Celery has a range of health benefits. Just like most veggies. So why is celery juice suddenly all the rage on social media?
The claim is that certain components of celery juice can improve gut health, reduce inflammation, and cure a host of other ailments. However, the research and science to back these claims is severely limited.
That said, here are a few things most health experts can agree on, and what you should know before you drink the juice.
Some juicing machines strip away most of the heart-healthy fiber in fruits and vegetables.
If you're using a juicer that extracts the pulp from the fruits and vegetables, then you're probably not getting the benefits of fiber in your drink. Fiber can not only help lower bad cholesterol, it also keeps you feeling full and promotes good gut health. To avoid losing out on the fiber, use a blender or similar piece of equipment that doesn't remove the fiber.
Juicing can be a great way to get a bigger variety of fruits and vegetables in your diet.
While homemade raw juices don't typically contain all the nutrients you need, they can be a good way to introduce new fruits or vegetables into your diet. Getting a larger variety of produce in your diet can help you get a wider range of nutrients and powerful antioxidants.
Certain types of juice may interfere with medications.
Juicing can contribute to better hydration.
While there's no scientific evidence to support that the juice you get from extraction is healthier than the juice you get from eating the whole fruit or vegetable, drinking one to two cups of fresh-pressed vegetable juice can contribute to overall hydration, while giving you a boost of vitamins and minerals.
Celery is not necessarily healthier than other vegetables and fruits.
Celery contains a range of good-for-you vitamins and nutrients, including vitamins C and K, potassium, magnesium, and iron. But so do a lot of other vegetables. It's also worth noting that extracting just the juice from vegetables condenses the sugars. So even though celery is considered a low-calorie vegetable when eaten raw, once it's put through a juicing machine, it loses it's fiber and the concentration of sugar goes up.
The science may not be there to support celery juice but that doesn't mean it's unsafe.
There are countless anecdotal claims of people drinking 16 ounces of celery juice on an empty stomach in the morning who say they are experiencing health benefits. While there is not enough scientific evidence to support these claims, there's also no evidence to say it's unsafe ... as long as you're getting fiber in other forms throughout the day and eating a well-balanced diet.
For more information about celery juicing and juicing in general, talk to your local Hy-Vee registered dietitian about if it's right for you.