What is a Celery Juice Diet?
The celery juice diet has received a lot of buzz in the past few months, with people claiming that celery juice is a ‘superfood’ that enables weight loss, helps combat a range of ailments, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. But are these claims true? Can the celery juice diet combat belly fat and help with your immunity?
This is an eating plan that recommends that its followers drink a cup of celery juice every morning. The diet claims that celery juice will prompt weight loss, cure acne, and even promote hair growth in some cases.
Celery Juice Diet Nutrition
1 medium stalk of celery (7.5-8 inches long) has (5):
- Calories – 6.4
- Water – 38.2 g
- Protein – 0.276 g
- Fats – 0.068 g
- Carbs – 1.19 g
- Fiber – 0.64 g
One cup of celery juice (236 g) has:
- Water – 222 g
- Calories – 42.5 g
- Protein – 1.96 g
- Fat – 0.378 g
- Carbohydrates – 9.44 g
- Fiber – 3.78 g
It has trace amounts of phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, selenium, and folate, among other vitamins and minerals (4).
What are some Health Benefits of the Celery Juice Diet?
When it comes to the celery juice diet’s health benefits, most of them come from apigenin and luteolin, two antioxidants found in celery.
May help combat inflammatory diseases and allergies
In 2017, a clinical study done on mice with allergic asthma and rhinitis revealed that giving them a dose of luteolin 30 minutes before exposing them to an allergen significantly reduced inflammation levels within their lungs nasal passages. This means that going on a celery juice diet could help people with asthma and rhinitis. However, more research is needed to prove if the results seen in the mice could be replicated in humans (2).
May help reduce inflammation and onset of arthritis
Another study done in 2015 saw scientists give some mice apigenin, while others did not get the antioxidant. They later gave the mice collagen‐induced arthritis. The test subjects that were first treated with apigenin showed less tissue inflammation and delayed onset and severity of arthritis as compared with mice that did not receive treatment.
This leads scientists to believe that the antioxidant, apigenin, is an immunosuppressant as it interrupts the transportation and signaling capabilities of cells that trigger inflammation (3). This study was conducted on mice, and thus more research is needed to prove if the effects will be the same in humans.
May halt the growth of cancerous cells
A study done on rodents and published in 2015 revealed that luteolin can halt the growth of some types of cancer cells. It was also suggested that this hormone can keep cancerous cells from metastasizing to other parts of the body (15). Seeing as this study was done exclusively on rodents, we are not sure if humans can receive the same benefits from a celery juice diet.
May help lower cholesterol levels
A study done in 2015 revealed that hydro-alcoholic celery leaf extract helps lower cholesterol levels. It does this by preventing stores of cholesterol from breaking down and entering the blood. However, like all other research so far, the study was only done on animals and not on human beings (17).
It boosts immunity
The celery juice diet gives you a healthy dose of Vitamin C since this vegetable has high levels of this vitamin. Vitamin C aids the body through the formation of collagen, absorption of iron, the immune system, wound healing, and the maintenance of cartilage, bones, and teeth (16).
It boosts bone health and blood clotting
This is probably the least spoken about but the greatest health benefit of the celery juice diet. The vegetable is relatively high in Vitamin K, which is a group of fat-soluble vitamins that play a role in blood clotting, bone metabolism, and regulating blood calcium levels.
In bone health, Vitamin K helps the body produce prothrombin, a protein, and a clotting factor that is important in bone metabolism. Some research also suggests that the vitamin helps with the maintenance of strong bones, improves bone density, and decreases the risk of fractures.
Older people could also benefit from the celery juice diet, as vitamin K may improve episodic memory. Vitamin K may also help lower blood pressure and the risk of stroke (10).
Other celery juice diet benefits:
It is very hydrating
Even without juicing it, the celery stalk itself is mostly water. When turned into a juice, some may add water to it, thus upping their water intake for the day. Because most people do not drink enough water as it is, then the celery juice diet could be good for them as it helps them drink more water each day.
Our bodies are 75% water, 55% in older people, meaning that water is essential for life. It is also important to drink it as it improves physical and cognitive performance, helps manage blood pressure, body temperature, nutrient delivery, waste excretion, and kidney health (22).
It is low in sugar
Unless you added a sweetener to the drink, then the celery juice is quite low in sugar. Drinks with added sugars, which include sodas and soft drinks, as well as other beverages with caloric sweeteners (added sugars) such as fruit-flavored drinks, sports and energy drinks, and sweetened coffees and teas, are a major contributor of calories in most diets. An increased intake of added sugar puts you at risk of obesity, but it is also associated with an increased risk of diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and cardiovascular disease (18).
