McKel Hill, MS, RDN, LDN

McKel Hill, MS, RDN, LDN

Dietitian, Founder

If you’re scrolling on Instagram every morning, then you’ve probably seen a feed of celery juice—but should you be drinking celery juice?

If you Google celery juice, you’ll stumble upon articles saying celery juice can cure chronic diseases. Not to mention you’ll notice words such as “ultimate healer”, “restore health”, “strengthen”, “miraculous”, “toxic detox”, and so on.

Let’s dive into this huge food trend taking the health and wellness community by storm especially on social media, at juice bars, and in magazines. We’ve been getting so many questions about this trend from our community too! Per usual, on Nutrition Stripped our mission is to always strip down what’s happening in health and make it simple for you to understand the science behind nutrition and the art of putting it all together.

We’re one of the largest advocates in nutrition, for the benefits whole foods and living well can bring to our health. But, we need to be careful when it’s communicated that a certain food can directly treat an illness—especially when there’s not a whole lot of evidence to back it up.

First things first, let’s take a look at the nutrients found in this crunchy and hydrating vegetable celery.

Nutrition In Celery

Celery is crunchy, slightly salty, sometimes sweet, and very rich in water. It’s a great addition to salads, soups, stir-fry, and even smoothies for the texture and the flavor. If you haven’t checked out this Celery and Olive salad, try this!

In addition to tasting good, celery also contains a variety of nutrients from vitamins to flavonoids.

  • vitamins A, K, C
  • B vitamins
  • beta-carotene (our body then converts to vitamin A)
  • phytonutrients (1)
  • calcium
  • iron
  • magnesium
  • potassium
  • manganese
  • phosphorus

What Are The Health Benefits Of Celery?

Most of these studies below are focusing on the intake of the entire stalk of celery, some explore celery seeds and some celery juice, but there aren’t studies at this present moment extensively on celery juice. Given if we’re focusing on the nutrition of celery and most of the nutrition (except fibers), are still intact in celery juice, here are some health benefits we know about with celery.

Celery and Reducing Water Retention

Celery acts as a natural diuretic, as in it an help reduce water retention, is also based on its effect lowering blood pressure from the phthalides (d-limonene, selinene, and related phthalides) in celery. (8)(9)

Did you know that asparagus can also help reduce water retention?

Blood Pressure and Celery

Nitrate-rich veggies like celery can reduce blood pressure, research finds. Nitrate-containing foods work by increasing nitric oxide in the body and this compound helps widen blood vessels, which improves blood flow and circulation and therefore, can lower blood pressure levels. (6)(7).

One study in China showed that 14 out of 16 patients who had hypertension, improved their blood pressure by drinking celery juice mixed with honey three times a day for 1 week, although this was a very small group and there can be other factors at play. (2)(3)

Celery May Reduce Oxidative Stress

Many of these studies showing the potential health benefits of celery on reducing oxidative stress and other illnesses or health conditions are typically don’t isolating a compound like a flavonoid from celery, in vitro (sample in a lab) or in mice, which means further research is needed in humans to determine the true impact. One study with rats with oxidative stress was given doses of celery flavonoids that helped reduce the oxidative stress. (5)

Inflammation and Celery

Celery is a good source of antioxidants, and we know that a diet rich in antioxidants can help reduce inflammation. In one study, celery showed an improvement of gut function and gut mucosa (gut lining) in rats—not humans, but this could be based on the antioxidants found in celery or the type of fiber. (4)

Citrus Celery Juice Recipe

If you want to try out how to make homemade celery juice, here are a couple tips (in addition to the Bottom Line points below).

First things first, try to use organic celery if you can, otherwise just make sure it’s washed well. Add fresh lemon juice or lime juice if you can, and add in an organic cucumber if you want to add a bit more water-rich vegetables to the mix.

  1. In a juicer of your choice, combine 2-3 stalks of celery, 1/2-1 whole medium cucumber, juice of 1 lemon or lime, a small knob of fresh ginger and enjoy ideally immediately or store for up to 1 day

Also, just in case you want to read up on juicing, check out our article on Juicing 101 that shares some things to keep in mind if you’re adding fresh juice to your diet.

