Celery...!? Is that you ?
Updated: Nov 1, 2019
Celery has never really been a particularly swoon-worthy vegetable. Have you ever heard someone wax poetic about celery the way they do about avocado? People aren’t selling shirts on Etsy with celery puns on them — in fact, the only celery pun that comes to mind is something about “celery-brating” and honestly, that’s terrible. No one “celery-brates” celery. Until now.
Celery — specifically, celery juice — is a bona fide thing. You can thank influencers like The Balanced Blonde and celebs like Busy Philipps and Miranda Kerr for bringing it into the spotlight. They drink celery juice every morning, and the purported benefits include lowered blood pressure, improved gut health, and decreased inflammation — but should you try it?
Celery juice benefits: Is there any science behind the trend?
The studies about the benefits of drinking celery juice are scarce — like a finding something at a Lululemon sample sale that’s both cute and your size rarity. Here’s what the experts have to say. Is celery juice safe after all?
Helps stomach inflammation: Celery contains a bioactive compound called apigenin that could help with stomach inflammation, Dr. William Li, MD, author of “Eat to Beat Disease: The New Science of How the Body Can Heal Itself,” says, pointing to a 2013 study. “In this experiment, the rat-sized dose of apigenin was equivalent to the amount found in 357 grams of celery, which is about 3.5 cups of chopped celery for humans,” he says. (That’s a lot of tuna salad.)
Slows breast cancer: In mouse studies, apigenin was also shown to reduce the growth of breast cancer, Li adds.
Stops prostate cancer growth: “Luteolin, another natural chemical found in celery, can shut down the growth of prostate cancer stem cells by 20-fold,” Li says.“Cancer stem cells help make more cancer cells, so stopping them is a goal in cancer research.”
He cautions that these studies were done on animals, so it’s hard to directly translate the benefits to humans. “But it’s notable that there are useful properties found within celery,” he says.
Lowers blood pressure: Celery seed extract was found in a study to help reduce blood pressure in rats. But, a juice isn’t going to contain the seed. Dana Hunnes, PhD, MPH, RD, senior dietician at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, thinks that it’s likely the potassium content and low sodium of celery juice that might help lower blood pressure. “Yet, it is important to understand that almost any fruit or vegetable that is fairly high potassium and low in sodium could do the same thing,” she adds. (Side note: burn.) She also notes that celery contains antioxidants that may help decrease inflammation.