Ask Keri: Everyone I follow on Instagram is juicing celery to address all kinds of health issues. Should I do the same?
Keri Says: Celery juice is a healthy source of beneficial nutrients and antioxidants like vitamin K, vitamin C, folate, and potassium, and there’s no risk to drinking it. However, there are many claims made about its magical powers that are not based on any scientific evidence.
Really, Instagram influencers would have you believe sipping a cup of celery will instantly cure your acne, lower your cholesterol, and banish your UTI. While science certainly tells us that nutritious foods (like whole, fresh veggies!) are the foundation that good health and disease prevention rest on, we also know that no one food in isolation can make promises like that. Our super cool human bodies are just too complicated for that.
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Here’s what you need to know about the many claims being made about celery juice.
Why Celery Is the New Kale
Celery used to be seen as a crunchy “diet” food, known only for its low-cal (or negative calorie?) vibes. The truth is that it’s loaded with beneficial nutrients, and the attention on that front is well-deserved.
Celery is a good source of fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, potassium, and calcium. It also contains lot of phytonutrients with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory powers, like luteolin and quercetin. In animal studies, it’s been shown to lower markers of heart disease. Finally, celery is a vegetable with high water content, so it can help keep you hydrated.
Celery: To Juice or Chew?
When you juice vegetables, you essentially concentrate the nutrients into a quickly chuggable form. But you also lose all of the fiber, and fiber is super good for your gut. In other words, there’s nothing wrong with drinking it rather than chewing it, but if you chew it, you’ll also get the fiber.
One of the biggest claims circulating is that drinking celery juice first thing in the morning before eating anything else is somehow better for your health than drinking it at another point in the day or simple eating the same amount of stalks. There is no scientific evidence to support that claim.
The Bottom Line
Celery is good for you, so if juicing it (or eating it) is something that fits in your lifestyle and makes you happy, go for it!
If you lose weight, it’s likely because you replaced something less healthy with celery juice. (Like, if you go from eating a morning donut to drinking celery juice, yes, you’ll probably drop a few pounds.)
While there’s no established science that says it will transform your health in massive ways, that doesn’t mean research won’t emerge later supporting some of the claims. And in the meantime, we know the more vegetables we consume, the healthier we are. If this one makes you start the day with pep in your step, that’s good anecdotal evidence that it’s working for you.
In other words, make it a part of your vegetable-heavy, whole foods diet? Yes! Expect miracles? Not so much.