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Nothing suggests “healthy” quite like drinking vegetables. Celery juice certainly sounds like it’s good for you, especially since celery is already on your radar as a healthy snack.
But if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.
Celery juice has been around forever, or at least as long as humans have had blenders. Its recent “health halo” can be traced to an author and juice proponent named Anthony William, the self-proclaimed “Medical Medium.”
The celery faithful think drinking the juice on an empty stomach has “miraculous healing powers” such as weight loss and clearing up a truckload of medical conditions.
And because weight loss is hard, people want to believe it.
There are a lot of claims to unpack, so here’s the lowdown on celery juice, its purported benefits, and a few celery juice recipes (if you just really like celery juice!).
Let’s keep it 100: There’s zero scientifically backed research to show that drinking celery juice aids weight loss.
That doesn’t mean it’s bad for you to drink, though. In theory, if a person habitually swapped in celery juice for some less-nutritious drinks — say, a daily Frappuccino — they would consume fewer calories and probably lose some pounds.
But any weight loss resulting from those swaps would be from lower caloric intake — not from the celery juice itself.
We’ll say it once more for the people in the back: Celery juice is not a magic bullet when it comes to shedding pounds.
We’re not knocking celery here. Celery is a healthy snack, a star of the veggie platter, and a great addition to salads, soups, and Buffalo wings (yum).
Celery also contains a lot of water compared with other veggies, so it may fill you up when snacking. (Ants on a log, anyone?)
How do you take your celery?
There are different ways to consume celery juice. Some recipes call for blending or juicing stalks of celery. But juicing may take away some of celery’s health benefits, since it removes some of the fiber.
This doesn’t mean juicing is bad. Just know that eating whole vegetables and fruits is preferable.
Yes, celery juice is nutritious and low in calories. But those benefits aren’t the same as promoting weight loss.
Will it help my heart?
A 2017 review of studies found that consuming vegetable and fruit juices may improve blood pressure and cholesterol levels. But participants in these studies drank other juices, such as beet, carrot, and cherry, so the jury’s still out on celery juice specifically.
A 2013 study found that consuming the extract of celery seeds (small, brown seeds often used as a spice) decreased blood pressure in rats. But we’ll wait for more research on actual people for confirmation.
Will it help reduce inflammation?
Maybe. Fruits and vegetables, including celery, contain antioxidants called flavonoids. These nutritional rock stars help prevent damage to your cells and help your body fight off toxins.
Research indicates flavonoids have anti-inflammatory properties, and consuming more veggies lowers the risk of chronic disease.
Early studies on mice indicate that luteolin, one of the flavonoids in celery, may reduce inflammation and allergic reactions, but more research is needed.
Is it good for my skin?
Celery juice fans claim it clears up skin issues like acne, eczema, and psoriasis. But again, that claim is overhyped.
Yes, eating vegetables like celery will nourish your body with nutrients that may have a positive effect on your skin. But no scientific studies back up the claim that celery juice itself will give you a glowing complexion. (If only, right?)
The claim that celery juice is good for skin may trace back to the textbook Indian Medicinal Plants: An Illustrated Dictionary by C.P. Khare, which claims celery seeds have been used to treat chronic skin disorders like psoriasis. But there’s no research to back up that claim.
Yes, even celery juice can have some downsides. While it’s generally a nutritious choice, there are some red flags to consider.
Too much sodium
Most of the sodium in our diets comes from packaged foods like condiments, soups, and canned goods. But celery (as compared to other vegetables) is naturally high in sodium. One large stalk (about 12 inches long) contains 51 milligrams.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends healthy adults consume no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day (that’s about 1 teaspoon of salt).
Eating a stalk of celery won’t add a worrisome amount of sodium to your diet. But when making celery juice, you’ll use multiple stalks of celery — in addition to the rest of the sodium you’re consuming that day — and your sodium intake could increase quickly.
If you’re going to drink celery juice, be mindful to cut back on sodium elsewhere in your diet.
Too little fiber
As mentioned above, whole fruits and vegetables are the real nutritional champs, as opposed to juices.
Too much vitamin K might not be OK
Vitamin K can interact with the blood thinner warfarin (Coumadin), and sudden changes in daily vitamin K intake can cause dangerous bleeding (if you eat less) or blood clots (if you overdo it). One large stalk of celery contains 18.8 micrograms of vitamin K.
Talk to your healthcare provider if you have a heart condition or a blood clotting disorder or you take blood thinners.
So, you’ve read up on what celery juice does and doesn’t do, and your body is still saying CELERY JUICE!
Making celery juice is pretty easy. Some things to note:
- One bunch of celery makes about 16 ounces of juice, so plan accordingly.
- Some celery juice fans swear by organic celery (*cough, cough* — Gwyneth), but you can use whatever floats your boat.
- If you use a blender, you’ll want to strain your juice after blending. Use a nut milk bag or a fine-mesh strainer covered with cheesecloth.
Celery juice recipe
- 1 bunch fresh celery, washed
- Chop celery and toss it into a blender or juicer.
- Blitz the heck out of that celery until it liquefies to your desired consistency. Strain if needed.
- Pour juice into a glass.
Voila, you have celery juice! If it’s too boring, try adding a bit of your favorite fruit or a dash of fresh ginger.
Ready for the next level? Try these:
Celery, cucumber, and apple juice recipe
Here’s a delicious-sounding recipe: It combines celery, cucumber, and apple juices, with a little lime and ginger for extra flavor.
Celery and lemon juice
Cukes not your thing? Try this concoction of celery, lemon, and ginger. The blogger recommends adding 1/4 cup of water, too, so it’s more liquefied and you get more hydration.
Pineapple, cucumber, celery, and parsley juice
Here’s a juice recipe that’s packed with flavor. Combine your desired amounts of pineapple, celery, cucumber, parsley, ginger, and lemon in a juicer. Make sure you have a nut milk bag or cheesecloth on hand for straining.
Celery juice is trendy right now, and we understand the temptation to believe this green juice can clear up your skin, reduce inflammation, and help you lose weight. After all, it’s so green and healthy-looking, right?
The truth is, these claims are overstated and overhyped. Celery is a nutritious vegetable, but there’s no scientific evidence that celery juice aids weight loss or provides really any other specific health benefit.
If you want to enjoy this trendy juice for pleasure, go ahead. But if you’re looking to lose weight, it’s better to stick to the tried-and-true methods of healthy eating and exercise.