A liver detox with celery juice is one of the most recent trends on social media. Apparently, drinking celery juice is highly beneficial for removing toxins from your body and improving your overall health.
Celery is rich in nutrients that have many health benefits. However, the juice detox is controversial because it involves taking 16 ounces (475 mL) of celery juice each morning on an empty stomach — and 24–32 ounces (710–945 mL) if you have a chronic disease.
Those who believe in the cleanse claim that drinking large amounts of this juice will cure conditions like acne, thyroid issues, and cancer. Let’s take a closer look at whether there’s proof of celery juice’s detoxifying properties.
What Is The Celery Juice Detox?
The celery juice detox is a process of supposedly purifying your body by drinking large amounts of celery juice on a daily basis for several days. It was popularized by Anthony William, a self-proclaimed health expert (13). According to proponents, drinking large amounts of celery juice on an empty stomach has positive effects on acne, diabetes, liver disease, and weight loss.
However, there is no scientific evidence to back these claims. Furthermore, celery can’t detoxify your body – your body has a natural detoxification system for this purpose. Your liver, lungs, intestines, and kidney work together to rid your body of all waste and impurities (12).
Why You Shouldn’t Detox With Celery Juice
There are several celery juice detox side effects you should be aware of before giving it a try.
High Sodium Content
Celery juice contains 450 mg of sodium in 16 ounces (475 mL). Your body needs no more than 2,300mg of sodium per day.
The celery juice diet might also cause your sodium intake to rise dangerously since it states that you should drink a lot of juice every day. People on salt-restricted diets should avoid celery juice in particular.
Low Fiber Content
Because most of its plant fiber has been removed, celery juice lacks dietary fiber. Drinking 16 ounces (475 mL) of celery juice can increase your daily fiber intake by a mere 1 gram. You need 25–38 grams of dietary fiber each day for optimal health (15).
Your Body Has A Detox System
Some people believe that drinking celery juice is beneficial because it stimulates the lymphatic system and promotes healthy liver function. However, these claims have no scientific evidence to back them up. In fact, there is very little information on how exactly the body uses celery juice to detoxify itself.
Health Benefits Of Celery Juice
Because the majority of its plant fiber has been removed, celery juice provides more nutrients per serving than celery stalks. According to the USDA, 1 cup of celery juice contains (5):
- Calories: 33
- Protein: 1.63 grams
- Carbs: 7.01 grams
- Sugar: 3.16 grams
- Calcium: 8% of the Daily Value (DV)
- Magnesium: 7% of the DV
- Phosphorus: 5% of the DV
- Potassium: 14% of the DV
- Sodium: 9% of the DV
- Vitamin A: 7% of the DV
- Vitamin C: 16% of the DV
- Vitamin K: 74% of the DV
The rich nutrition profile has the following health benefits.
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Celery juice contains 95 percent water, so it can help prevent dehydration. Proper hydration is crucial for optimal functioning of the body (16). It’s also rich in plant electrolytes, especially sodium and potassium.
Low Sugar Content
Since celery is naturally low in sugar, drinking celery juice won’t raise your blood sugar levels significantly. According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, 1 cup of celery juice contains 7.01 grams of carbohydrates with only 3.16 grams being sugars.
Celery juice is believed to reduce inflammation. This is because of its high content of various phytonutrients (2). You can still get those phytonutrients from eating celery, though. You don’t have to drink the juice.
Why Whole Celery Is A Better Alternative
Instead of making the most of celery detox juice, it’s much better to include this vegetable in your diet in its whole form. Whole celery has more benefits than juice, such as:
Whole celery stimulates the digestive tract because it’s rich in fiber, particularly insoluble fiber (10). This vegetable can help prevent constipation, hemorrhoids, and irritable bowel syndrome because of its high water content. Fiber also makes your bowel movements softer and easier to pass by retaining more moisture in your stool.
Studies have shown that carotenoids found in celery have anti-inflammatory properties since they inhibit cell pro-inflammatory factors called cytokines (2). These compounds may help reduce inflammation associated with arthritis, asthma, and inflammatory bowel diseases.
Celery contains important antioxidant nutrients that have high nutritional value. These include vitamin A, beta-carotene, lutein, apigenin, quercetin, rutin, xanthohumol and isorhamnetin glycosides. These antioxidants can help in preventing free radical damage that may cause cancer and cardiovascular diseases (3).
Reduces Blood Pressure
Research shows that taking celery regularly may reduce your blood pressure levels due to the presence of carotenoids and other phytochemicals in this vegetable (4). The high fiber content in whole celery helps keep your blood pressure at healthy levels by promoting a healthy weight.
Fresh celery contains phthalides, which are compounds that help lower high blood pressure when consumed regularly (4). People with hypertension should still check their blood pressure levels when drinking celery juice because it can trigger hypotension in some cases.
Supports Healthy Blood Sugar Levels
High-fiber diets are associated with lower risk of type II diabetes because they increase satiety and reduce appetite (8). Celery is low in sugar, so it won’t spike your blood sugar levels when you drink the juice. Whole celery works differently since it stabilizes your blood sugar levels.
