The Verdict on Celery Juice


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Want to transform your health in one week? Sign me up – but unfortunately it isn’t going to happen by drinking celery juice!

When I start a new semester of teaching Nutrition 101, I tell my students to forget everything they know or have heard about nutrition; we’re starting with the basics and building from there. Once they’ve learned the “basics” we go back and talk about areas of nutrition misinformation and ideas they now know aren’t 100% accurate - or just flat-out crazy. They also love to bring in articles or products for us to dissect the legitimacy of in class – the latest one being CELERY JUICE. 

The Health Claims of Celery Juice

While I’m usually on top of what’s trending in the nutrition world, celery juice is one I’ve missed – or maybe one that is just now hitting Alabama, but the claims are pretty strong: 

“Just 16 ounces of fresh celery juice every morning on an empty stomach can transform your health and digestion in as little as one week.”

Intrigued, I searched online to quickly “learn” that celery is the superfood we all need and to tap into its maximum potential, we should be drinking a glass of fresh-pressed celery juice (room-temp, ideally) on an empty stomach every morning. According to the Medical Medium, “Celery is truly the savior when it comes to chronic illness.”

So, based on the health claims, here’s what we can expect if we drink celery juice daily:

  • Restored gut health and improved digestion

  • Reduced inflammation and improvement of autoimmune conditions

  • Starvation of bad bacteria and flushing out of viruses

  • Balanced pH in the body, detoxed liver and cleaner blood

  • Hydration on a “deep cellular level” to reduce incidence of migraines, anxiety and panic attacks

  • Reversal of brain fog, depression and anxiety

While over-the-top, these claims must have some scientific-basis, right? Well, somewhat, but it’s also pretty misleading. Here’s what to know about celery, celery juice, its potential healing powers, and if you should be drinking it. 

The Verdict on Celery Juice

It’s True that:

  • Celery contains phytochemicals and antioxidants associated with reducing inflammation to possibly reduce autoimmune symptoms and disease risk.

BUT, so do lots of other vegetables, fruits, and herbs. Compounds called flavonoids are behind many of celery’s health perks, but there are lots of other foods with the same level of or even more flavonoids. 

It’s True that:

  • Celery has a slight diuretic effect and my help digestion. In fact, I just included celery in a list of foods to ease bloating and water retention. But the effects are minimal, and if anything, celery and those other foods just support the body in its natural process of restoring fluid balance and homeostasis.

BUT, celery doesn’t detox the bloodstream or liver, and it doesn’t change the body’s internal pH. See my article for Cooking Light on why food can’t alter the body’s pH. 

It’s True that:

  • Celery juice contains Vitamins C and K, potassium, magnesium, iron, and other nutrients.

BUT, puree 1 pound of any vegetable or fruit, and you’ve got similar potential “superfood” nutrient levels. There’s nothing particularly special about celery other than it’s a vegetable, and most all need to be eating more veggies. 

It’s True that:

  • Drinking celery juice is a healthy way to get some nutrients.

BUT, celery juice is also pretty bitter and not the most palatable pureed vegetable, and there are lots of other ways to get the same nutrients.  

Bottom Line: 

If you like celery, make a point to incorporate it more into snacks, salads, or other juices and smoothies. But if you’re not a celery fan (like myself), don’t feel like your health is compromised by skipping it! Just load up on other produce during the day. 

What other "Superfoods" are you interested in breaking down?