Celery Juicing: Superfood or Super Fad?
There’s a wellness trend continuing to fill 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, Allie Bohlman, MS, RD, LD, did her own research and had this to say about the superfood super fad.
It’s Packed with Vitamins
Bohlman 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,” Bohlman says.
She adds that drinking juiced vegetables instead of eating whole produce offers more vitamins and minerals due to the decreased fiber content. However, eating whole fruits and vegetables is the best way to get their full nutritional benefit.
“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. Thus, you’re getting more vitamins, minerals and antioxidants because of the volume consumed.”
(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, Bohlman says there’s 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
Bohlman 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.”
Bohlman 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, Bohlman provides a synopsis of the healthy celery juice side effects and what’s mostly hype.
- Prevent Cancer: False. Cancer development is multifactorial, and there’s 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, along with other fruits, vegetables and whole grains, 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. Keep in mind, you need to have a cup of chopped celery every day to see benefits. A variety of fruits and vegetables, low sodium diet and any needed medication is best for supporting blood pressure control.
- Prevent Digestive Disorders: False. There’s 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 content, or by replacing a high calorie food or beverage with celery, which is low in calories.
- 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
Bohlman 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.”
She adds, “If you’re trying to lose weight, a long-term solution can’t be found in one food. A combination of exercise and a well-balanced diet is recommended for long-term success.”
Talk to a UnityPoint Health doctor, or one of our registered dietitians, about what foods you need to fuel your body and feel your best.