Supports Skin Health
Phthalides found in whole celery may improve your skin because this compound is an anti-inflammatory agent that also reduces oxidative stress. This compound is considered a potent antioxidant due to its ability to quench free radicals that are associated with premature aging, brown spots on the skin, wrinkles, etc (11). Plus, the water content of celery helps you stay hydrated from the inside out, which might help your skin’s appearance.
How You Can Support Your Body’s Detox Process Without Juicing
There are six organs that support your body’s natural detoxification process – the liver, kidneys, lungs, lymph, colon, and skin. Each of these organs works to eliminate excess waste. You can support this process by doing the following:
Exercise To Eliminate Stored Fat
Many chemicals can be stored in our fat cells. Burning stored fat off with exercise will help the body release some of its toxins more quickly (1). Keep in mind that while some fat is necessary and healthy, too much can cause your organs to work harder than they need to, which may harm your health over time.
Eat Colorful Fruits And Vegetables
The pigments found in fruits and vegetables indicate specific nutrients that support various bodily functions including detoxification. For example, blue-colored foods like blueberries contain antioxidants that support liver function. Green leafy veggies like kale are high in oxalates, which might enhance detoxification by removing heavy metals from the bloodstream (7).
The kidneys play an important role in removing waste. When you don’t drink enough water, toxins can accumulate in your system. Drinking sufficient fluids will encourage your body to flush out the kidneys before these toxins are reabsorbed into the bloodstream (16).
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Practice Deep Breathing
Deep breathing oxygenates tissues throughout the body, including those in the lungs, liver, abdominal cavity, brain, spleen – even the kidneys. Enriching your cells with oxygen supports their ability to eliminate waste efficiently.
Maintain Healthy Bowel Movements
The colon is responsible for removing waste. When your bowel movements aren’t regular, the colon’s job becomes that much more difficult. Consuming fiber-rich foods like whole grains and fresh fruits and vegetables is an effective way to keep things moving through the intestines so they don’t get backed up in one spot, causing constipation or bowel issues (14).
Balancing gut bacteria is also key to a healthy digestive system. You can do this by taking probiotics or fermented foods such as yogurt, kimchi, and sauerkraut (9).
Limit Your Exposure To Toxins
By making lifestyle changes that support your body’s natural detoxification process, you can prevent the buildup of toxins and encourage your organs to function at an optimal level.
Some of the ways you can limit your exposure to toxins include:
- Eating organic foods whenever possible or rinsing produce well before consuming it.
- Using skin care products that don’t contain phthalates and parabens.
- Avoiding certain plastics, which can leach endocrine-disrupting chemicals into the body.
- Read food labels to avoid sodium nitrate, sodium sulfite, BHA/BHT, TBHQ, high fructose corn syrup, and artificial colors.
- Using organic or holistic cleaning products when possible.
- Eating more whole foods instead of packaged snacks, bread, and pastries.
The Bottom Line
The majority of people looking for detoxification want to lose weight effortlessly and naturally with safe products that don’t leave them feeling hungry or fatigued after their cleansing routines. But does celery juice fit the bill? The claim is that it’s a detoxifier that heals chronic illnesses; however, no scientific evidence supports these claims.
Celery juice is rich in beneficial nutrients, but you shouldn’t drink it in large amounts. By consuming celery juice instead of whole celery, you will be missing out on most of these health benefits. You can get more of these by simply including this vegetable in your diet without having to go through the hassle of making juice.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- Adipose Tissue as a Site of Toxin Accumulation (2017, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- An extract of Apium graveolens var. dulce leaves: structure of the major constituent, apiin, and its anti-inflammatory properties (2010, academic.oup.com)
- A Review of the Antioxidant Activity of Celery (Apium graveolens L) – Wesam Kooti, Nahid Daraei, 2017 (2017, journals.sagepub.com)
- Beneficial effects of celery (Apium graveolens) on metabolic syndrome: A review of the existing evidences (2019, onlinelibrary.wiley.com)
- Celery juice (2020, fdc.nal.usda.gov)
- Chemistry, technology, and nutraceutical functions of celery (Apium graveolens L.): an overview (2014, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Dark Green Leafy Vegetables (2016, ars.usda.gov)
- Effects of Dietary Fiber and Its Components on Metabolic Health (2010, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Effects of probiotics on gut microbiota: mechanisms of intestinal immunomodulation and neuromodulation – Peera Hemarajata, James Versalovic, 2013 (2012, journals.sagepub.com)
- High Fiber Diet – StatPearls – NCBI Bookshelf (2021, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Phthalides: Distribution in Nature, Chemical Reactivity, Synthesis, and Biological Activity (2017, link.springer.com)
- The detoxification enzyme systems (1998, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- The Global Celery Juice Movement (n.d., medicalmedium.com)
- The Health Benefits of Dietary Fibre (2020, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Trends in dietary fiber intake in the United States, 1999-2008 (2012, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Water, Hydration and Health (2010, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)