Celery juice has become a popular health craze, making many people wonder if they should start pulverizing and drinking celery stalks rather than just chopping and adding them to veggie trays. Here is some guidance on this topic from Marie Barone, senior dietitian with UC Davis Health Management and Education.

Celery juice and celery stalks
Celery juice and celery stalks

Are there unique health benefits to celery?

Barone: Like most vegetables, celery is a healthy food choice. It contains potassium, vitamin A and vitamin K, along with some folate, vitamin C and antioxidants. All of these nutrients are necessary for maintaining health.

Are there certain people who should avoid eating celery or drinking celery juice?

Barone: Eating plant-based foods is a very healthy habit. Some people may need to eat less of a substance in some foods, including celery, called oxalates. This is true for people with a certain type of kidney stone. Anyone who tends to get kidney stones should work closely with a dietitian on a meal plan that is right for him/her.

What is the best way to consume celery for maximum health benefit?

Barone: Depending on the type of juicer used, much of the fiber — essential to digestive health — in foods may be lost when it is juiced. Eating celery whole provides more fiber than the juice.

What do you think of the current celery-juice craze?

Barone: Some people use celery juice as a “detox,” however a healthy liver does all the detox our bodies need! A liver-friendly diet is low in saturated fat, refined carbohydrates and sugar. Others drink celery juice believing that the juice form releases particular substances that reduce inflammation. There is little evidence, however, that this is true.

Do you have a favorite use for celery in your own diet or recipes?

Barone: I really like the texture and flavor that celery adds to soups. I also use celery leaves in salads or as an herb to add flavor to many recipes.

About Health Management and Education at UC Davis Health

Barone and her colleagues provide information and classes that empower UC Davis Health patients to manage their health. Their efforts are based on the belief that the more you know, the better you are able to overcome the everyday challenges of chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease. For details on upcoming classes, visit the program website.