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Are the celery juice health benefits real?

It sounds simple enough: juice a bunch of celery, drink it first thing in the morning on an empty stomach, a...

Posted: Nov 13, 2018 10:31 AM
Updated: Nov 13, 2018 10:31 AM

It sounds simple enough: juice a bunch of celery, drink it first thing in the morning on an empty stomach, and wait for the health benefits to roll in.

A search for #CeleryJuice on Instagram returns over 35,000 posts, not including all the variations on the hashtag. Some social media users say that drinking celery juice has cured them of mental health problems and infertility. Others credit it with healing eczema that nothing else could cure. One website even claims that it can prevent cancer. Stories touting its "potent healing properties" have appeared on Gwyneth Paltrow's controversial lifestyle site, Goop.

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But are these health benefits real?

"It's not a surprise to me that anything a celebrity or an influencer with lots of followers would mention would get a lot of attention," Lisa Drayer, a registered dietitian who writes about nutrition for CNN, said of the celery juice trend.

Celery certainly has health benefits, according to Drayer. "There are some beneficial flavonoids that have been discovered in celery that have been shown to perhaps play a role in reducing inflammation in the brain or reducing age-related memory decline," she said.

Celery also provides a healthy dose of fiber, as well as vitamins C and K and potassium, and it is a very low-calorie snack.

"A 5-inch stalk has only three calories, so that's very low-calorie. A cup of chopped celery has only 20 calories," she said. But turning it into juice can change this.

"Any time you concentrate a vegetable or a fruit, it's going to be higher in sugars and carbohydrates and calories," Drayer said. A cup of juiced celery jumps to 42 calories.

"I'm much more likely to recommend celery as a snack. It's crunchy, it's low-calorie, and it will fill you up," Drayer said. In fact, she often advises it this for people who are trying to lose weight.

Research around the benefits of celery and celery juice is limited, she noted, and we "really can't say there's anything magical about celery that's going to help cure cancer or help you to quickly shed pounds."

Juicing celery has other drawbacks beyond raising the calorie count.

"Juicing celery (and any other vegetable) strips away the beneficial fiber that helps you feel fuller longer, improves intestinal health and feeds the health bacteria in your gut," Malina Malkani, registered dietitian nutritionist and spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, wrote in an email.

Although she agrees that there are several health benefits to eating celery, she also agrees that there is little evidence to back up the claims made by some supporters of the juice trend.

"There isn't much scientific evidence to support the majority of health claims about drinking celery juice," she said. "In general, if a food fad, diet or service sounds too good to be true, you can assume that it is."

There's something else about celery juice that could explain its popularity on social media: "The beautiful green color of celery juice also lends itself to gorgeous photos in an Instagram feed," said Malkani, who is also creator of the Wholitarian Lifestyle, which promotes foods that "are nutrient-dense, minimally processed, plant-based and as close as possible to their original state when first harvested." However, she pointed out that this doesn't mean there is evidence behind the health claims.

Neither Drayer nor Malkani thinks that drinking celery juice is problematic, but they stress that it is probably not a miracle cure.

"If you enjoy the flavor of celery juice, have at it!" Malkani said. "But don't jump on the Instagram bandwagon, hoping that celery juice will be the cure-all you've been searching for all your life."

Both suggest that celery should be eaten as part of a balanced and inclusive diet and that everyone should be wary of celebrity-endorsed food trends.

"In general, just because a celebrity is touting a food or a beverage for particular reasons doesn't mean it's backed by sound science, even beyond celery juice," Drayer said. "What I always tell people is that there's no one magical food or beverage that will be able to totally make over your health or cure an illness."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 515504

Reported Deaths: 10296
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison34999558
DeSoto33360432
Hinds32743643
Jackson24906392
Rankin22565405
Lee16455245
Madison14954283
Jones14158248
Forrest13834260
Lauderdale12311323
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Monroe7068179
Pontotoc7033110
Warren6885178
Panola6791135
Neshoba6744210
Marshall6707142
Bolivar6468151
Union643598
Pike5942157
Alcorn5921107
Lincoln5540136
George510680
Prentiss508285
Tippah495683
Itawamba4884107
Scott478999
Tate4777117
Adams4776125
Leflore4749144
Copiah458195
Yazoo458092
Simpson4566117
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Clay312978
Clarke301695
Calhoun286850
Holmes272889
Smith270552
Yalobusha244947
Tallahatchie232353
Greene225149
Walthall222166
Lawrence220242
Perry214556
Amite210357
Webster206548
Noxubee188843
Montgomery182157
Carroll175441
Jefferson Davis174343
Tunica163539
Benton153139
Kemper145441
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Franklin126530
Quitman107828
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Jefferson97134
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 848137

Reported Deaths: 16185
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1164052005
Mobile743681384
Madison53497738
Shelby38435371
Baldwin38195589
Tuscaloosa36152644
Montgomery34562782
Lee25655264
Calhoun22630520
Morgan22530411
Etowah20069520
Marshall18846318
Houston17777426
St. Clair16958359
Limestone16195220
Cullman16157306
Elmore15940295
Lauderdale15069307
Talladega14260302
DeKalb13083271
Walker12168380
Blount10779193
Autauga10560157
Jackson10214196
Coffee9435192
Colbert9366210
Dale9044192
Tallapoosa7285202
Russell710065
Chilton7090170
Covington6969197
Escambia6967144
Franklin6364108
Chambers5801142
Marion5437132
Dallas5302210
Pike5129109
Clarke485786
Lawrence4850130
Winston4793110
Geneva4655136
Bibb435795
Barbour370680
Butler3444101
Marengo342993
Monroe338366
Randolph337867
Pickens334890
Fayette331785
Henry321166
Cherokee320364
Hale319189
Crenshaw261678
Washington256852
Cleburne255460
Lamar253555
Clay252969
Macon246367
Conecuh193562
Coosa186048
Wilcox178538
Lowndes178468
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