How to Make the Best Celery Juice for Weight Loss?
Ingredients – 1 green apple, 1 medium celery stalk (7.5 to 8 inches long), the juice from half a lemon, 1 tsp grated ginger, and 1 cucumber
Method – (You will need a juicer for this part)
- Separate and wash the celery stalks, then shake off any excess water.
- Cut the leaves off the top of the stalks and put the stalk in the juicer.
- Once you are done with the celery, put the apple, lemon, and ginger through the juicer.
- Drink the juice right away, or save it in an airtight mason jar. It can last up to 1 to 3 days in the fridge.
Calories: 153. Fats: 1 g, Protein: 3 g, Carbs: 39 g
If you do not have a juicer, you could also use a blender. Put all the ingredients in a blender, add half a cup of water, and blend them all. Place a strainer or mesh cloth over your cup, pour the liquid into the strainer, and press down to extract all the juice.
Some claims state that the celery juice diet may help with weight loss due to the fiber found in celery. However, it should be noted that fiber is found in the pulp (or roughage) that most of us throw out after juicing our vegetables and fruit.
The juice we get at the end of the juicing (or blending and straining process) has very little fiber, which may not have any significant effect on the body. Dietary fiber aids in weight loss because high-fiber foods are more filling than low-fiber foods, meaning that you are likely to eat less and stay satisfied longer (7). Eating whole, raw celery is the best way to get the benefits of the fiber it contains.
Celery Juice Diet for the Skin: Does this Juice Aid in Reducing Acne?
Many celebrities and people online have been making claims the celery juice can cure acne. However, before celebrating and buying out all the celery at your grocery store for a celery juice diet to treat your acne, you should note that there is no scientific research to prove that this drink works.
That being said, there are some reasons why this drink may potentially help your skin get better. They are:
1. The celery juice diet is low in sugar
Some studies have shown an association between acne and high-glycemic-load diets that include a lot of sugar, sodas, juices, white bread, pasta, and heavily processed cereals. Thus, replacing your sodas, sweetened coffee, and tea, as well as energy drinks with water and celery juice, may help reduce your breakouts. Doing this and eating more fresh produce and whole foods create a low-glycemic-load diet, which may combat acne (1).
2. Increased hydration
A celery juice diet is mostly water because this vegetable has a lot of water in it. Being dehydrated makes your skin start to look dull, which enhances fine lines and wrinkles. And thus, drinking more water may help your skin look fresher and supple (8).
Celery Juice Diet Fasting: Does a Glass of Celery Juice in the Morning Break Your Fast?
Yes, it does. Celery juice and other green juices will break your fast and thus should not be taken first thing in the morning if you are practicing intermittent fasting. The only drinks guaranteed not to break a fast include (23):
- Plain water
- Unsweetened coffee or tea – This means no milk or sugar in either.
- Diluted apple cider vinegar – You add 1 or 2 tablespoons in a cup or bottle of warm or cold water every morning. This does not only keep you hydrated, but it also cuts down on cravings.
Is the Celery Juice Diet Detox Healthy for Weight Loss?
No, it is not. There is no best celery juice diet for weight loss. Juicing is not the best, healthiest, or sustainable way to help you lose weight. The celery juice diet and other juice cleanse/detoxes require you to eliminate certain foods, such as coffee, refined sugar, meat, dairy products, wheat, alcohol, and nicotine from your diet to try and reduce headaches, cravings, and other withdrawal symptoms.
After this, you will have to replace one or two meals with juice for the next few days, preferably a green juice. Such diets have been said to provide great results regarding improved health, better digestion, and increased energy. However, a celery juice diet or any other juice cleanse, for that matter, could lead to nutrient deficiencies and liver, kidney, or gallbladder problems. Such diets are also known as fad diets. They are temporary, and while you may experience some weight loss, the results will not last for long either (24).
Celery Juice Diet Every Morning: Will this Help You Lose Weight?
No, it will not. The celery juice diet is not a miracle potion that will somehow melt away the fat and extra pounds. The best celery juice diet weight loss secrets only seem to relate to how much this drink has. Weight loss and weight management do not rely on one type of food or food group. A healthy diet that will boost your weight loss needs to be rich in protein, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats.
Drinking 500 ml of celery juice each morning and then eating junk food for the rest of the day will not cause weight loss. Instead, you will most likely gain weight. On the other hand, even if you only eat healthy foods after your glass of celery juice, you may still gain weight if you do not mind your calories.
