Celery Juicing: Superfood or Super Fad?
There’s a new wellness trend filling up feeds on social media. Celery juicing, a movement started by Anthony William, “the Medical Medium,” has captured the hearts of celebrities and wellness influencers across the Internet. William claims drinking 16 ounces of the cold-pressed veggie every morning has health benefits, like improved gut health, weight loss, clear skin, flushing out viruses and more.
So, is the green stalk as magical as people think? UnityPoint Health Registered Dietitian, Emma Rueth, MS, RDN, LDN, did her own research and had this to say about the superfood super fad.
It’s Packed with Vitamins
Rueth says like any fruit or vegetable juice, health benefits of celery juice come from the micronutrient-content that’s concentrated by juicing celery or any type of produce.
“Celery is a good source of vitamin K, folate and potassium, so juicing large amounts may act like a multivitamin drink,” Rueth says.
She adds that drinking juiced vegetables instead of eating whole produce offers more vitamins and minerals due to the decreased fiber content.
“One bunch of celery may be too filling to consume at once. However, if juicing that bunch only produces 8 ounces of juice, you could easily consume that amount of liquid in one sitting.”
(Based on William’s recommendation, you would need to juice at least two bunches of celery to make 16 ounces.)
Celery Isn’t Superior to Other Veggies
William believes celery juice increases and strengthens bile, restores the central nervous system and removes old toxins and poisons from the liver. However, Rueth says there is no specific healing-benefit celery has over other types of vegetables.
“Choose a wide variety of vegetables and fruits to consume during your week to receive the different vitamins and minerals your body needs to stay healthy.”
You Lose Healthy Fiber
Rueth says the main difference between whole versus juiced vegetables is the fiber content. When juiced, fiber is removed from the fruit or vegetable.
“Fiber is an extremely important nutrient for maintaining good general health. There are two types: soluble and insoluble. Whole celery is a great source of insoluble fiber, which acts as a bulking agent in the gut. It can help keep you regular and maintain a healthy weight.”
Rueth says this is because fiber-rich foods digest more slowly and help to steady blood sugar, which keeps you feeling full longer.
“Insoluble fiber can also lower your risk of diabetes, heart disease and certain types of cancers,” she adds.
What Celery Juice Can and Can’t Do for Your Health
Based on her research, Rueth provides a synopsis of the healthy celery juice side effects and what’s mostly hype.
- Prevent Cancer: False. Cancer development is multifactorial, and there is no scientific evidence to suggest one food item can prevent cancer in all individuals.
- Lower Cholesterol: False. As a source of insoluble fiber, whole celery may help to decrease overall heart disease risk and promote gut health.
- Control Blood Pressure: True. When juiced, the natural nitrate found in celery has been shown to help reduce blood pressure.
- Prevent Digestive Disorders: False. These is no evidence of an association between celery juice and digestive disorders. The insoluble fiber in whole celery may help reduce the risk of developing digestive disorders
- Act as an Anti-Inflammatory: True. Celery provides antioxidants, which can have anti-inflammatory action.
- Aid in Weight Loss: False. However, whole celery may help maintain a healthy weight because of its fiber.
- Promote Clear Skin: False. Hydration influences skin health, and celery is 95 percent water (not juiced). While it may keep the body hydrated, there are no principles of celery juice that make it particularly hydrating to the skin.
When in Doubt, Evidence-Based is Best
Rueth says when it comes to wellness fads to proceed with caution. If it seems too good to be true — it probably is.
“The fact that Anthony William states he has no medical training is a red flag. I believe in evidence-based recommendations, and celery juicing is not one of them right now.”