You may have heard that celery juice is healthy, or you may have heard that it works miracles (check out the hashtag #celeryjuice on Instagram to see what we mean). Even Goop has gotten in on this next big thing. Is there truth to some of these “medical miracle” claims, or is celery juice just… juice? We talked to some experts to see where this green stuff stands and whether celery juice really comes with a bunch of health benefits.
All about celery
Celery is a crunchy vegetable that’s related to parsley (yes, really). While you may think it doesn’t have a lot of nutrients, you may be surprised to find that it has quite a bit of nutrition on board. It’s loaded with vitamin K, for example, and low on calories, which makes it a wonderful choice for a snack.
Celery juice is exactly what it sounds like — celery that’s been reduced to a drink. We were curious to explore its purported benefits and the claims that it heals a dizzying array of maladies that range from eczema to rheumatoid arthritis to PTSD to shingles (yes, these are real claims made by actual web pages). Here’s what we found out.
Celery juice: The nitty-gritty
Danielle Zolotnitsky, a dietitian and nutritionist who works with the Department of Digestive Disease and Transplantation at Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia, says that there are plenty of benefits to this crunchy vegetable.
“Celery is high in antioxidant compounds such a phenolic acid,” she tells SheKnows. “It is also high in vitamin K, folate and potassium. Celery is also hydrating, as it has a high water content. Celery seeds also reap their own benefits — iron, magnesium and calcium.”
Kerry Clifford, a registered dietitian, adds that celery’s high water content makes it a fantastic base for juice, especially given its naturally low sugar content. Its antioxidants do provide some anti-inflammatory benefits, she tells SheKnows, and certain phytochemicals in celery can have positive effect on blood pressure after eating around four stalks (which equates to around 4 ounces of juice).
Rein in your expectations
However, noting that celery (and its juice) are healthy and you should definitely eat some the next time you’re hungry, it’s probably not the big-time cure for everything that everyone says it is. For starters, Clifford explains there are some benefits from the physical act of chewing celery (or any other food), and that can help curb hunger just as much as the food itself does. Also, juicing often removes some of the roughage (or fiber), which is an important part of our diets.
Then, we need to turn to some of the claims. Unfortunately for those who enjoy celery juice, Zolotnitsky says that she feels there isn’t enough science to support its current hype. “The juice is receiving far more attention than it should,” she tells SheKnows. “Many of the health claims of the juice — from gut health to mental health — are not evidenced-based.”
Clifford agrees. “While there aren’t many negatives to drinking celery juice, it also doesn’t have all of the science to back up its many claims and benefits,” she says. “There are some people who find it may help relax them or believe in the old wives’ tale that it helps with hangovers. It’s mostly just a very refreshing drink without adding too many calories.”
That being said, if you’re drinking celery juice and enjoying it or even feel you’re receiving some extra benefit from the beverage, there is no harm in drinking it. But it may not be the answer you’re looking for if you’re hoping for an easy cure-all.