Celery Juice Benefits: Is It Really That Good For You? Here's What Nutrition Experts Say
Celery juice became an Instagram fad after the medical medium Anthony William proclaimed that it could heal the gut and prevent chronic illness. These benefits were largely overstated and have since been debunked. That begs the question: Is there any reason to drink celery juice?
At the end of the day, the best way to reap the health benefits of celery is to eat it in its whole-food form. But if juicing is your thing, we're not going to knock you for it.
Here are a few potential health benefits of celery juice, plus some tips for preparing it at home to maximize nutrition and minimize kitchen waste.
Benefits of celery juice:
If you struggle to drink enough water during the day, celery juice can be an alternative to making sure you're getting enough fluids. "Celery juice can be an easy way to help you meet your hydration goals without adding lots of sugar to your diet," says Amanda Sauceda, RDN. "That's because celery juice is almost 95% water!" That high water content is exactly why it's so good for juicing, adds Abby Cannon, R.D.
It contains vitamins.
"Whole celery contains essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A, K, C, B vitamins (folate), beta-carotene (a precursor to vitamin A), calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, manganese, phosphorus, phytonutrients, and fiber," says Cannon.
"When juicing celery, some of those essential nutrients and phytonutrients remain in the juice and provide health benefits," Sauceda adds. (But not all: Juicing celery strips away a lot of its all-important fiber.)
It might have anti-inflammatory properties.
One review found that antioxidant levels in celery were significant enough to aid in removing free radicals and inflammation in the body1. But it's worth noting that this study—like most others—looked into whole celery, not celery juice. Cannon notes that many of the properties that make up the whole vegetable may be transferred when juiced, but it's not guaranteed.
It might help lower blood pressure.
"Whole celery acts as a natural diuretic, which means it helps reduce water retention and may lower blood pressure," says Cannon.
In a preclinical study, researchers looked at the effect of celery seed extract on rats' blood pressure and found that it lowered blood pressure and increased heart rate in hypertensive rats2.
Additional research found that a six-month regimen of celery juice given to a 74-year-old man with high blood pressure lowered his blood pressure from 150/80mmHG to 118/82mmHG3 with no other lifestyle modifications made in the process. This may be due to celery's high potassium profile, which Sauceda says aids in regulating blood pressure.
How to make celery juice at home.
With a juicer:
Making celery juice at home is as simple as adding celery stalks to your juicer and pressing the start button. You can also add ingredients like ginger, fruit, and citrus to boost the flavor.
"Invest in a high-quality juicer that produces the maximum amount of juice and very little byproduct or waste," advises Cannon. "This ensures you're getting the most nutrition out of the juicing process. If you can, avoid juicers made primarily of plastic—especially juicers where the plastic comes in contact with the vegetables."
Without a juicer:
If you don't have a juicer, Sauceda says you can use a blender. "This can preserve more of the fiber content, which is beneficial for digestive health," she says.
Drink the juice right away, or store it in the fridge for up to three days.
The nutritional value of celery juice.
Wondering exactly how celery juice stacks up nutritionally? One cup of celery juice includes4:
- Calories: 33 kcals
- Carbs: 7 grams
- Fat: 0.4 grams
- Protein: 1.6 grams
- Sugar: 3 grams
- Folate: 85 mcg (21% of the Daily Value)
- Potassium: 614 mg (13% of the Daily Value)
- Vitamin K: 69 mcg (58% of the Daily Value)
Side effects of celery juicing.
"For those with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), celery juice could be irritating because it is high in FODMAPs—forms of carbohydrates that can sometimes contribute to digestive discomfort," says Sauceda.
Cannon adds that you should avoid celery juice if you're taking sedatives, thyroid medications, blood clotting medications, or blood pressure medications. And if you need to watch your sodium intake, 1 cup of celery juice contains 189 mg of sodium, so it may not be the best drink for you.
Sustainability of celery juice & how to minimize waste.
Aim to use organic celery for your juicing when you can. "Celery is on the Environmental Working Group's Dirty Dozen list, meaning it has a high pesticide residue," says Cannon. "If consuming celery juice from conventionally grown celery, you're likely consuming pesticides with it."
To make your juicing habit more sustainable, you can also find ways to use up the whole celery—even the part you're not drinking. "Use the pulp to make crackers, muffins, and bread. You can also feed it to your pets!" Cannon recommends. "If you don't make anything with the pulp, compost it."
What happens if I drink celery juice every day?
Celery juice is safe to consume daily unless you have the preexisting health conditions mentioned above. Not sure if it's a smart choice for you? It doesn't hurt to ask a physician first.
How long before I feel the benefits of celery juice?
"There are no studies that examine how much celery juice yields benefits," says Cannon. "Your best bet is to start by drinking 6 to 8 ounces and see how you feel, or if you even like it!"
Are there benefits of celery juice first thing in the morning?
Because it's hydrating, it's not a bad idea to have a cup of celery juice in the morning to kickstart your day.
Is celery juice a safe, healthy beverage for many? You bet. Will it whittle your waistline and work other miracles? Probably not. "It's not a miracle drink that will cure you of all ailments," Cannon says. "But if you enjoy it, have it within the context of an overall healthy diet—one rich in a variety of vegetables, fruits, protein, fiber, and whole grains."
And if celery juice ends up not being your thing, here are some other green juices that will be just as beneficial to your health, if not more.
Colleen Travers is a freelance writer and editor who specializes in health, nutrition, diet, fitness, and wellness trends for various publications and brands. Her work has appeared in Reader's Digest, SHAPE, Fit Pregnancy, Food Network, and more. She lives on Long Island with her two kids, two rescue pets, and husband.