Move over, kale.
Celery juice (and its long list of purported health benefits) is one of the most popular health and wellness fads to hit the scene. Celebrities have been buzzing about this vibrantly green drink for months — but what are the real benefits of celery juice?
We caught up with Jenny Craig’s Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, Briana Rodriquez, to get the scoop on celery, nutrition, and the benefits behind this popular vegetable.
The celery juice craze
You’ve probably seen it all over your social media feeds: crisp celery being added to sleek juicers or high-powered blenders. Bright green drinks being poured into Mason jars. Fit, smiling celebs posing with their celery juice and gushing about their improved health. When social media icons start promising you clearer skin, more energy, and a host of other health benefits, drinking celery juice might start sounding like a real-life panacea.
In just a few short months, this humble vegetable went from “ants on a log” to a must-have beverage. It seems like people can’t stop talking about — or buying — celery juice. There are over 155,000 #celeryjuice tags on Instagram … and counting. And celery juice sales through Square, a payment platform, skyrocketed with a 454 percent increase between October 2018 and January 2019.1
Whipping up your own batch of this DIY tonic is simple: just run a bunch of washed celery through a juicer, or blend and strain it without adding water.
Celery juice drinkers say to drink 16 ounces of juice in the morning on an empty stomach. Then, they suggest waiting 15 to 30 minutes before having breakfast to let the juice do its work.
But before you grab a glass, here’s why celery juice might not be the miracle tonic it's said to be.
Celery juice health claims
Celery juice fans claim the green drink can do everything from killing bacteria and viruses to reversing illnesses. Some celery juice devotees tout the drink’s ability to improve acid reflux and fight autoimmune disease.
Much of the juice craze is fueled by celebrity endorsements, but so far, science-backed research about the curative properties of celery juice is missing.
Here’s the science behind celery juice claims
Much of the existing research won’t address the incredible claims you’ll find on social media. Instead, studies suggest that consuming isolated elements of celery — rather than drinking the juice — may provide health benefits that help to alleviate, rather than completely cure, different symptoms.
- In a 2013 pilot study published in Natural Medicine Journal, researchers found that participants who took a capsule of celery seed extract in the morning and another at night had lower blood pressure readings after three and six-week periods.2
- Microglia are brain cells that produce inflammatory cells to protect the body from illness, but too much inflammation in the brain could lead to health issues. A study conducted on mice revealed a plant compound in celery may have anti-inflammatory effects on microglia. Researchers believe this may help limit inflammation-related symptoms of aging.3
- Apigenin is a natural substance found in celery. When extracted from the plant, apigenin may be an effective tool to help slow the growth and reduce the size of tumors created by a certain type of breast cancer, according to a 2012 study conducted on mice.4
While these and other studies have had promising results, much more research will need to be done to understand celery’s potential health benefits for humans.
Celery nutrition facts, explained by a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
It’s very hydrating. Celery is made up of about 95 percent water, so it’s no surprise that blending or juicing it produces plenty of liquid.5 However, eating celery or drinking celery juice shouldn’t take the place of drinking water, Rodriquez explains. Everyone’s hydration needs are going to be different, but a good rule of thumb is to drink at least eight cups of water per day. If you’re exercising or spending time outdoors sweating, you should increase your intake.
It has plenty of fiber. A cup of raw celery contains about 1.6 grams of fiber, she says. However, running celery through a juicer or strainer removes that healthful fiber. The dietary fiber found in celery is great for digestion and provides food for the good bacteria in your gut, Rodriquez notes. These bacteria turn the fiber into energy that your body can use.6 Some studies suggest that eating high-fiber foods may help protect against cardiovascular disease7 and decrease the risk for Type 2 diabetes.8
Celery is full of antioxidants. Antioxidants are chemicals that may help delay or prevent cell damage. Fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of antioxidants, Rodriquez says. While the roots, leaves, stem and seeds of celery contain high amounts of antioxidants, more research is needed to conclude if celery could be used for a variety of therapeutic purposes.9
Celery is packed with vitamins. A cup of celery boasts a variety of vitamins and is especially high in vitamins A and K, Rodriquez points out. Vitamin A supports the immune and reproductive systems, your vision, and benefits your internal organs.10 Vitamin K assists with blood clotting and bone health, among other functions.11
One of the best ways to enjoy celery and reap the benefits
“Eating raw or lightly cooked celery is best,” Rodriquez says, “you’ll get the additional benefits from the fiber.”