How You Can Continue To Educate Yourself And Spot Trends

One of the most frequent questions we’re asked as a team through social media, email, blog comments, etc. revolves around food or wellness trends. I love answering your questions as much as I possibly can and if we get enough of the same questions I’ll address them in an article like this.

But, I encourage you to become a detective and start to ask yourself some questions whenever you see health and nutrition trends in the future. Here are some things you can ask yourself:

  • Who is the person/our outlet I’m getting nutrition information from?
  • What’s the expertise, credentials, and background on the subject?
  • Does this make common sense?
  • Can I find credible outlets that have spoken about this topic before?
  • Is this trend based off a new book/show? (i.e. PR firms hired by a brand/author/celebrity often create trends to sell more books/tv/etc.)
  • Does it go along with your unique lifestyle?
  • Is this trend based on a celebrity endorsement or celebrity nutritionist? (sometimes, these can be paid/sponsored posts and not everyone disclaims that they’re being paid to say something)
  • If you feel confident reading scientific journals, then dive into those as well!

Bottom Line:

Is celery juice rich in nutrients? Yes! Can it be part of your daily routine if you’re already eating a healthy diet? Yes! Is celery juice a must-have or an essential part of a healthy diet long-term? No.

Celery juice and any green vegetable juice for that matter can be a great way to squeeze in extra nutrients into your diet. This is only after you’ve already eaten fiber-rich vegetables throughout the day and feel confident that you have established healthy habits in your life!

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. 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.

If people add celery juice into your diet, it’s possible they may also be experiencing is the full effect of lifestyle changes—if they’re consuming celery juice, maybe they’re more mindful of their nutrition intake and eating habits, stress management, etc. throughout the day as well. It’s always a full picture lifestyle change that leads to improving health over time!

What we know about nutrition and the what the science tells us, is there’s truly never one food or drink you can consume that’ll drastically improve your health quickly. Keep this in mind the next time you hear of a fad!

Contribute

Have you bought into the celery juice trend? If so, what has your experience been like, please share with us and the community?

References
  1. Wesam Kooti, Nahid Daraei. A Review of the Antioxidant Activity of Celery (Apium graveolens L). J Evid Based Complementary Altern Med. 2017 Oct; 22(4): 1029–1034. Published online 2017 Jul 13. doi: 10.1177/2156587217717415
  2. Tabassum N, Ahmad F. Role of natural herbs in the treatment of hypertensionPharmacognosy Reviews. 2011;5(9):30-40. doi:10.4103/0973-7847.79097.
  3. Moghadam MH, Imenshahidi M, Mohajeri SA. Antihypertensive Effect of Celery Seed on Rat Blood Pressure in Chronic AdministrationJournal of Medicinal Food. 2013;16(6):558-563. doi:10.1089/jmf.2012.2664.
  4. Al-Howiriny T, Alsheikh A, Alqasoumi S et al. Gastric antiulcer, antisecretory and cytoprotective properties of celery (Apium graveolens) in rats. Pharm Biol. 2010 Jul;48(7):786-93
  5. J Cao, X Zhang, Q Wang. Influence of flavonoid extracts from celery on oxidative stress induced by dichlorvos in rats. Human and Experimental Toxicology. 2011 Nov; 11. https://doi.org/10.1177/0960327111426585
  6. Lidder S, Webb AJ. Vascular effects of dietary nitrate (as found in green leafy vegetables and beetroot) via the nitrate‐nitrite‐nitric oxide pathwayBritish Journal of Clinical Pharmacology. 2013;75(3):677-696. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2125.2012.04420.x.
  7. Vikas Kapil, Rayomand S. Khambata. Dietary Nitrate Provides Sustained Blood Pressure Lowering in Hypertensive Patients. (2014, November.)
  8. Newall CA, Anderson LA, Philpson JD. Herbal Medicine: A Guide for Healthcare Professionals. London, UK: The Pharmaceutical Press, 1996
  9. The Review of Natural Products by Facts and Comparisons. St. Louis, MO: Wolters Kluwer Co., 1999