Skip to Content

Where does the fiber go when juicing?

Introduction

Juicing fruits and vegetables has become a popular way for people to increase their intake of nutrients. When you juice produce, the liquid contains most of the vitamins, minerals and plant chemicals, while the fiber is left behind in the pulp. This leads many people to wonder: where does all that fiber go when you juice fruits and vegetables?

What is Fiber?

Fiber is a type of carbohydrate found in plant foods that the human body cannot fully digest. There are two main types of fiber:

  • Soluble fiber – dissolves in water to form a gel-like material. It is found in oats, beans, apples, and citrus fruits.
  • Insoluble fiber – does not dissolve in water. It is found in foods like wheat bran, vegetables, and whole grains.

Fiber provides many health benefits including:

  • Promoting digestive health
  • Reducing cholesterol
  • Controlling blood sugar levels
  • Aiding in weight loss
  • Reducing risk of heart disease and some cancers

The recommended daily intake of fiber is 25-30 grams per day from food sources. Most Americans only get about half of the recommended amount.

What Happens to Fiber When Juicing?

When fruits and vegetables are juiced, the soluble fiber dissolves into the juice, but most of the insoluble fiber remains in the pulp. For example, a medium apple contains about 4 grams of fiber. If you were to juice that apple, the juice would retain about 0.5 grams of soluble fiber while 3.5 grams of insoluble fiber would be left behind in the pulp.

Here is a table comparing the fiber content of whole fruits/vegetables versus just the juice:

Fruit or Vegetable Fiber in Whole Food (grams) Fiber in Juice (grams)
Medium Apple 4 0.5
Medium Orange 3 0.5
1 Cup Blueberries 4 0.7
1 Medium Carrot 3 0.8
1 Cup Kale 2 0.5

As you can see, juicing causes a significant reduction in total fiber, especially insoluble fiber. The pulp left over after juicing contains most of the insoluble fiber from the produce.

Benefits of Insoluble Fiber

Since insoluble fiber is removed when juicing, it is important to understand its key benefits:

  • Promotes bowel regularity – Insoluble fiber adds bulk to stool and helps food pass more quickly through the digestive system.
  • Suppresses appetite – The bulkiness of insoluble fiber provides a feeling of fullness which helps reduce overeating.
  • Lowers cholesterol – Some types of insoluble fiber can bind to bile acids in the intestines and remove them from the body. This forces the liver to make more bile acids, which uses up excess cholesterol.
  • Balances gut bacteria – Insoluble fiber acts as a prebiotic which feeds the good bacteria in the colon.
  • Reduces risk of diverticulitis – A high insoluble fiber diet may lower risk of this intestinal condition by keeping bowel contents soft and making them easier to pass.

As you can see, insoluble fiber provides some very important health benefits. Unfortunately, most of it is removed when you juice fruits and vegetables.

Getting Enough Fiber When Juicing

It’s clear that juicing causes a big reduction in insoluble fiber intake. People who juice a lot need to be mindful of this and take steps to ensure they get enough fiber from other sources. Here are some ways to boost fiber intake if you are drinking lots of vegetable and fruit juices:

  • Eat the pulp – The pulp leftover after juicing is mostly insoluble fiber. Consider incorporating it into muffins, breads or smoothies.
  • Switch up your produce – Use a mix of produce in your juices – some with more soluble fiber like berries and oranges, and others with more insoluble fiber like carrots and greens.
  • Add high fiber foods – Sprinkle chia seeds, psyllium husk or wheat bran into your juices or smoothies.
  • Eat whole fruits/veggies too – Don’t rely on just juicing. Eat fiber-rich whole fruits and veggies throughout the day.
  • Choose high fiber snacks – Snack on foods like whole grains, nuts, seeds and beans to boost insoluble fiber.
  • Consider a supplement – If needed, take a fiber supplement like psyllium or wheat dextrin to help meet daily needs.

Making an effort to add high fiber foods along with juicing can help maintain intestinal health, manage weight, and reduce disease risk.

Conclusion

When you juice fruits and vegetables, most of the insoluble fiber is removed and ends up in the pulp. This type of fiber provides many important health benefits including promoting bowel regularity, lowering cholesterol, feeding gut bacteria and controlling appetite. People who juice regularly need to be aware of the significant reduction in insoluble fiber and take steps to include more high fiber foods in their diet. Eating whole fruits and vegetables, snacking on nuts and seeds, and using high fiber supplements can help juice enthusiasts get the fiber they need for good health. Being mindful of fiber intake can allow you to enjoy juicing while still experiencing the many benefits that insoluble fiber provides.