An intro to juicing: The health benefits and history of an age-old practice

This content is sponsored by Prince George’s Community College

One of the biggest trends in the health community dates back to ancient times, 150 B.C. to be exact. Juicing, known for its healing and nutritional benefits, originated as one way of not only preserving crops that were in season but also consuming the recommended daily serving of fruits and vegetables all in one sitting. The resulting liquid that comes from blending, squeezing or grinding whole plants, fruits and veggies also contains most of the same vitamins and minerals that can be found in a whole fruit or veggie. The people of this era found that juicing provided similar nourishment, just consumable in a faster, more convenient way. For laborers, field or construction workers and those involved in day-to-day strenuous physical activity, being able to absorb necessary nutrients quickly or on-the-go was vital to their way of life.

In later years, the benefits of juicing became known for their dietary and health benefits in different ways. Many cancer survivors, doctors and health experts began to claim the preventative benefits of juicing including its ability to reduce the risk of cancer/disease, boost the immune system, aid weight loss, internal digestion and more. For those not as inclined to consume raw foods, juicing became a quick and relatively painless way to add them to any diet.  Although, it’s important to keep in mind that eating whole foods has additional benefits including the added fiber (contained within the skin) that is often discarded during the juicing process.

Before getting started, make sure to do your research and see if juicing is really the right fit for you. While juicing is healthy, it is also high in sugar and may not be recommended as a meal replacement for everyone or every meal. Before making your juice, always remember to wash your fruits and vegetables first and take note of what you are looking to get out of the ingredients included in your juice.

For more information visit www.pgcc.edu.

 

Fresh orange, apple and carrot juice recipe:

Yield: 3 cups (720 ml)
Total Time: 11 Minutes
Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients
½ cup (120 ml) cold water
1 orange, peeled, halved
½ apple, seeded, cored
1/2 inch thick (1.3 cm) slice pineapple
1 carrot, halved
1 cup (130 g) ice cubes

Directions

1. Place all ingredients into the container of a high-speed blender in the order listed and secure lid.
2. Set the machine to lowest setting the machine on low. Turn the machine on and slowly increase speed to High.
3. Blend for 1 minute using the tamper (if your blender has one) to press the ingredients into the blades, or until desired consistency is reached.
4. Serve over ice or let juice rest in refrigerator until the foam subsides a bit.

Fresh pineapple juice recipe:

Turn fresh pineapple chunks and ice cubes into a refreshing, whole-fruit juice.

Yield: 3 cups (720 ml)
Total Time: 6 Minutes

Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients
2½ cup (400 g) pineapple, peeled, diced
1 cup (130 g) ice cubes

Directions
1. Place all ingredients into the container of a high-speed blender in the order listed and secure lid.
2. Set the machine to lowest setting the machine on low. Turn the machine on and slowly increase speed to High.
3. Blend for 1 minute using the tamper (if your blender has one) to press the ingredients into the blades, or until desired consistency is reached.
4. Serve over ice or let juice rest in refrigerator until the foam subsides a bit.

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