Yes, celery juice is one of the newest Instagram sensations — but unlike fallen fads such as smoothie bowls, researchers are discovering some celery juice benefits. If you've never seen it before, celery juice is a vibrant green color, very thin, and doesn't have pulp or celery fiber once it's pressed from celery stalks. (If you juice celery leaves in addition to stalks, the color may be darker.) You may drink celery juice as is, or it can be added to other beverages, such as smoothies. Although the research isn't extensive yet, what's known so far is compelling. Read on to decide if you want to throw back a glass of the tart, grassy juice every morning, or if you’ll stick with your typical kale-and-cucumber green smoothie.
Benefits of Celery Juice
1. Celery Juice May Help Reduce Inflammation
One of the strongest possible celery juice benefits is its ability to reduce inflammation. Apigenin is a compound that’s found in celery, parsley, chamomile, and some other fruits and vegetables. This compound may help ease stomach inflammation and reduce symptoms of gastritis (inflammation or irritation of the stomach lining).
In fact, a 2014 study found that gerbils who ate celery had a lower risk of gastritis. The amount the gerbils ate, however, may be difficult for humans to match. (Caveat: An average 150-pound adult would have to eat more than three cups of chopped celery, or drink the equivalent in juice, to possibly see similar results.)
A 2015 study found that apigenin and apigenin-rich diets reduce inflammation-producing proteins in mice and help restore balance immune balance when the body is inflamed.
2. It May Lower Blood Pressure
Among the celery juice health benefits is the possibility it can reduce your blood pressure if you have hypertension. Foods that are rich in potassium are an important component of managing high blood pressure. Celery juice does provide a potent dose of potassium without unnecessary sodium. This could help lower blood pressure in people with elevated numbers.
Likewise, another study, this one also in mice, found that celery seed extract may help reduce blood pressure. Of course, celery seed is not naturally present in celery juice. It can be added as a supplement with the juice.
3. Celery Juice May Slow or Prevent Cancer
It’s a stretch to say preventing cancer numbers among the many celery juice benefits, but research suggests the antioxidants and flavonoids in this vegetable may have some anti-cancer properties.
In fact, the same gerbil study that found apigenin might help reduce inflammation also found that gerbils who consumed celery had slower gastric cancer tumor growth.
A study in mice found that apigenin may make breast cancer cells weaker, too. That makes them vulnerable to attack and destruction by anti-cancer cells in the body.
Luteolin is a flavonoid found in celery, and like apigenin, researchers are examining its anti-cancer properties. In one study, luteolin and other flavonoids showed they may shut down the growth of prostate cancer stem cells. Without the stem cells, cancer cells can’t replicate.
4. It May Lower Cholesterol
Hyperlipidemia is a condition in which you have excess fatty molecules circulating in your blood. This condition does not cause any symptoms, but it does put you at risk for future health complications, including heart disease and stroke.
One study in rats found that celery extract lowers this “bad” cholesterol and helps the kidneys flush it from the body. No human studies have examined this yet, and celery juice does not have celery extract in it. However, celery juice is a deeply concentrated liquid filled with celery’s vitamins and minerals. Further studies can examine if celery juice is as beneficial as celery extract at removing the excess fat.
Is Celery Juice Safe?
For most people, celery juice is safe. As with any juice, celery juice is a richly concentrated source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Celery juice is no stouter a nutritional powerhouse than juice from any other fruits or vegetables, but it does have one benefit: it has less sugar than some other juicing options.
Celery juice is not safe for individuals who take statins, blood pressure medicine, and anti-anxiety drugs. That’s because celery, like grapefruit juice, contains natural chemicals called furanocoumarins. These chemicals prevent medication from breaking down naturally. This can lead to an increase in the levels of these drugs in your blood, and it can become toxic. Talk with your doctor about your interest in trying celery juice to make sure you do not have any medication interactions.
Bottom Line: Celery juice is healthy for most people. It delivers a dose of vitamins A, C, K, as well as potassium and folate. It’s also low in sugar, which is unusual for many fruit and vegetable juices.
However, celery juice is not especially potent or powerful, and there is not a lot of research to suggest it’s better than any other juice option. Indeed, most of the studies that examine the effect of the green juice have only been conducted in animals. Human research is sparse, and more is needed before this popular beverage can earn enthusiastic support from many in the health community.
One thing to keep in mind about juicing in general is how much healthy fiber you leave behind in the dry pulp. Celery, like many fruits and vegetables, is a rich source of fiber, and fiber has been shown to protect gut health and promote a healthy gastrointestinal environment. (Bacteria in your stomach feed on the fiber in celery.) Don’t eliminate high-fiber foods from your diet in the name of juicing. The fiber is very important. If you plan to juice frequently, still aim to eat several servings of fruit and vegetables each day.
This Story Originally Appeared On Real Simple