One of the greatest things about making fresh squeezed orange juice yourself is that you get the healthiest version of orange juice possible… one of the problems with it however is all the wasted pulp.
Naturally most people who juice oranges themselves will start looking for ways to reuse the orange pulp in healthy and productive ways.
Is orange juice good for you?
Yes it is, unequivocally.
Orange juice pulp is chalk full of all the dietary fiber that is largely left out of the strained juice. The fiber in this case is called pectin and according to Livestrong, aids in “lowering cholesterol, easing digestion, and improving the removal of fat and harmful chemicals from the body.”
There are however many other reasons to save all that orange pulp for use in cooking later in the day.
Let’s cover them all one by one.
Is Orange Pulp Healthy
Orange pulp is healthy for a number of reasons.
1. Orange Pulp Has Lots of Fiber Inside
The first reason stated above is that all of the fiber lost in juicing remains in the pulp.
If you save the pulp from your morning OJ fix and use it later in the day while sauteing veggies then you are actually getting extra pectin (a dietary fiber) with your dinner that you would have lost had you thrown out the pulp earlier in the day.
2. Orange Pulp Still Contains Lots of Vitamin C
You might think that juicing citrus gives you all the vitamin C but it doesn’t. A citrus juicer will extract a ton of vitamin C but there will be even more left hidden in the pulp.
As you know vitamin C is responsible for an enormous amount of benefits to the body so getting every bit out of the orange is definitely a good thing.
You can see this post over on LifeHacked for a comprehensive rundown of all the benefits of getting more vitamin C.
3. Orange Pulp Contains all the Flavonoids
The last main reason why the pulp from orange juice is good for the body has to do with the flavonoids that are trapped in the pulp. They don’t get readily extracted with the juice so you lose out on lots of their benefits by throwing the pulp away.
Favonoids are those mysterious things that make us healthy that regular people don’t understand. What I mean by that is that regular “folk” think of nutrients as both vitamins and minerals but there are other things that improve our health beyond those and flavonoids are one of those things.
According to Super Foods RX the flavonoids are a class of polyphenols which are found in many whole foods. There are thousands of them that have been identified so far.
In oranges in particular there is a kind of flavonoid called hesperidin which cannot be found easily in any significant amount in any other kind of fruit or vegetable. Citrus flavonoids in general are antioxidant and antimutagenic in our bodies which can help prevent chronic diseases.
When we juice oranges we lose some of those unique and special flavonoids so consuming the pulp later on (or in the juice!) is quite good for your health!
Does Orange Pulp Contain Lots of Beneficial Fiber?
I’ve already touched on fiber a couple times already but there’s more to say about it.
As you may well know already, there are two basic types of dietary fiber. There is soluble fiber and insoluble fiber. Both of which help the body with digestion and the elimination of waste through the color (your poop!).
Soluble fiber can be dissolved into fluids like water or juice and as such some of this fiber is retained when we squeeze the juice out of an orange.
Insoluble fiber however will not act the same way so we lose almost all of it when we juice an orange.
When you make orange juice you are still consuming some fiber but if you are interested in retaining all of the fiber the pulp is where it’s at.
A full orange has 1 gram of soluble fiber and 2 grams of insoluble fiber and when it is juiced you are left with roughly 25% of the soluble fiber in your juice. That means the pulp of one orange has roughly 1 gram of insoluble fiber and 1.5 grams of soluble.
It’s roughly 10% of what you should be getting in your daily diet so it’s no small beans.
This leads us to an obvious next question:
Is it Better to Drink OJ With Pulp or Without?
For the vast majority of people in America fiber is lacking their diets. When orange juice contains more pulp then it contains more fiber and so this alone is a good argument for setting your juicer to the highest pulp setting.
I would further argue that adding more pulp to your morning OJ fix is healthier because you will feel more full for a longer amount of time and because the pulp will give you more flavonoids than you would get otherwise.
Obviously eating oranges will get all of the same stuff into your system but juicing makes it easier to consume a couple of oranges at a time… or, even better, the juice can be used to cut the bitterness of juicing greens like kale, collard, or chard!
If you’ve ever tried to drink straight kale juice you know what I’m talking about!
In my home I mix juicing, solid cooked foods, and green smoothies into our daily routines. We get plenty of everything good but for orange juice I find it better to have more pulp.
How Much Sugar is in the Pulp of an Orange?
This is a simple question but it requires a bit of digging to really get the answer to.
A medium sized navel orange contains roughly 12 grams of natural sugars. In my home a single navel orange give me usually around 4 ounces of juice.
According to Shape.com 4-ounces of fresh squeezed orange juice contains roughly 10.5 grams of sugar.
Doing the match that means if you take an orange with 12 grams and juice half a cup out of it you will be left with roughly 10.5 ounces of natural sugars. Basically 12.5% of the sugar in an orange remains in the pulp!
