To sip or not to sip? If your Instagram feed is anything like ours, it’s likely filled with celebs, influencers, and maybe even those in your inner circle singing the praises of their newfound daily celery juice habit. But before you go stock up on stalks and buy an expensive juicer, it may be worth doing a deep dive to determine whether or not there’s any legitimacy to this buzzy wellness trend. Ahead, experts weigh in on the celery juice craze.
What’s so great about celery juice anyway?
Spoiler alert: A lot of it is just hype, so take all of those life-changing, health-boosting claims with a grain of salt. “Contrary to claims by self-professed ‘experts,’ celery juice is relatively lacking in vitamins or minerals,” says Georgie Fear, RD, CSSD, author of Lean Habits for Lifelong Weight Loss. “In fact, compared to other fruits and vegetables, it has one of the lowest concentrations of phytochemicals, and celery juice itself has not been shown to reduce the incidence of cancer or other diseases,” she points out.
OK, but it has to have some benefits…
At the end of the day, it’s still a vegetable, so there are some benefits. According to Fear, celery’s best attribute is vitamin C, since it contains 16 percent of the recommended daily minimum. Some data also indicates that the nitrates in celery juice may provide a temporary decrease in blood pressure, Fear adds, though she’s quick to note that this data is limited and from in vitro and animal studies. Still, celery does contain fiber, over 100 milligrams per medium sized stalk, says nutritionist Tamara Alexandra Rausch, product manager Europe at Lycored. Granted, if you want to maximize those fiber benefits, eating it is your best bet. But even though juicing removes some of the fiber, some is still left behind, Rausch confirms. She also points out that juicing may be preferable for people who might be put off eating celery due to its stringy texture.
So to juice or not to juice?
Our experts were split here. “Buy a bunch of kale or swiss chard, or eat just a few leaves of spinach, and you'll get far more nutrition than you would from chugging pints of celery juice. Plus, you'll save money and won't have to deal with cleaning a juicer every day,” says Fear. On the flip side, Rausch is for it, and suggests aiming for 16 ounces a day if you do want to try the trend.
Still, both experts agree that it is a good swap for any kind of sugar-laden fruit juice and will keep you hydrated. They also both agreed that taking the DIY juicing route is the way to go, so that you can ensure you’re getting just celery juice and nothing else. When juicing, be sure to include the leaves in the mix, which contain more flavonoids (nutritional compounds) than the stalks. At the end of the day, unless you’re allergic to celery, drinking celery juice isn’t going to do any harm…it just may not be the end-all-be-all wellness solution that it’s made out to be on social media.