Juicing fresh fruits and vegetables is an excellent way to get a concentrated boost of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and more. While some people prefer their juice without pulp, keeping the pulp in your juice offers some potential nutritional benefits.
What is pulp?
When you juice fruits and vegetables, the edible flesh and skin get broken down and separated from the inedible fibers. These fibers are known as pulp or insoluble fiber.
Pulp gives structure and substance to whole fruits and vegetables. It also contains a significant amount of nutrients, including:
- Dietary fiber
- Plant compounds like carotenoids
While juice contains most of the vitamins, minerals, and plant compounds from produce, some remain in the pulp.
Potential benefits of pulp
Here are some of the top potential benefits of keeping pulp in your juice:
1. Increased fiber intake
Dietary fiber offers many health benefits, yet most people don’t get enough in their diet. Just 1 cup (240 ml) of juice with pulp provides around 2 grams of fiber, while juice without pulp contains none.
Getting more fiber in your diet from juicing may promote:
- Improved regularity and digestive health
- Better blood sugar control
- Lower cholesterol levels
- Increased feelings of fullness and reduced calorie intake
2. Additional nutrients
Pulp contains small amounts of vitamins, minerals, and beneficial plant compounds like carotenoids. While juice still provides the majority of these nutrients, keeping the pulp can give you a small added nutrient boost.
3. Variety in texture
Pulp adds body, thickness, and texture to your juice. This can make it more satisfying and appetizing as a snack or beverage.
4. More antioxidants
Antioxidants are compounds found in fruits and vegetables that help counteract cellular damage from oxidative stress. Research shows that the antioxidant activity is higher in juice with pulp, compared to juice without pulp.
5. Aid in weight loss
The fiber in pulp may help increase feelings of fullness after drinking juice made with pulp. This may aid in weight management.
One study found that drinking orange juice with pulp resulted in greater feelings of fullness and a reduced desire to eat compared to juice with no pulp.
Best fruits and vegetables to juice with pulp
Nearly all fruits and vegetables can be juiced along with their edible skins and seeds. However, some produce contains more beneficial pulp than others.
The fruits and vegetables that are richest in fiber and nutrients within the pulp include:
- Oranges and tangerines
Tips for juicing pulp
Here are some tips for getting the most out of juicing pulp:
- Use a slow juicer. They preserve more pulp than centrifugal juicers.
- Alternate soft fruits and greens with fruits and veggies that contain more fiber, like apples, celery, and carrots.
- Juice skins, seeds, and cores when possible.
- If pulp starts to clog your juicer, add in soft fruits like oranges to help push it through.
- Stir or shake juice after juicing to distribute the pulp.
- Drink juice immediately after making it to prevent oxidation and separation of pulp.
Potential downsides of pulp
While pulp can add health benefits to juice, there are some potential downsides to consider:
- May not appeal to all palates. Some people dislike the gritty, thick texture.
- Can make juice difficult to drink through a straw.
- May cause dental erosion due to acidity when teeth come in contact with pulp.
- Adds calories and carbs from fiber, which some people prefer to limit.
- Can clog some juicer types like centrifugal juicers.
- Decreases juice yield per produce amount.
Should you strain the pulp after juicing?
Whether or not to strain the pulp after juicing is a personal choice. Here are some things to consider:
- Straining removes some of the fiber and nutrients. But juice still provides a significant amount even after straining.
- Pulp can make juice difficult to drink, especially through small openings.
- Some people dislike the texture of pulp in juice.
- You may want to remove some pulp if it’s clogging your juicer.
- Try alternating between juicing with and without pulp for variety.
Other uses for pulp
If you find you don’t care for pulp in your glass of juice, there are other ways to use it rather than throwing it in the compost bin. Here are some ideas:
- Add to smoothies for extra fiber and thickness.
- Mix into baked goods like muffins, breads, and pancakes.
- Make veggie patties or vegetarian burgers.
- Toss with olive oil and roast at 400°F for a healthy crispy snack.
- Whisk into hummus, pesto, or salad dressings.
- Stir into oatmeal or yogurt.
- Compost in the garden.
Keep the pulp in or strain it out – the choice is yours when it comes to juicing! There are benefits both ways.
Retaining some or all of the pulp adds fiber, nutrients, texture, antioxidants, and more to your glass of juice. However, pulp-free juice may be easier to drink and appeal to more people.
Try experimenting to find the ratio of pulp you enjoy the most. And don’t let those leftovers go to waste – pulp can be used in many other ways in the kitchen.
Whichever way you prefer it, drinking homemade juices made from fresh fruits and veggies is an tasty way to boost your nutrient intake.