Pulp or no pulp, the big debate continues.
I personally like my orange juice smooth.
It tastes better, it goes down better and to me, it’s just all-round better.
But is it healthier?
Short answer is no, one isn’t healthier than the other, they’re just different. Pulp is essentially the fibre which works to help you digest your food and turn it into poop. But you get insoluble fibre which is what your body uses to absorb nutrients and that’s present regardless of whether or not there’s pulp in your glass.
So if you have a big meaty breakfast you might want to have pulp in your orange juice to digest it, but if you normally have a lighter breakfast no pulp is fine.
But, the pulp does help balance and absorb the sugar, so if you’re prone to blood sugar spikes or your diabetic then you’ll want to stick to orange juice with pulp. And it’ll keep you feeling fuller slightly longer but there isn’t normally that much pulp to make a huge difference.
Really it’s personal preference. Although the bigger question might be…
Is Orange Juice Healthy?
I’d say that yes it is, but only in smaller amounts because it’s pretty damn high in sugar. But unlike soda that’s just sugar and flavorings, orange juice has vitamins and comes with actual health benefits.
I’ve talked more in-depth about the benefits of orange juice here but for some specifics but the main ones are that it’s an anti-inflammatory that can help prevent high blood pressure and high blood sugar levels.
Plus it helps create a barrier in your skin that can prevent UV damage and prevent wrinkles, so if you live somewhere sunny then you’ll certainly want to consider getting a daily orange into your life.
Would eating an orange be better?
Eating fruits and vegetables is always a good idea. Even if you are juicing you should still be eating vegetables with your meals. To me what juicing provides is a chance to have a whole load more vegetables than you might normally. Because eating a great big bag of spinach might take a while but you put it through a juicer and it becomes much more manageable.
But with oranges, eating 5-7 oranges might be possible, because they’re naturally tasty, although you’ll need to watch out for mouth ulcers eating that many! But, a lot of the fibre you get in an orange is in the membrane on the outside that gets best broken down when you chew and it eat it.
So it’s a good way to better manage the sugar levels of eating an orange. And again, eating the fruit is never going to be a bad thing, but if you like a glass of orange juice I wouldn’t worry about it. Just make sure you’re eating a good variety throughout the day.
What About Blending An Orange?
I’m assuming you’re probably wondering about store-bought orange juice but I thought I’d talk about making your own just in case. Blending an orange is the best way to keep all the fibre intact while getting a delicious orangey drink.
But the problem?
Orange seeds, if you’ve got a good enough blender then these get blended right in and you don’t notice them, but if you have a normal blender or a personal blender then they might not and you have to crunch through them.
Plus they actually have a very small amount of cyanide in them! And while it’s harmless in small doses it’s not something I like to think about if I’m drinking it. Meanwhile in a juicer, especially an orange juicer, these just get spat out with all the other pulp.
So it’s something you can do but it’s not something I personally like to do, it’s your choice.
When Is The Best Time to Drink Orange Juice?
I did a lot of research into this in another article looking at the best time to drink juice generally.
Turns out, the morning is in fact the best time to drink your juice, because you get a big dose of complex carbohydrates that are packed with nutrition and set you up for the day.
That being said there’s no bad thing in drinking your orange juice later in the day, although I will say that having a big glass of orange juice before bed is asking for trouble, that sugar hit before sleep is definitely going to interrupt your sleep!
Is There Any Orange Juice Without Sugar?
With pulp or without pulp, there’s still a lot of sugar present, which is one of the main problems people have with orange juice.
So can you get a sugar free orange juice?
You can get orange juice with no added sugar, which is a good thing because it means no refined sugars are added but the fructose of the fruit is still there. And you have trop50 by Tropicana with 50% less sugar and fewer calories but that’s simply watered down orange juice.
No, if you want sugar free juice you’re going to have to buy a juicer and start juicing vegetables instead, carrot juice can have a lot of the same benefits with less sugar for instance.
Whether you love pulp in your juice or you can’t stand it the health differences are small because you shouldn’t drink that much orange juice to begin with. With pulp is potentially slightly healthier because you feel fuller and it allows your digestive system to keep on happily.
But really I think the differences are too small to really matter. So whatever your drink of choice just enjoy it. But not too much!