What Is Celery Juice & Is It Worth the Hype?
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Chances are, you’ve recently heard someone you know mention their new habit of drinking celery juice each morning, and the amazing health benefits it has bestowed upon them. A simple Google or Pinterest search will return plenty of articles on celery juice as a “miracle cure” for everything from allergies, autoimmune disease, acne, thyroid conditions, and more.
The celery juice trend arose primarily from the work of Medical Medium, who recommends drinking 16 ounces of celery juice on an empty stomach each morning as “a powerful healing remedy.” Since his promotion of celery juice became widespread in alternative, and then mainstream media, countless accounts have emerged from people who have experienced great success from daily celery juice—many citing that it resolves their acne, digestive problems, allergies, and autoimmune conditions, to name just a few.
That’s awesome! Whenever someone can add more fresh produce into their diet and resolve nagging health concerns, we’re over here cheering. 🙌
But from a nutrition perspective, we tend to be hesitant about promoting a) very specific, somewhat obscure foods that are not naturally part of the human diet, and b) promoting anything as a miracle cure.
So, let’s explore what celery juice is, why it may be beneficial to your health, and whether or not it’s worth the hype.
What is celery juice?
Celery juice is (you guessed it!) the juice of fresh celery—most of the nutrients of celery, with the fiber removed. As it’s promoted in the recent celery juice trend, it’s typically freshly juiced with a home juicer and consumed on an empty stomach, first thing in the morning.
Health benefits of celery juice
Raw, un-juiced celery is rich in water and important nutrients, including vitamins A, K and C, beta carotene, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus and flavonoids (powerful antioxidants).
Some of the health benefits of celery are:
Reduces blood pressure
Good source of antioxidants, which reduce inflammation and oxidative stress
Reduces water retention (it’s a natural diuretic)
Juicing retains most of the vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients present in raw vegetables, so many of the benefits of raw, un-juiced celery can also be attributed to celery juice.
Is celery juice worth the hype?
While it may or may not provide dramatic health benefits for you, celery juice, like any other green juice, is a great way to add more nutrients to your diet in an easily-digestible way.
Celery is a very fibrous vegetable, which means that it takes a bit longer for the body to break down and digest. Juicing extracts most of the vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients from the fiber holding the fruit/vegetable together, making those nutrients more easily accessible to the body without having to digest the fiber they’re packaged in.
So, juicing fast-tracks nutrients into your system—a useful method for anyone who has compromised digestion (and thus can’t easily access the nutrients in fibrous celery) or anyone who is healing from an illness (and therefore would like to boost nutrients while saving the energy that usually goes into digestion).
And, some people find that they like the taste of celery juice (it’s light and refreshing!) and it helps them add more green veggies and phytonutrients into their daily diet.
Though the benefits of juicing celery are certainly helpful in some circumstances, in general Americans do not consume nearly enough fiber (which is super important for slowing digestion, regulating blood sugar and promoting healthy elimination), so it’s worth considering if juicing is the best strategy for you, or if you’d be better off sticking to smoothies, which contain the original fiber of the fruits/veggies they’re made with.
The bottom line: If you like celery juice and it makes you feel good, go for it! It’s green, it’s full of nutrients—enjoy! But we’re not making any nutritional promises about the magical benefits of juicing this one specific vegetable—you’ll have to try it and see for yourself how it makes you feel, and if any particular symptoms are relieved (the most common cited are allergies, acne, low energy and digestive problems).
How to make celery juice
While there are a wide variety of green juice recipes that include celery along with other fruits and veggies like spinach, kale, parsley, cilantro, or apples, the reported benefits of the celery juice trend are based on pure celery juice without other added ingredients.
Rinse your celery well, run it through your juicer, and drink immediately for best results.
Wait 15-30 minutes after finishing your celery juice to consume anything else.
Celery juice has only about 40 calories, so (unless you’re intermittent fasting) it’s not a replacement for a healthy breakfast.
P.S. Need help choosing a home juicer?
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Try up to 16 ounces of fresh celery juice on an empty stomach first thing in the morning.
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