As temperatures continue to climb, refreshing beverages become increasingly appealing. Rather than reach for unhealthy sodas or sugar-filled lemonade, why not try some fruit and vegetable juice?
Juicing has increased in popularity within the past few years, with people from all walks of life (from fitness buffs to foodies to those with medical ailments) enjoying the benefits of gulping down a nutrient-rich drink. So the next time you’re about to chomp on carrots, why not reach for a juicer instead of a fork?
Juicing is the process of extracting juice from fruits and vegetables. The practice of juicing dates back to prehistoric times, and is prevalent in several regions around the world. Polynesians prepared juices derived from tropical fruits, such as noni and mango. Peru passionately created passion fruit juices. India relied on juicing for medicinal remedies by combining fruit and vegetable juices with ingredients such as herbs, milk and spices. The benefits of juicing also appear in the Dead Sea Scrolls, which were written by cultures well-known for diets rich in fruits and vegetables.
Juicing enables your body to absorb the nutrients of a fruit or vegetable without breaking down its fibers, which the stomach handles when you eat fruit or vegetables, whole. Therefore, your body is able to consume larger quantities than when you eat the fruit or vegetable whole.
Of course, many benefits are linked with consumption of juiced fruits and vegetables. Some of these include pain management, and a reduced risk of mental illness, cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome. According to the National Cancer Institute, a diet full of fruits and vegetables aids in cancer prevention, improves strength and stamina, and prevents infections.
Juiced fruits and vegetables also contain antioxidants, enzymes and phytonutrients. Antioxidants protect the body from cell damage and improve strength and stamina; enzymes aid in the removal of toxins from the body; and phytonutrients fight cancer and boost the immune system.
Back in the day, juicing was a matter of squeezing fruit by hand. But when it comes to vegetables, perhaps only the Jolly Green Giant would be able to squeeze drops out of a carrot. Luckily, several types of electronic juicers currently exist (including masticating, centrifugal and triturating juicers), which do the work for us, making the benefits of the fruits (or vegetables) available at the press of a button.
So get yourself an inexpensive juicer, or dig that juicer out of your closet. Carrots, leafy greens, broccoli, cabbage and asparagus are some of the best juicing vegetables, and pair well with citrus fruit, apricots, mint and parsley, which are in peak season. Here are two recipes that include several of these ingredients to get you started. Both will satisfy your body’s craving for nutrients and satisfy the sweet tooth as well.
Sweet Spring Mix
1 Granny Smith apple
¼ cup parsley
¼ cup mint leaves
1 stalk of celery
½ inch of fresh ginger, peeled
½ lemon, peeled
1. Using an electric juicer, blend all ingredients together. Stir the juice to mix the flavors.
1 cup raspberries
1 cup strawberries
1. Using an electric juicer, blend all ingredients together. Whisk to combine.
Agree, Saigon Deli, the real one, not the other one across the street.
We ate there and the food was excellent. You need to go back and have…
lets not forget the old elephant foot IPA in the 16 oz cans from Tampa…