If you spend any time on social media, you’ve probably seen someone raving about celery juice benefits. Many claim that it’s a miracle drink or a ‘cure-all’ for many health conditions, but what does the science say? Should we really all be guzzling down cup after cup of green juice each day or is this more hype than fact? Let’s take a look.
Nutrition of celery juice
1 cup of celery juice contains:
- 42.5 calories
- 2 g protein
- 9.5 g carbs
- 5 g sugar
Celery juice is also packed with vitamins A, C, and K, along with calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, zinc, copper, B vitamins, and many antioxidants. One important thing to note is that celery juice contains 215 mg of sodium, so people who need to watch their salt intake need to be cognizant of how much sodium they are consuming with celery juice.
Juicing celery removes the fiber, so it is really mostly water and nutrients. In fact, celery juice is 95% water. Drinking celery juice can definitely feel refreshing since it is full of hydration due to its water content plus electrolytes. But what about the other purported benefits?
Let’s get down to the truth about celery juice benefits
Some of the touted benefits include that it can lower blood sugar, lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation, and reduce oxidative stress in the body. There are also claims that celery juice helps ward off many diseases, like cancer and diabetes.
These potential celery juice benefits definitely seem enticing, especially if you have conditions like prediabetes, diabetes, or heart disease. So what does the science say?
Does celery juice reduce blood pressure?
Celery juice contains phytochemicals (aka phytonutrients), which are biologically active compounds found in plants that offer benefits to us when consumed. The phytochemicals in celery are shown to help reduce blood pressure and prevent cardiovascular diseases, which is great news for people who want to keep their heart healthy. So it seems like this claim may be true, right?
The important thing to note is that these phytochemicals are not unique to celery juice. You also get these beneficial phytochemicals when you consume whole celery. So it really doesn’t make a difference if you get these phytochemicals by drinking celery juice or eating whole celery- the benefits are reaped either way.
In addition, many fruits and vegetables contain the same phytochemicals as celery. So, celery isn’t unique in its ability to help reduce blood pressure. Unless you love drinking celery juice each day, you can focus on eating a variety of fruits and vegetables on a daily basis to get the same heart healthy benefits.
Does celery juice lower blood sugar?
You may have heard that celery juice can help reduce blood sugar. One study has found that eating whole celery helps to reduce blood glucose levels pre- and post-meal in patients with prediabetes. Since the same compounds are present in both whole celery and celery juice, it makes sense to think that celery juice would have the same blood sugar reducing benefits as whole celery. But that isn’t necessarily the case.
When celery is juiced, the fiber is removed and that’s a problem because fiber helps reduce blood sugar by slowing down the absorption of glucose into the bloodstream. So if you drink only celery juice in the morning, you would be missing out on the fiber that provides this benefit. And you wouldn’t want to rely on celery alone to improve blood sugar anyway. It’s always best to include many blood sugar reducing foods into your diet – not just celery.
If you love celery juice, this can be a great swap for higher carb juices in the morning. Since this green juice is low on the glycemic index scale and contains only 5 grams of sugar per 8 ounce cup, it can have less of an impact on blood sugar levels than a juice containing a higher amount of carbohydrate.
Does celery juice reduce inflammation?
Celery contains special kind of antioxidant called flavonoids, a phytochemical present in almost all fruits and vegetables that gives them their vivid coloring and offers a variety of health benefits. For instance, the flavonoids found in celery juice have been found to help fight inflammation, which can be the root cause of many chronic conditions.
But keep in mind, these flavonoids are not unique to celery juice. You can also get them from whole celery, along with many other foods, including artichokes, parsley, bell peppers, and spinach.
So once again, the moral of the story is that you don’t need to drink celery juice to obtain a reduction in inflammation. As long as you include a variety of fruits and vegetables consistently into your diet, you can still get the same benefits.
Does celery juice reduce oxidative stress?
Let’s first talk about what oxidative stress is. This is essentially an imbalance of free radicals and antioxidants within the body. And when this occurs, the abundance of free radicals can damage cells. To shift this balance, you want to get more antioxidants into your diet to fight against the damage free radicals can cause.
Celery juice is shown to help reduce oxidative stress in the body, but this happens because celery contains many antioxidants – not because there is anything uniquely special about celery juice itself versus whole celery and other plant-based foods.
Celery juice vs celery stalks
So here’s the thing that you probably understand at this point: there isn’t much of a difference in health benefits when you compare consuming celery juice versus eating whole celery stalks. The beneficial compounds are found in both whole celery and celery juice. But there are a couple important differences to note:
First, juicing celery allows you to consume more celery. Imagine eating an entire head of celery… would you do that? Probably not! However, sticking the head of celery into a juicer is much easier to consume, plus the nutrients are more concentrated. This means that it may be easier to get the benefits out of celery when you juice it versus eating it whole.
Second, juicing celery removes the fiber. We know how important fiber is for our health. Fiber helps keep us full, keep our blood sugar balanced, lowers cholesterol, feeds our beneficial gut bacteria, and promotes good gut health – the foundation of preventing future disease.
So, is it really worth it to remove the fiber from celery? If you’re not consuming other fruits and vegetables, probably not! We only get fiber from plant-based foods. Vegetable juices may be more concentrated in nutrients, but it comes at the cost of eliminating the fiber. So, if you’re drinking celery juice for the celery juice benefits, be sure to still eat plenty of fiber-rich fruits, vegetables, and whole grains into your diet each day.
The bottom line about celery juice benefits
Does celery juice have benefits? Yes, but before you start guzzling it down, remember a few important things:
Celery juice offers health benefits by giving you a concentrated dose of phytochemicals and antioxidants. If you enjoy drinking celery juice, then go for it! However, just be aware that celery juice isn’t some special ‘cure-all’ or miracle food. If you aren’t focused on your nutrition for the rest of the day, aren’t getting enough sleep, or aren’t prioritizing movement, then celery juice won’t make up for those bad habits.
When it comes to disease prevention, the key is focusing on all aspects of health and wellness. Preventing and reversing conditions like diabetes takes much more than just drinking celery juice. Plus, many other foods can give you the same benefits. You don’t have to begrudgingly drink celery juice to reap the benefits. But if you enjoy it, by all means drink up!
The bottom line is that we can all benefit from having more vegetables in our diet, and celery is a great choice. But it doesn’t have to come in the form of celery juice, unless you truly enjoy it.
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