slowly, notice no changes at all, or even react poorly to celery juice. The benefits of celery juice depend on your bio-individuality.
Keeps you hydrated
Celery and celery juice consist mostly of water, helping you reach your daily hydration goal and prevent dehydration. The juice is a unique alternative that’s great for people who find it hard to drink enough water during the day. Keeping hydrated can help prevent headaches, fatigue, and dry skin as well as support your digestive system in staying regular.
Can have anti-inflammatory properties
Celery juice is high in phytonutrients, plant compounds that can reduce inflammation. Phytonutrients are antioxidants that work to reduce oxidative stress, which occurs when free radicals are present in your body. One 2017 study found that giving mice luteolin (an antioxidant found in celery) before exposing them to allergens significantly reduced levels of inflammation in their nasal passages and lungs. However, there haven’t been tests to see if these results would be the same in humans.
High in fiber (kind of)
Fiber helps your body feel full and satisfied as well as supports the health of your gut microbiome. While juicing results in a liquid that contains most of the vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients of the fruits and vegetables you’re juicing, the majority of the fiber and protein are lost in the process.
Studies have shown that simply eating whole fruits and vegetables may be a better alternative to juicing, given that they retain all their potential nutrients, especially the fiber. Drinking juice in place of meals may lead to malnutrition and even overeating; since the fiber and protein are removed, you feel less full after drinking juiced vegetables than you would feel after eating them whole.
May support healthy bones
Celery is high in vitamin K (potassium), which is an important building block for healthy bones. Vitamin K deficiency is one of the leading causes of osteoporosis, a disease that weakens bones and causes them to become brittle.
Holistic alternative for sugary drinks
Celery is naturally low in sugar and high in water, making it a healthier alternative to sugary drinks like soda and even kombucha. Consuming too much sugar over time will both increase the amount of insulin needed to clear the sugar from your blood and decrease the sensitivity to that insulin, leading to potential health issues like insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, and type 2 diabetes.
Three Myths About Celery Juice
The popularity of celery juice as a holistic treatment for ailments was kick-started by Anthony William, known as the Medical Medium. William found success in his own health journey with celery juice and aims to share his experience with others. He does not currently have any formal medical or nutrition training, and as with anyone touting one food or food item as a cure-all, the claims must be looked at carefully and take into consideration one's individual health needs and concerns.
Before implementing any changes to your diet, such as consuming large amounts of celery juice in place of other foods or drinks or altering the management of a chronic condition, consult with your health care provider to determine if this is best for you and your health.
Myth 1: Prevents cancer
Cancer is caused by mutations to the DNA in our cells, and this change can be brought about by a host of factors. One of these is the presence of free radicals, which are highly reactive chemicals that can cause damage to our cells. According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), in large quantities, free radicals “can be hazardous to the body and damage all major components of cells, including DNA, proteins, and cell membranes. The damage to cells caused by free radicals, especially the damage to DNA, may play a role in the development of cancer.”
Antioxidants may help protect your cells against free radicals. One study found that several compounds in celery leaves and seeds, including caffeic acid, ferric acid, tannin, anthocyanin, and saponins, act as powerful antioxidants in the body. However, juicing celery removes the fiber, which many antioxidants are bound to.
Myth 2: Lowers blood pressure
Whole celery is very high in fiber and may promote healthier cholesterol levels. However, juicing removes virtually all the plant solids, in turn removing nearly all the fiber found in celery. The high sodium content in celery juice can also contribute to increased blood pressure. Those who promote consuming celery juice daily recommend starting each day with one pint of celery juice, which contains more than 16% of the daily recommended intake amount for sodium. People on high blood pressure medications and people sensitive to salt levels may want to avoid celery juice.
Myth 3: Guarantees weight loss
Losing weight is a complex process, and simply adding 16 ounces of celery juice to your diet is not going to make you drop pounds overnight. Losing weight in a sustainable, healthy way takes time and a commitment to a true lifestyle change – and often, help from people with training, like Health Coaches.
Many fad diets (like juice diets and cleanses) rely on lowering caloric intake in such a drastic way that your body eventually goes into starvation mode. Relying on one food or drink to promote weight loss can also lead to disordered eating and malnutrition.
Eating disorders severely impact quality of life for people suffering from them as well as for those around them. Early intervention and treatment greatly improve the likelihood of recovery. Anyone who suspects that they have or a loved one has an eating disorder can contact the National Eating Disorder Association helpline.
Are There Downsides to Celery Juice?
Aside from the fact that many of the health claims surrounding the benefits of celery juice have very little research backing them, there are other downsides to consuming celery juice. It may interact with certain medications, like blood thinners, due to its high vitamin K content. Celery is also high in mannitol, a type of sugar alcohol found in many fruits and vegetables. Mannitol acts as a diuretic, pulling water into your digestive system, and can result in diarrhea.
Celery is also on the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen list of most-contaminated produce when it comes to pesticide residue. Buying organic celery (and produce in general, when possible and if within your budget) can help reduce your exposure to these pesticides.
The Bottom Line
If you’re interested in trying celery juice, incorporating it into a well-balanced diet with other, whole foods is a great first step. Celery juice is low in sugar, but the juicing process removes other beneficial compounds, like fiber. For the full nutritional benefits that celery has to offer, try adding the whole plant to smoothies or to your snacking rotation.