If you look at this from another perspective someone who is sensitive to sugar due to diabetes, personal preferences, or some other condition can juice an orange and then eat the pulp or use the pulp in cooking to get all the benefits of oranges with over an 85% reduction in sugar, both fructose and glucose.
If you are still wondering whether or not orange pulp is good for you lets summarize all that has been said so far in this article:
- Orange pulp contains most of the dietary Fiber
- It also contains large amounts of vitamins and nutrients that don’t make it to the juice
- The pulp holds the majority of the flavonoids that are not in the juice and not found elsewhere in other fruits or vegetables
- 87.5% of the natural sugars in an orange is not found in the remaining pulp
Yeah, there’s a decent argument for juicing orange juice for the pulp alone and not for the juice!
Here are Some More Frequently Asked Questions People Have
Click any of these links to jump to that section.
Is Orange Pulp Good for the Skin?
This section is in editing.
Is Orange Pulp Safe for Dogs, Horses, or Chickens?
Assuming you are juicing your own oranges and you aren’t keeping a working compost heap one great option for discarding your leftover pulp is to either cook with it or to feed it to the animals.
The most common animals humans keep that can safely eat orange pulp are chickens, dogs, horses, and goats. There are others of course but these are the most common animals.
According to the American Kennel Club, dogs are perfectly safe eating small quantities of oranges (and the pulp from said oranges) so long as it kept in moderation. Their biggest concern is over-indulgence in sugar and as we touched on that above orange pulp contains way less sugar than full oranges do.
“Oranges do contain natural sugars, which might make them a poor choice for obese dogs, and oranges can cause digestive upset in some dogs. If you want to try adding oranges to your dog’s diet, then it is probably a good idea to start out with one or two segments per day to see how his stomach reacts.”
As for horses and chickens and goats these animals can also safely consume the remnants from your morning orange juice routine.
Eequus Magazine has this to add to the question surrounding horses eating oranges and lemons.
“Dried citrus pulp (the leftover material from juice production) is a common ingredient in livestock feed and can be used in horse feed in limited quantity.”
They go on to add that orange and lemon seeds are not harmful to horses in small amounts although the jury is still out on larger quantities.
And as for chickens FurryTips.com reminds us that most chickens don’t care for citrus fruits in general (especially the rinds) due to the tart flavor or toughness in the care of the rinds, but orange pulp is probably the tamest tart of all the citrus family so more chickens will eat it than hey will full oranges segments.
They further state:
“Feeding oranges or any other citric fruits to chickens may combat food borne illness. Animals shed salmonella and other organisms in their feces but the research has shown that feeding citrus pulp to animals, including chickens can lower the number of harmful bacteria in their gut without affecting the good bacteria.”
And lastly, goats. Goats can eat anything…
OK, maybe not anything, but it sure seems like it.
Over on Fias Co Farm there is a very comprehensive list of safe and unsafe foods for goats. Citrus and citrus rinds are listed as just fine.
What About Lemon Pulp? Is it Worth Saving?
Almost this entire article could be rewritten word for word in regards to lemon pulp. It is entirely good for you and packed full of many additional nutrients that are not extracted during juicing.
Sugar content is lower in lemon juice (and it’s pulp) than it is for oranges so in that respect its even better for you.
One thing that is a bit different with lemons however is that the pulp and juice of lemons are commonly used in drinks and cooking but all that lemon zest is even more potent when it comes to nutrition.
Over on Mind Body Green they point out that the nutreint density of lemon rind is 5-10 times as great as the juice and pulp is for commonly sought after vitamins and minerals like Vitamin A, Vitamin c, folate, beta carotene, calcium, potassium, and magnesium.
As for the flavonoids in lemons and limes they contain flavonol glycosides, which are unique to these two fruits. To quote WHFoods these flavonoids: “are perhaps most interesting for their antibiotic effects”.
Also interesting is how we all know lemons are good for killing bacteria on surfaces (i.e. household cleaning), apparently this may extend to cleaning out our bodies too!
The Best Way to Get Orange Juice Pulp
You may possibly be wondering what is the best way to juice oranges to get some of the pulp but not all.
Many people swear by the use of centrifugal juice extractors or their more expensive and fancy masticating juicers but I like juicing all my citrus fruits with a dedicated citrus juicer. They do the job easily and faster and they tend to be easier to clean up.
Citrus juicers can be found for less than twenty bucks and go all the way into the hundreds of dollars. I find the best value to be on the high side of the entry-level models.
See the following page to see my recommendations:
The Best Citrus Juicers (and the Worst) for Your Money
You can also check out my video review of the best value juicer for oranges below. In this video I feature the super affordable Cuisinart CCJ-500.
You can also watch the video right on YouTube through the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m4XQtaXbnhU