10 Benefits of Tomato Juice & 4 Tips How to Make it
Tomato juice is one of the most popular vegetable juices around. The reason for this is the many health-promoting ingredients that make the drink a real boon. In this article, we tell you about the benefits of tomato juice and its side effects. In addition, we give you tips on how to make tomato juice yourself.
Civilizations as ancient as the Aztecs and Maya are said to have used tomatoes to make medicinal drinks from their tart liquid.
Tomato Juice Facts
When Louis Perrin ran out of orange juice in southern Indiana in 1917, he was the first modern person to serve tomato juice as a drink.
Thus, a quick stopgap solution of squeezed tomatoes, sugar, and Perrin’s own special sauce became a quick success. It was a Chicago businessmen who finally made tomato juice famous.
Tomato juice is usually used as a drink, either neat or in cocktails such as Bloody Mary, Caesar or Michelada. In Canada and Mexico it is often mixed with beer, while in the UK tomato juice is often combined with Worcestershire sauce.
Nutritional Facts and Calories
The tomato consists of about 95 percent water and yet it is one of the healthiest vegetables there is. It contains several trace elements, vitamins and minerals. In the table below, we’ve laid out some of the most important nutritional values of tomato juice.
|Components||Tomato Juice (100 grams)|
|Total Fat||0.3 g|
|Total Carbohydrate||3.5 g|
|Dietary Fiber||0.4 g|
|Vitamin A||23 mcg|
|Vitamin B1||0.100 mg|
|Vitamin B2||0.078 mg|
|Vitamin B3||0.673 mg|
|Vitamin B6||0.070 mg|
|Vitamin C||70.1 mg|
|Vitamin E||0.32 mg|
|Vitamin K||2.3 mcg|
Health Benefits of Tomato Juice
The tomato contains many health-promoting ingredients that make tomato juice a remarkable drink. These include vitamin C, potassium, and vitamin K.
In this section, you’ll be enlightened about how drinking vegetable juice can positively affect your body, and what the benefits for your health are.
We’ll explain how the various components of tomato juice affect the processes of your body and how they maintain or even improve them.
Benefits of Tomato Juice in Preventing Strokes
Tomatoes contain an antioxidant called lycopene (also leucopin). This is the most potent radical scavenger in the carotenoid group. Perhaps surprisingly, a tomato after juicing contains even more lycopene than it did in whole tomato form. This is because the antioxidant can be released by mechanically breaking down the cell walls.
In a Finnish study, just over 1,000 men between the ages of 46 and 65 were medically observed for a period of twelve years. The researchers concluded that the patients with the highest lycopene levels had a 55 percent lower risk of stroke than those with lower levels.
Thus, the scientists had observed that the antioxidant inhibits the clotting of blood. Fewer clots form and, consequently, the risk of strokes and heart attacks decreases.
Tomato Juice Can Lower Your Blood Pressure
Researchers have likewise found that tomato juice has positive effects on blood pressure.
In a Japanese study, a research group examined nearly 500 subjects between the ages of 20 and 74.
Before the study began, the participants underwent a thorough cardiovascular check. How much juice the test subjects were to consume was up to them – but they were required to keep a diary.
After one year of tomato juice consumption, blood pressure dropped significantly in 20 percent of the test subjects. These subjects had consumed an average of one glass of the vegetable juice daily.
Specifically, systolic blood pressure dropped from an average of 142.2 mmHg to about 137 mmHg. Diastolic blood pressure dropped from 83.3 to 80.9 mmHg on average.
Benefits of Tomato Juice for Your Skin
It’s hard to believe, but tomato juice is also good for the skin. The juice of the tomato is rich in vitamin C, which has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Besides that, the juice also acts as a natural astringent by shrinking the pores.
Last but not least, tomato juice is also useful for sun protection, due to the lycopene it contains. The antioxidant not only protects your skin’s sensitivity to sunburn, it also strengthens the skin’s UV protection. Nonetheless, you should never go without sunscreen, and most benefits to date are shown from ingesting tomato juice or paste. There’s little research on topical application.
Tomato Juice Reduces the Risk of Cancer
As the most powerful antioxidant among carotenoids, lycopene is also able to reduce the risk of cancer.
Lycopene neutralizes destructive free radicals even before they can do any damage.
Your body creates these free radicals itself because they are natural intermediates of metabolism.
However, if they are present in larger quantities, we are talking about oxidative stress, which is not good for any organism, including you!
