Celery, an often underrated and ignored vegetable, is finally having its moment thanks to celery juice, aka the latest trend taking over the wellness world.
The green drink was popularized by Anthony William, author of Medical Medium, who writes on his site: “Celery has an incredible ability to create sweeping improvements for all kinds of health issues… Celery is truly the savior when it comes to chronic illness.”
Celebrities and social media influencers are taking to Instagram to tout the benefits of celery juice, which purportedly include easier digestion, clearer skin, weight loss, and reduced inflammation.
But are these claims true? Is celery juice really a magical potion? Below, we talk to experts to help us analyze the hype.
Benefits of Celery and Celery Juice
As with most plant-based beverages, drinking celery juice is a good (although not necessarily tasty) way to score some nutrients.
One cup of chopped celery contains just 14 calories, is a great source of vitamin K, and delivers 263 milligrams of potassium, some folate, vitamin A, and antioxidants like flavonoids, says Jennifer Glockner, RDN and creator of Smartee Plate.
When you liquefy it, celery juice carries over most of these nutrients, but not all of them. “When you juice the celery, you’re taking out the fiber and a lot of bulk, so you’re concentrating your minerals and vitamins,” says Andrea N. Giancoli, MPH, RD, and Openfit Nutrition Manager.
And since celery has a high water content, celery juice can also be hydrating, Glockner says, though not any more than plain water.
Eating Celery vs. Juicing Celery
You can consume significantly more micronutrients from celery in juice form cup for cup. According to Medical Medium’s site, one large bunch of celery typically makes about 16 ounces of juice, or two cups. One bunch contains about eight or nine stalks, which is about four cups of chopped celery. That’s a lot to eat in one sitting.
While juicing celery may concentrate the nutrients, it also removes the fiber. That means “you lose the great benefits of fiber,” Glockner says, “including helping keep you full longer, promoting GI health, and regulating blood sugar.”
Another thing to keep in mind is the additional sodium. “Celery in and of itself isn’t high in sodium,” says Giancoli, “but once you concentrate it, you have a lot more sodium than you would if you were to just eat a reasonable amount of celery.”
Is Celery Juice a Miracle Cure?
Celery on its own is a source of nutrients, but celery juice isn’t a cure-all solution to your health issues, says Giancoli.
And Glockner agrees: “There is not one ‘superfood’ that can provide all the nutrients needed for a healthy body.” Though there is plenty of anecdotal evidence in support of celery juice, “there’s a lack of scientific evidence in human studies,” she says.
That’s not to say you shouldn’t try celery juice if you’re curious, though. “It can be a healthy addition to a balanced diet,” says Giancoli. Just make sure you consult your doctor if you take blood thinner medication. “Because of the high content of vitamin K,” says Glockner, “celery juice may interfere with anticoagulation therapy.”
How to Make Celery Juice
You can buy celery juice at specialty grocery stores like Whole Foods or even at Starbucks, or you can use this easy celery juice recipe to make it at home. You need:
- One large bunch of organic celery
- ½ cup water
- Juicer OR high-speed blender and straining bag
If you’re using a blender, rinse and chop the celery, then whirl it up with the water. Next, separate the pulp using a nut milk bag or other strainer. Celery juice doesn’t last long, so it’s best to drink when fresh.
If plain celery juice isn’t your jam, you can always dress up the traditional method and mix celery with spinach, kale, apples, or carrots. Keep in mind that this can up the sugar and calorie content of your juice.
The Proven Way to Better Health
Celery juice can certainly play a role in a healthy lifestyle, but it’s not a magic bullet. Improving your health requires a holistic approach. Aim to eat a well-balanced diet high in whole fruits and vegetables, Giancoli says, and try to limit highly processed foods and foods loaded with added sugar. Incorporating lean proteins, whole grains, and heart-healthy fats is also key, Glockner adds. Beyond your diet, though, Giancoli says it’s crucial to get enough sleep, hydrate often, and exercise regularly.