Low in calories, vegetable juices can make it easier to meet your nutritional needs while on a diet. However, when it comes to drinking celery juice versus eating celery, you may want to choose the second option. Whole vegetables are higher in fiber and keep you full longer than juices or smoothies.
Both celery and its juice are chock-full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Celery juice, though, is significantly lower in fiber, a nutrient that promotes satiety and supports digestive health.
Celery Juice Versus Eating Celery
Celery has emerged as a popular diet food. It's more than 95 percent water and has just a few calories per serving. On top of that, it's rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that promote optimal health.
Anecdotal evidence says that celery facilitates weight loss, fights inflammation, reduces blood pressure and boosts cardiovascular health. These potential benefits are attributed to apigenin, a flavone with therapeutic action. According to a December 2016 review published in the International Journal of Food Properties, apigenin exhibits antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties.
This veggie is also a good source of calcium, potassium, magnesium, vitamin A and vitamin K. One serving (110 grams) has 18 calories and provides 3.3 grams of carbs, including 1.8 grams of fiber. It also delivers the following nutrients:
- 0.8 grams of protein
- 0.2 grams of carbs
- 6 percent of the daily value (DV) of potassium
- 3 percent of the DV of calcium
- 3 percent of the DV of magnesium
- 5 percent of the DV of manganese
- 4 percent of the DV of copper
- 4 percent of the DV of vitamin C
- 3 percent of the DV of vitamin A
- 27 percent of the DV of vitamin K
- 10 percent of the DV of folate
- 5 percent of the DV of thiamin
Freshly squeezed celery juice has a similar nutritional profile, but it's lower in fiber. In general, vegetable juices are less filling and contain less fiber compared to whole foods, points out the Mayo Clinic.
This nutrient promotes satiety, balances the gut flora and improves glycemic control. Additionally, it may help protect against heart disease, inflammatory disorders and diabetes. High-fiber diets have been linked to a lower risk of advanced adenoma, a major risk factor for colorectal cancer.
Now that you know more about celery juice versus just eating celery, you can make an informed decision. Consider your health and weight loss goals. Beware that it's easier to consume a large number of calories from juice than whole fruits or veggies. Over time, those extra calories can add up and increase your waistline.
Does Celery Facilitate Weight Loss?
Celery and its juice may facilitate weight loss, but in a different way than you might expect. You've probably heard the rumors about negative calories. Many so-called health experts state that celery and other foods take more energy to digest than they provide and therefore result in a negative-calorie intake. These claims lack scientific proof, though.
According to the International Food Information Council Foundation, negative-calorie foods are just a myth. Celery, cucumbers, lettuce, grapefruit, kale and other products that fall into this category can help you get leaner due to their low-calorie content. However, this doesn't mean that you use more energy eating and digesting them than you take in.
When consumed as part of a balanced diet, celery can make it easier to slim down — but that's because it's high in water and low in calories. Plus, it contains fiber, leading to improved appetite control.
The same goes for celery juice. If you use one cup of chopped celery to make juice, you'll get just 16 calories, which is next to nothing. Other vegetable juices contain significantly more calories, but they're still a better choice than soda and fruit juice.
Carrot juice, for example, provides 70 calories and 13.9 grams of carbs per cup. That's one serving. The same amount of tomato juice has 46 calories and 10 grams of carbs. A typical vegetable juice blend boasts 50 calories and 11 grams of carbs per serving.
Fruit juices are a whole different story, however. In this case, what you should worry about is sugar content, not necessarily caloric value. One cup of orange juice, for instance, has 112 calories and a whopping 25.7 grams of carbs, while grape juice provides nearly 140 calories and 40 grams of carbs per cup.
Read more: The Top 10 Beverages to Avoid
These beverages are just are bad for your health as soda and energy drinks, according to a large-scale study published in JAMA Network Open in May 2019. Both fruit juices and soft drinks may increase the risk of obesity, diabetes, insulin resistance, heart disease and premature death. Furthermore, fructose — the sugar in fruits — promotes fat storage in the abdominal area.
If you drink soda and fruit juice regularly, replace these beverages with celery juice. This small change might be enough to help you lose a few pounds by cutting down on sugar and calories. Also, consider swapping your go-to snacks for celery sticks. Serve them with a pinch of sea salt, low-fat cottage cheese and shredded chicken breasts or fresh olives.
Is Celery Really That Healthy?
Celery does a lot more than just satisfy your munchies. As mentioned earlier, this veggie is a nutrition powerhouse. In addition to fiber, it provides large doses of calcium, leading to stronger bones and teeth. It's also an excellent source of potassium, a mineral that regulates muscle and nerve function, fluid balance and blood pressure.
Apigenin, one of the most abundant antioxidants in celery and its juice, may protect against arthritis, autoimmune diseases and neurological disorders, according to the International Journal of Food Properties review. Another research paper, published in the Journal of Evidence-Based Integrative Medicine in July 2017, discussed the potential health benefits of luteolin, caffeic acid, ferulic acid, kaempferol and other antioxidants that occur naturally in this vegetable.
As the scientists point out, celery may help prevent cardiovascular problems and liver disease. Its root has diuretic properties, while its seeds and leaves are rich in flavonoids and phenolic acids. These phytochemicals have been studied for their role in disease prevention and treatment. Kaempferol, for instance, may lower your risk of cancer, although more research is needed to confirm its efficacy.
This veggie and its juice are generally safe. However, there is a risk of allergic reactions and impaired thyroid function, according to a case report published in the International Journal of Preventive Medicine in May 2019.
Read more: The Risks of Eating Excess Celery
Reach out to your doctor if you experience any side effects after eating celery. Also, be aware that celery extract is not recommended for those with an overactive thyroid.
- USDA: "Raw Celery"
- International Journal of Food Properties: "Health Functionality of Apigenin: A Review"
- USDA: "Nutrition Facts for Celery"
- Cleveland Clinic: "Celery Juice Is a Trendy Detox Drink, but Does It Actually Have Benefits?"
- Mayo Clinic: "Is Vegetable Juice as Good as Whole Vegetables for Meeting the Number of Recommended Servings a Day?"
- University of Michigan Health System: "The Role of Fiber"
- NCBI: "Dietary Fiber Intake and Risk of Colorectal Cancer and Incident and Recurrent Adenoma in the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial"
- International Food Information Council Foundation: "Mythbuster: Negative Calorie Foods"
- USDA: "Nutrition Facts for Celery: One Cup"
- USDA: "Carrot Juice"
- USDA: "Tomato Juice"
- USDA: "Vegetable Juice Blend"
- USDA: "Raw Orange Juice"
- USDA: "Grape Juice"
- JAMA Network Open: "Association of Sugary Beverage Consumption With Mortality Risk in US Adults"
- MedlinePlus: "Calcium in Diet"
- NIH: "Potassium"
- Journal of Evidence-Based Integrative Medicine: "A Review of the Antioxidant Activity of Celery"
- Molecules: "Kaempferol: A Key Emphasis to Its Anticancer Potential"
- International Journal of Preventive Medicine: "Effect of Celery Extract on Thyroid Function; Is Herbal Therapy Safe in Obesity?"