She emphasizes a well-rounded eating plan to promote a healthy diet with essential nutrients. Including celery in a balanced diet that has plenty of fresh (or frozen!) vegetables, a moderate amount of fruit and lean protein, and smaller amounts of carbohydrates and healthy fats will provide your body with plenty of vitamins and minerals and the energy it needs to function it’s best daily.
“Blending your veggies into a drink is a great and simple way to add more nutrients to your day,” Rodriquez says. “Just be mindful about how much fruit you add. This is where most people overdo it, they add more fruit than greens, but you want the opposite – the more greens, the better!”
Because fruit is high in natural sugars, keeping an eye on your portion sizes can help support your weight loss goals.
The celery juice craze may not be going anywhere anytime soon, but don’t feel pressured to jump on the bandwagon. Juicing your celery removes beneficial fiber, so eating it raw is one of the best ways to consume this veggie. Plus, the research behind celery’s health benefits is experimental at best. Rather than depending on celery juice, aim to incorporate celery in a balanced diet with a variety of high-quality ingredients to support your health.
Still want to try adding celery juice to your routine? Here’s a celery juice recipe that’s approved by our Registered Dietitian for a healthier way to get your greens.
Drink your greens
Blending your vegetables into a smoothie is a quick and delicious way to get more greens — especially if they’re not your favorite thing to eat.
Unlike the celery juice challenge, you won’t need to drink this as soon as you wake up and you can incorporate more greens into the juice. Enjoy it with your next meal for an extra boost of veggies.
Some vegetables, like spinach, cauliflower and cucumber, can hide surprisingly well in drinks. Their mild flavors make them a great match for other more flavorful greens and fresh or frozen fruit. (Give this Blueberry Cauliflower Smoothie a try!)
Here’s our RDN’s favorite recipe. If you’re a Jenny Craig member, you can sip and enjoy knowing that it’s packed with Fresh & Free Additions.
- 2 handfuls of spinach
- 2 handfuls of romaine
- 2 stalks of celery, chopped
- ½ cucumber, chopped
- ½ Granny Smith apple, chopped
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, peeled and grated
- Juice of ½ lemon
- Pour 2 cups of water in high-speed blender.
- Add all ingredients and blend until smooth.
- Add more water to reach desired consistency.
- Pour over ice or blend ice into your smoothie and enjoy!
Save any extra in an airtight jar for the next day.
Counts as 1 Fruit.
What’s your favorite way to enjoy celery? Let us know in the comments!
Stephanie Eng-Aponte is a copywriter for Jenny Craig and has written for the health and wellness, tech, and environmental industries. Stephanie graduated from Rutgers University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Media Studies. They employ an “eat first, write later” approach to food blogging and enjoy the occasional Oxford comma. Outside of writing, you can find them photographing a muttley crew of rescue pups, brewing kombucha, or exploring San Diego.
Favorite healthy snack: Green apple slices with sunflower butter
Briana Rodriquez, RDN
Briana is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Personal Trainer for Jenny Craig, based in Carlsbad, California. She is passionate about utilizing food as functional and preventative medicine. Guided by a simplistic and optimistic approach, Briana’s philosophy is to help people improve their health and achieve their goals through the development of sustainable habits to live a healthy life. In her free time, you can find her strength training, indoor cycling, coffee tasting, and at local eateries with her husband and two dogs.
Favorite healthy snack: peanut butter with celery alongside a grapefruit-flavored sparkling water (so refreshing!)
This article is based on scientific research and/or other scientific articles and was written by an experienced health and lifestyle contributor and fact-checked by Briana Rodriquez, RDN, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist at Jenny Craig.
Our goal at Jenny Craig is to provide the most up-to-date and objective information on health-related topics, so our readers can make informed decisions based on factual content. All articles undergo an extensive review process, and depending on topic, are reviewed by a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) or Nutritionist, to ensure accuracy.
This article contains trusted sources including scientific, peer-reviewed papers. All references are hyperlinked at the end of the article to take readers directly to the source.