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Can you juice the whole celery stalk?

Juicing has become an increasingly popular way to get more nutrients from fruits and vegetables. Celery is a common ingredient in many juice blends. But can you juice the entire celery stalk, leaves and all? Let’s take a closer look at the benefits and potential downsides of juicing the whole celery plant.

Nutritional Benefits of Juicing Celery

Celery is an excellent source of vitamins and minerals. It contains vitamin K, vitamin C, potassium, folate and vitamin B6. It’s also a good source of dietary fiber. Juicing celery allows you to consume more nutrients in an easy-to-digest form compared to eating it raw or cooked.

The leaves, stalk, and roots of celery all contain nutrients, so juicing the entire plant maximizes the amount of nutrients you can obtain. Here is a nutritional comparison of the different parts of celery:

Nutrient Celery Leaves Celery Stalks Celery Root
Vitamin K 307% DV 37% DV 22% DV
Vitamin A 22% DV 5% DV 1% DV
Vitamin C 6% DV 3% DV 5% DV
Folate 5% DV 7% DV 3% DV
Potassium 218 mg 260 mg 406 mg

*DV = Daily Value, Mg = milligrams

As you can see, the leaves contain higher amounts of vitamin K, A, and folate compared to the stalks and roots. The roots contain the most potassium. By juicing the entire plant, you maximize your intake of these nutrients.

Downsides to Juicing the Whole Celery Stalk

Although juicing the entire celery stalk does provide more overall nutrients, there are some potential downsides to consider:

  • Fiber loss – Juicing removes the insoluble fiber content from fruits and vegetables. The skin and leaves of the celery stalk contain more fiber than the inner stalk. You’ll lose most of this beneficial fiber if juicing the entire plant.
  • Bitter taste – The leaves and outer stalks of celery can have a more bitter, pungent taste compared to the inner stalks. This may make juices containing them less palatable.
  • Pesticide residue – Celery leaves may contain higher amounts of pesticide residue compared to the stalks. Washing well can help remove some residue.
  • Nitrate content – Celery contains low levels of nitrates, which can convert to nitrites. Nitrites should be limited for certain health conditions. Juicing whole stalks may increase nitrate intake.

Ways to Use the Whole Celery Stalk When Juicing

If you want to get the most nutrients from your celery when making juice, there are a few options to consider:

  • Alternate parts – Use a combination of leaves, inner stalks and outer stalks when juicing celery. This allows you to balance the taste and nutrient profile.
  • Blend instead – Make a smoothie or blended juice instead of extracting juice. This retains more fiber from the celery leaves and skin.
  • Balance with other ingredients – Combine the celery juice with juices from fruits, greens or other vegetables. This can help mellow the taste.
  • Drink juice promptly – Drink juices with celery leaves right away or store in an airtight container. The high vitamin content degrades quickly when exposed to air and light.
  • Remove leaves – Compromise by juicing stalks along with a few leaves for flavor and nutrients. Discard the most bitter outer leaves.

Best Practices for Juicing Celery

Follow these tips to get the most nutrition and flavor when juicing celery:

  • Wash thoroughly – Rinse celery stalks and leaves well to remove dirt and residue.
  • Cut into pieces – Cut into 2-4 inch pieces to fit produce into your juicer feed tube.
  • Juice on low speed – Celery can be stringy. Use a low speed for best extraction.
  • Alternate parts – As mentioned above, alternate inner stalks, leaves and outer stalks.
  • Combine with other produce – Mix with cucumber, apples, lemon, ginger or greens.
  • Drink immediately – Consume juice right after making for highest nutrient retention.
  • Store properly – Refrigerate for up to 3 days in an airtight container if not drinking immediately.

Celery Juice Recipe Ideas

Here are a few nutritious juice recipes that include both celery stalks and leaves:

Green Reviver Juice

  • 1 cucumber
  • 4 celery stalks with leaves
  • 1 green apple
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1 inch ginger

Antioxidant Powerhouse

  • 4 carrots
  • 2 celery stalks with leaves
  • 1 beet, greens removed
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 inch turmeric

Detoxifying Celery Juice

  • 4 celery stalks with leaves
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1/2 bunch parsley
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 inch ginger
  • Dash cayenne pepper

Potential Side Effects of Celery Juice

Celery juice is safe for most people when consumed in moderation. However, there are some potential side effects to be aware of:

  • Allergic reactions – Celery can cause allergic reactions in those with sensitivities. Discontinue use if any itching, swelling or difficulty breathing occurs.
  • photosensitivity – The furanocoumarins in celery can cause increased skin sensitivity to UV light. Wear sunscreen when drinking celery juice regularly.
  • Diarrhea – Large amounts of celery juice may have a laxative effect due to the high fiber and water content.
  • Kidney problems – Celery’s high oxalate content may aggravate existing kidney issues. Those with kidney disorders should exercise caution with high celery intake.

Start with small amounts of celery juice to assess tolerance. Introduce other produce gradually to allow the body to adjust. Those on medications should consult their physician, as celery can interact with certain drugs.

The Bottom Line

Juicing the entire celery stalk maximizes nutrient intake but may also increase nitrates, pesticides and fiber loss. For the best balance, alternate parts of the celery plant when juicing. Combine with other produce to mellow the flavor. Drink juices with celery stalks and leaves promptly to get the most benefits. Celery juice can be part of a healthy diet when consumed in moderation, along with an overall nutrient-dense lifestyle.