If you’re into green juice, you’ve probably been drinking celery juice for a while without even knowing it. Fresh celery is often included in mixes with kale, cucumbers, and spinach – usually in a supporting role. But increasingly, this often overlooked green veggie is becoming the star of the show.
Just look at #celeryjuice on Instagram for proof. The hashtag has over 167k posts and counting.
Supporters are calling celery a “superfood.” Food bloggers and Instagrammers even refer to celery juice as a “miracle juice.”
There’s no doubt that this veggie juice offers an abundance of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. But can it really be called a “superfood?” Let’s take a look at the science behind the many health benefits.
The Nutrient Content of Celery
With only 10 calories, 1 gram of fiber, and less than 1 gram of sugar per large stalk, celery is a popular snack for people who are trying to lose weight.1 But celery is basically water… right? Does it actually have health benefits? You may be surprised.
As far as nutrients go, celery is an excellent source of vitamin K, which is known to support bone health and cardiovascular health.2,3 And yes, it does have a high percentage of water content, but it also contains the following nutrients:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B2
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin C
- Pantothenic acid4
Note: Juicing any fruit or vegetable removes the pulp, which takes out the fiber. So you lose the health benefits you’d get from fiber when you juice your celery.5 Juicing also concentrates the amount of sugar you consume.
However, you do still get vitamins and nutrients when you juice. Since juice typically contains a higher volume of fruit and vegetables, you’ll likely get even more nutrients. Expert opinions are split, but some studies have shown that juicing makes nutrients easier to absorb.6
What Other Nutrients Are Present in Celery?
In addition to these vitamins and minerals, celery is chock full of phytonutrients – like phenolic acid and flavonoids.7 This is where a lot of celery juice health benefits really come from.
The benefits of phytonutrients have been well-documented in numerous studies. These potential benefits include:
- Powerful antioxidant properties
- Immune system support8
- Defense against bacteria and other toxins9
Celery contains over a dozen of these health-boosting phytonutrients, including:
- Phenolic acids, like caffeic acid and ferulic acid
- Flavonols, like quercetin and kaempferol
- Flavones, like luteolin and apigenin
What are the Health-Boosting Properties of Celery Juice?
Celery juice contains vitamins, minerals, nutrients, phenolic acids, and flavonoids like luteolin and apigenin. What are the benefits of these compounds – and better yet, are there any studies to back up these claims?
Celery Juice May Help With Weight Loss (Sort Of)
For those looking to lose some weight and reduce calories, drinking celery juice may prove helpful. Celery is over 95% water, so it’s quite hydrating.10 Increased hydration has been shown in studies to help with weight loss.11 That said, there’s something that’s way more effective for hydration: drinking water.
Celery does have some fiber – about 1 gram per stalk. Fiber aids digestion and other bodily functions. But remember, you’ll typically lose that fiber in the juicing process.
Some celery juice fans anecdotally state that it helps them feel satiated. It’s a low-calorie food – so if you’re replacing calories that you’d otherwise eat, it may help with weight loss. But if this is your angle, you might be better off snacking on celery instead of juicing it.
Celery Juice Is Packed With Antioxidants
Celery is loaded with antioxidants, which work to slow down free radicals – those pesky, unstable molecules that can do damage to your body.12
Celery contains quite a few antioxidants, including:
- Ferulic acid
- Caffeic acid
These antioxidants have been shown to remove free radicals – and many experts believe this could have a wide range of health benefits.13,14
Celery Juice Can Improve Gut Health
There are trillions of microorganisms that live in your “gut” or gastrointestinal tract. Some are beneficial, while others can be harmful if left unchecked. Maintaining the right balance of microbes in your digestive tract is vital for:
- Physical health
- Mental wellness
- Immunity and whole-body wellness
Simply put: when your gut health is out of whack, your health suffers.
Celery juice might be able to help.
Research shows that the phytonutrients in celery juice can help maintain gut microbial balance. They can also promote better gut health. The phytonutrients in question here are flavonoids – specifically, a compound called luteolin – and coumarins.
Luteolin is found in celery – and you can also get it from carrots, peppers, olive oil, and rosemary. It’s a powerhouse ingredient that helps balance those microorganisms and maintain gut health.15,16
Additionally, studies have shown that coumarins can inhibit potentially harmful bacteria like Streptococcus, which can cause a range of health conditions.17
Can Celery Juice Ease Acid Reflux Bloating?
One health claim that’s widely circulated, but lacks peer-reviewed scientific evidence, is this: celery juice helps acid reflux. The “Medical Medium” Anthony William, renowned by some people as the godfather of the celery juice movement, is credited for this health claim.
He theorizes that acid reflux occurs after your liver is weakened by bacteria. This causes your stomach to first overproduce hydrochloric acid, and then lose the ability to produce it at all.
With the drop in hydrochloric acid, bad bacteria thrives, and you get acid reflux.18
William claims that celery juice repairs the glands that produce hydrochloric acid. He says that this can restore balance to your body. While William is notably not a medical professional, if you suffer from chronic acid reflux, it may be worth a try.
Always check with your doctor or a registered dietitian nutritionist before making any major diet changes, especially if you’re on medication. He or she will know what’s best for your unique needs.
With 50 milligrams of sodium per large stalk, celery has a fairly high salt content for a vegetable.19 While it is still not considered a high sodium food, the amount of sodium in celery may cause concern for some people.20 Talk to your doctor if you’re concerned about salts in your diet.
Sensitivity To Sunlight
Oddly enough, if it comes in contact with your skin, celery juice can cause a sun-induced skin sensitivity condition known as phytophotodermatitis.21
Make Sure You Buy Organic Celery
Celery is on the dirty dozen list, which means it is highly sprayed with chemicals and pesticides. For this reason, be sure to purchase organic celery if you can.
Celery Juice Recipe
Some say that celery has the most health benefits when you drink it alone.22 While there aren’t scientific studies to prove this, if you’re going to drink celery juice, you may as well do it the right way!
The recipe is simple:
1. Wash your celery thoroughly. Drop it in your juicer. Enjoy immediately.
Or, if you don’t have a juicer…
2. Wash your celery. Drop it in a high-speed blender. Strain and drink immediately.
Like many other fruits and vegetables, celery has a ton of health benefits. If you want to hop on the celery juice trend, go for it. You’ll likely benefit from all those antioxidants and phytonutrients.
How does it rival other superfood healing tonics like kale juice smoothies? Researchers are still looking into these particular benefits, so don’t officially call it a “superfood” just yet.
Your best bet is to include celery juice and raw celery in a diet that is rich in other fruits and vegetables too (like beets!) Studies show that health benefits come from consuming a variety of antioxidants.23
So, it looks like mixing celery juice with other vegetables may not be such a bad idea after all!