According to Drayer, celery certainly has health benefits. "There are some useful flavonoids that have been discovered in celery and that have been shown to play a role in reducing brain inflammation or reducing age-related memory loss," she said.
Celery also provides a healthy dose of fiber, as well as vitamins C and K and potassium, and it is a very low-calorie snack.
"A 5-inch stem only has three calories, so that is very low in calories. A chopped celery cup has only 20 calories," she said. But if you make it into juice, this can change.
"Every time you concentrate a vegetable or fruit, it will contain more sugars and carbohydrates and calories," Drayer said. A cup of celery jumps to 42 calories.
"I'm more likely to recommend celery as a snack. It's crispy, it's low in calories, and it will fill you up," Drayer said. In fact, she often recommends this for people trying to lose weight.
Research into the benefits of celery and celery juice is limited, she noted, and we "really cannot say that there is anything magical about celery that helps cure cancer or help you shed kilos quickly."
The pressing of celery has other disadvantages than increasing the number of calories.
Although she agrees that eating celery has different health benefits, she also agrees that there is little evidence for the claims of some supporters of the juice trend.
"There is not much scientific evidence for most health claims about drinking celery juice," she said. "In general, if a food craze, diet or service sounds too good to be true, you can assume it is."
There is something else about celery juice that could explain the popularity on social media: "The beautiful green color of celery juice also lends itself to beautiful pictures in an Instagram feed," said Malkani, who is also the creator of the Wholitarian Lifestyle, which promotes foods that are "rich in nutrients, minimally processed, plant-based and as close to their original state as possible at the first harvest". However, she pointed out that this does not mean that there is evidence behind the health claims.
Neither Drayer nor Malkani think that drinking celery juice is problematic, but they emphasize that it is probably not a panacea.
"If you enjoy the taste of celery juice, try it!" Said Malkani. "But don't jump on the Instagram bandwagon, hoping celery juice will be the cure – everything you've been looking for all your life."
Both suggest that celery should be eaten as part of a balanced and inclusive diet and that everyone should be wary of celebrity-endorsed food trends.
"In general, the fact that a celebrity is praising a food or drink for certain reasons does not mean that it is supported by sound science, even beyond celery juice," Drayer said. "What I always tell people is that there is no magic food or drink that can fully heal your health or cure a disease."