There are tons of myths about drinking celery juice - here are 4 health benefits, backed by science
- Many of celery juice's supposed benefits like curing acne and weight loss aren't backed by science.
- Celery juice does have proven health benefits - it's nutritious, hydrating, low in sugar, and an antioxidant.
- To make celery juice, push stalks through a juicer or blend them before straining the juice.
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Celery juice has become the latest trend in the wellness world, with many claiming it can prevent cancer, cure acne, and induce weight loss. While most of these claims are unfounded, drinking celery juice can still benefit your health in a number of ways.
Here are four science-backed benefits of celery juice:
1. Celery juice packs a nutritious punch
"[Celery has] high and diverse levels of vitamins and minerals," says Marissa Epstein, RDN, MBA, the director of the University of Texas at Austin Nutrition Institute.
In fact, Epstein says one cup of celery juice contains various essential nutrients that many people lack in their diets, like calcium, magnesium, and potassium.
Drinking celery in juice form allows you to consume much more of the vegetable - and thus higher quantities of its nutrients and vitamins, than if you were just munching on the stock, says Julia Zumpano, RD, a dietitian at the Cleveland Clinic.
For example, one head of celery, which is about nine to 12 stalks, equals two cups of juice. Though some nutrients that are found in celery's pulp or skin will get lost in the juicing process - most notably fibre.
While one glass of celery juice won't fulfill all of your daily vitamin and mineral requirements, it's a good way to get in some essential nutrients. Zumpano recommends juicing the full stalk and leaves to maximize nutrients.
2. Celery juice has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties
A 2017 review concluded that compounds in celery, like caffeic acid, apigenin, and luteolin, act as powerful antioxidants with healing effects.
Antioxidants prevent oxidative stress, a condition that occurs when there are too many free radicals in the body. Free radicals come from outside sources like pollution, and also from natural bodily processes like digestion. Too many free radicals leads to chronic inflammation, which can damage healthy cells, tissues, and organs and increase your risk for diseases like heart attacks, cancer, arthritis, and diabetes.
Another 2008 review found that the luteolin in celery can help delay the development of cancer cells due to its anti-inflammatory properties. It's important to note this study was conducted in lab cells, and therefore, the results may not apply to humans.
Additionally, a 2007 study in mice found 2mg/kg a day of luteolin reduced lung cancer cell growth by 40%. A dose of 10 mg/kg a day reduced growth by 60%. However, the research on celery's anti-inflammatory effects on humans is still limited, Epstein says, and celery juice should not be considered a viable cure for chronic diseases like cancer.
3. Celery juice is hydrating
Because celery is about 95% water and contains electrolytes, drinking celery juice is a great way to stay hydrated. Staying hydrated keeps your body working properly and improves sleep, cognition, and mood.
Additionally, electrolytes like sodium, calcium, and potassium help regulate fluid levels in the body. They also stimulate muscle contractions to keep your heart pumping and muscles moving.
4. Celery juice is low in sugar
Another benefit of celery juice is its low sugar content, which makes it a healthier alternative to traditional juices like orange juice or apple juice.
False health claims about celery juice
Celery juice boasts many health benefits, but it's not a cure-all, Epstein says. Contrary to what you may read on the internet, celery juice won't prevent cancer or cure acne.
Celery juice also isn't some magical "detox" method. Actually, our bodies have a built-in organ that gets rid of toxins: the liver. Rather than relying on celery juice alone to clear your body of toxins, Zumpano says you are better off eating a healthy diet with many fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to promote liver function and optimal health.
Sipping on celery juice can boost your nutrient intake, keep you hydrated, and help your body fight inflammation. And while celery juice is a healthy addition to any diet, it's no miracle health cure. Ultimately, eating a balanced diet with lots of vegetables is the best way to stay healthy and fend off disease.
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