Should You Drink Celery Juice for Weight Loss? We Found Out
Celery juice is back. The low-calorie vegetable stole the show from kale, spinach, and other greens because of anecdotal health claims made by celebrities, athletes, and influencers, on social media. Two of the most influential celery juicers are Kim Kardashian and Novak Djovak who touted the juice for treating personal health conditions and supporting better digestion. Others suggest celery juice clears their skin, alleviates headaches, treats sleeping disorders, aids weight loss, and more. However, nutritionists say there's not enough evidence as to whether the celery juice health claims are true. Studies have yet to be conducted. Instead, nutritionists advise people to drink celery juice for its science-backed health benefits such as providing a good source of vitamin K, potassium, and helping you stay hydrated. Here's everything you need to know about the celery juice trend, if it actually works, and if you should the vibrant green drink.
Why is celery juice so popular?
The celery phenomenon started when Anthony William (the OG celery juicer) published the book: Medical Medium Celery Juice: The Most Powerful Medicine of Our Time Healing Millions Worldwide and advised his 3.2 million Instagram followers to drink 16 ounces of organic celery juice on an empty stomach every morning for its natural healing powers, crediting the information to what he calls the "Spirit of Compassion."
Several publications including The New York Times point out that William's claims such as drinking celery juice to help clear skin and support a healthy digestive system are not backed by science. In fact, human's reaction to the vegetable has not been tested, as the only published studies have been tested on animals such as mice or rats.
Willaim's massive social media following spread the word quickly. Influencers, celebrities, and athletes like Gwyneth Paltrow, Kim Kardashian, and Novak Djokovic also helped spread awareness around celery juice, claiming it helped with some kind of health condition: Digestion, weight loss, acne, sleeping, and more.
Then Goop published a piece written by William called The Medical Medium on the Virtues of Celery Juice: "In my opinion, celery has an incredible ability to create sweeping improvements for all kinds of health issues," he wrote. No lesser influencer than Kim Kardashian met with William, who told her to drink celery juice for her psoriasis, according to Shape. The tennis star who pays close attention to digestion health told the interviewer Graham Bensinger he drinks three liquids in the morning including celery juice for its health benefits.
Juice shops also played a role in marketing celery. In fact, it was some stores' hero product following this craze. Juice Press added the one-ingredient juice to their detox menu which customers happily paid more than $7 for. They also work with influencers to promote the juice to their followers. But as successful as Juice Press was, there came a point when demand couldn't meet supply. “Three months ago we couldn’t provide enough celery juice for about 4 days,” Michael Karsch, CEO of Juice Press told The New York Times. Pressed Juicery also went out of their way to create a bottled celery juice and noted William's beliefs in the selling-point description: "Drink every day on an empty stomach for maximum benefits."
Does celery juice actually treat these health claims?
There is a lack of studies that prove the celery juice health claims are true, and in fact, most of the studies have been tested on rats or mice, with a focus on celery seeds or celery extract. “There’s no scientific evidence to support any of the claims being made,” Rachel E. Scherr (assistant research scientist in nutrition at the University of California, Davis) told The New York Times.
Other health claims such as celery juice for hydration and nutrients may be true. Celery is roughly 95 percent water and contains 165 mg of potassium per 1/2 cup of celery, an important nutrient that helps regulate fluid balance. Celery also contains high amounts of vitamin K, 30 mcg per 1 cup of celery. However, the vegetable contains such small amounts of vitamin A and C, two important nutrients for immunity. Whereas carrots contain triple the amount of vitamin C.
Bottom line: There's not enough evidence to say the anecdotal health claims about celery juice are true. But, celery juice may help promote better hydration and is full of potassium.
3 Health Benefits of Celery
Although there is limited information about the health benefits of celery on humans, plenty of research has been tested on animals, suggesting that celery may prevent disease, may help you lose weight, and may lower inflammation in the body.
Celery contains antioxidants that may help prevent disease
In a study published in the National Library of Medicine, a test was conducted on rats that were treated with doxorubicin, a chemotherapy medication used to treat cancer, to understand the antioxidant activity of celery. A group of researchers led by professor Jovanka Kolarović, found that celery root water increases antioxidants in the liver and that water of celery leaves increases glutathione, an antioxidant in plants that's capable of preventing disease. The results indicated that celery can have antioxidant effects. The same study says: "Celery can prevent cardiovascular diseases, jaundice, liver and lien diseases, urinary tract obstruction, gout, and rheumatic disorders."
Celery extract may help you lose weight
Drinking celery juice was a big hit among dieters who wanted to lose weight, and in fact, they may have been on the right path. Celery extract was investigated by a team of researchers led by Wesam Kooti who measured its effects on the lipid of rats that were fed a high-fat diet. The result showed that celery "significantly decreased the cholesterol, triglycerides [body fat], and low-density lipoprotein [transports fat molecules around the body] in the treated group as compared to the control group," according to the study.
Celery may help lower inflammation in the body
One of the best ways to reduce inflammation in your body is to eat a diet high in vegetables, fruits, legumes, and seeds. Yet, eating more anti-inflammatory foods like celery may also help. An experimental study explains that celery extract has anti-inflammatory properties which can reduce your risk of chronic disease.
Another study tested on mice suggests that the "stems of the celery plant possessed significant anti-inflammatory activity due to the presence of polar constituents in the extract."
While there hasn't been enough research about the incredible health claims made by celery juice enthusiasts to determine its validity, the fiber-dense vegetable is still a great whole food to add to your plate for other numerous health benefits. The most recent health craze that's taking over TikTok is boiled Lettuce Water, supposedly helping people fall asleep more easily. Stay tuned for our next article that breaks down the health benefits of lettuce, and find out if boiling it in water is a fad or here to stay.