Is There Fiber In Leafy Green Juice?
We talk about vitamins and minerals all the time when going into the details about leafy green nutrition, but what about some of those unsung heroes that aren’t talked about quite so much? What about fiber?
Why Do We Need Fiber?
We’re all pretty familiar with why protein, calcium or iron are important in our diets, but sometimes fiber get swept under the rug a bit. We associate it mainly with the digestive system (like eating lots of bran to stay “regular”) and that is one of fiber’s big roles for our health. Because it’s not digestible itself, it stays in the intestine acting like a scrub brush, keeping things clean and efficient. Besides that, fiber can help lower your blood cholesterol and regular blood sugar levels too.
On average, we need around 25 to 30g of fiber in our diets for optimum performance, and most people don’t get anywhere near that much. So having some high-fiber greens in your juice can be a smart idea.
Fiber in Juice?
This is where most people get hung up. We think of fiber as heavy roughage, and not associated with liquid juice whatsoever. You need to rethink that. Some of the tougher insoluble fiber is lost when you juice, and that is all the solid material you have to clean out after you’re done using your juicer.
What you do still get is the soluble fiber because it’s dissolved in the water, which happily is part of your final juice. This is the kind of fiber that does all the great work in your bloodstream, and there is loads of it in juice. For the fiber that cleans out the digestive system, that’s the insoluble stuff and you don’t get much from juice. Adding your leafy greens to smoothies works fine though because you’re not removing any of the tougher plant material that way. Be sure to get a masticating type juicer for full nutrient effect!
Fiber in Leafy Greens
And that brings us to some details on how much fiber you’re going to get with your various leafy green options. Unfortunately, the various statistics about exactly how many grams of fiber you’re getting in greens are published for the whole leaf, eaten (either raw or cooked) but not necessarily for the juice.
So the next best thing is to show you the comparison of each leafy green, as a whole plant leaf. That way, you can see which greens are more fiber-rich than others.
- Kale 2.0g
- Spinach 2.4g
- Collard Greens 4.0g
- Wheatgrass n/a
- Swiss Chard 1.5g
- Watercress 0.5g
All of these comparisons are for 100g of leaves. As you can see, collard greens stands out from the crowd. Wheatgrass isn’t listed because it’s not a leafy vegetable you can eat, making the comparison useless for the moment. For that, you kind of need to stick to the juice for measuring fiber. And in that case, you’ll get between 10 and 15g of fiber in a shot of juice. But when comparing with the other veggies, just remember that you will need a lot more than 100g of wheatgrass leaves to make a shot of juice.