Healthy and gradual weight loss means a loss of 1 to 2 pounds a week. This is only achieved through a healthy diet with a calorie deficit of 500 to 1000 calories a day, translating to a deficit of 3500 to 7000 calories a week (6). You should also ensure to workout for at least 30 minutes each day to help you burn more calories.
What are some Disadvantages of the Celery Juice Diet Cleanse?
Here are some downsides to drinking celery juice:
Loss of fiber
When you juice a vegetable or fruit, you end up throwing out the pulp, which contains all or most of the fiber. Dietary fiber not only helps with satiety, but it is also great for gut health, regulation on bowel movements, lowering cholesterol levels, controlling blood sugar levels, and reducing the risk of cancer and cardiovascular diseases (7).
Increased sodium intake
One cup of store-bought celery juice has about 215 mg of sodium (4). This number is quite high, and for someone who ordinarily consumes a lot of salt, this glass could put you over the recommended amount of fewer than 2300 milligrams (mg) of sodium per day (9).
How Fast Can You Lose Weight on a Celery Juice Diet?
If you are using the celery juice diet as part of a juicing plan for weight loss, you could lose 2 pounds in three days (12) or up to 10 pounds in a week (13). However, very little or none of the weight lost will be fat loss. You are most likely losing water weight and muscle.
A celery juice diet will also cause nutrient deficiencies, may trigger overeating, will slow down your metabolism, and could affect your overall gut health due to lack of fiber in the juices (25). It also lowers your immunity and causes fatigue and weakness.
What to Eat When on a Celery Juice Diet?
As we have discussed above, juicing is not a healthy way to lose weight. Instead, you should try incorporating celery juice in a healthy, well-balanced diet. Some foods that you should ensure to add to your diet include:
1. Fruits and vegetables
Eating non-starchy vegetables and fruits may promote weight loss. They are low glycemic foods, meaning that they prevent blood sugar spikes that can increase hunger. Diets high in fruits and veggies also help lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, prevent some types of cancer, and lower the risk of eye and digestive problems (21).
2. Whole grains
They include barley, bulgur, oatmeal, brown and wild rice, popcorn, whole-wheat bread, and pasta. These foods are rich in fiber and other important nutrients, such as B vitamins, iron, folate, selenium, potassium, and magnesium. Due to their high fiber content, they keep you fuller for longer, which decreases your appetite, thus leading to less food intake and weight loss (26).
3. Lean protein
These include lean cuts of beef as well as poultry, like turkey, duck, and chicken. Lean meats are good sources of protein and have fewer calories and saturated fats than other options. Other sources of lean protein include legumes and lentils, oily fish such as salmon, trout, tuna, and mackerel, cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, tofu, egg whites, and more (20).
4. Dark leafy greens
They are low in calories, carbohydrates, sodium, and cholesterol but high in fiber, iron, magnesium, potassium, and calcium. These leafy greens may help prevent certain diseases such as age-related cognitive decline and cardiovascular disease (11). Popular examples include broccoli, cabbage, Romaine lettuce, Swiss chard, collard greens, spinach, and kale.
5. Healthy fats
They include avocados, chia seeds, eggs, oily fish, nuts, and yogurt. Healthy fats may help prevent and even treat heart disease and stroke. They also help reduce blood pressure, raise HDL ‘good’ cholesterol, and lower triglycerides; polyunsaturated fats may help prevent lethal heart rhythms from arising (19).
Why is it Important to Have a Balanced Diet Instead of a Celery Juice Diet?
A balanced diet supplies your body with the minerals and nutrients that it requires to work effectively. Without well-balanced nutrition, your body becomes more prone to disease, infection, fatigue, and low performance.
When combined with physical activity (at least 30 minutes a day), your diet can help you reach and maintain a healthy weight, reduce your risk of chronic diseases (like heart disease and cancer), and promote your overall health. A celery juice diet will not provide you with any of the above benefits (14).
The Bottom Line: Is the Celery Juice Diet Worth It?
No, it is not. Despite the celery juice diet being the newest craze, all the benefits that people are raving about do not have any scientific backing. Most of the scientific research available so far is based on studies done on animals, mice and rats, and not human beings. The benefits concerning weight loss and better skin all fall back on the water found in celery.
In light of this, there is really no justifiable reason why you should go on a celery juice diet. You could include the juice in your diet, or better yet, just have the stalks with some hummus or peanuts. Our advice would be that you should see a doctor and dietitian for any advice concerning the best diet for weight loss. The celery juice diet is just a fad diet that does not provide all the promises that many claims that it has. Supplement your diet with some exercise to double your results.