According to research, lycopene is even said to be twice as potent as the beta-carotene found in carrots. The antioxidants seem to show particularly positive effects in the reduction of prostate cancer.
In a study involving 48,000 male subjects, those who ate ten portions of tomatoes a week had a 45 percent lower risk of prostate cancer.
Tomato Juice Strengthens the Immune System
Thanks to the extensive range of minerals and vitamins, tomato juice also strengthens the immune system.
In 100 grams of tomato juice are the following vitamins:
- 70.1 milligrams of vitamin C
- 0.32 milligrams of vitamin E
- 23 micrograms of vitamin A
- 0.100 milligrams of vitamin B1
- 0.078 milligrams of vitamin B2
- 2.3 micrograms of vitamin K
Furthermore, minerals are also included – first and foremost potassium and sodium. They contribute to normal immune system function and are part of important processes in the body. A strong immune system helps you mobilize your defenses, protecting you from pathogens.
Health Benefits of Tomato Juice for Digestion
Regular consumption of tomato juice is said to be not only good for cardiovascular health, but also for digestion.
In fact, thanks to its laxative effect, it helps protect against constipation. In addition, the juice strengthens the healthy intestinal flora.
There are about .4 grams of dietary fiber in 100 grams (2/3 cup) of tomato juice. The latter act as food for the "good" intestinal bacteria and thus influence intestinal health. Along with that, fiber increases stool volume, which helps get your digestion going.
Tomato Juice Benefits Your Eyesight
Although some of the vitamin A it contains is lost when the tomato is processed into juice, the juice still contributes to good eyesight.
100 grams (3.5 fl oz) of juice contains about 23 micrograms of the vitamin. Since it is an essential component in the visual process, a deficiency could lead to night blindness, for example. In addition, vitamin A is important for distinguishing colors.
Tomato Juice for Weight Loss
The fiber found in tomato juice can also help you lose weight.
On the flip side, fiber-rich foods help you prevent obesity, too.
Scientific studies have shown that a high-fiber diet reduces the risk of obesity, because the indigestible fillers thicken the chyme (food pulp) already in the stomach.
Thus, fiber has a satiating effect and prevents food cravings. In addition, most high-fiber foods have a low energy density, providing less calories per serving. For these reasons alone, it pays to drink tomato juice with your meal.
Tomato Juice Prevents Water Retention
On top of that, tomato juice is rich in the mineral potassium, which is important for every cell in your body. Specifically, the juice contains about 217 milligrams of potassium per 100 grams.
The mineral is one of the most important electrolytes, which together with sodium regulate our water balance.
If you increase the amount of the mineral in your diet, the hormone aldosterone activates the excretion of potassium via your kidneys.
And since your kidney function is stimulated in this way, your body also excretes more water. You can even increase the fluid excretion by eating less sodium. In other words, you should salt your food less to promote a healthy fluid balance.
Tomato Juice Aids Against Hyperacidity
Vegetable juice is one of the basic foods, which is why it can help you balance your acid-base balance. The latter is essential for your overall health.
If your pH becomes unbalanced, diseases such as rheumatism and arteriosclerosis are possible in the long term. However, it is important that you consume raw tomatoes or raw tomato juice. Heated juice could, at worst, lead to the exact opposite and create acids in the body.
Side Effects of Tomato Juice
Despite the many healthy ingredients, certain Allergy-prone individuals should refrain from consuming the vegetable juice, as tomato juice can trigger food allergies.
Apart from that, the juice contains oxalic acid, which promotes the formation of kidney stones. In 100 grams, the juice comes to about five milligrams of oxalic acid and thus has a lower content than fresh tomatoes with 50 milligrams of acid per 100 grams.
Furthermore, tomatoes are said to lead to increased uric acid levels in the blood, which in turn is the main cause of a gout attack. Gout is a metabolic disease in which too much uric acid accumulates in the body (hyperuricemia).
In a New Zealand study, researchers asked 2,000 gout sufferers which foods triggered a gout attack in them.
One in five named tomatoes. According to the researchers, the link they found between tomato consumption and elevated uric acid levels was comparable to that of alcohol and red meat.
Conclusion: Is Tomato Juice Good for You?
As you can see, tomato juice is very nutritious and its vitamins and minerals play an important role in your health.
Being a source of antioxidants, tomato juice can reduce inflammation. It has a positive effect on your digestion, eyes and skin. Due to its low calorie content, tomato juice can also be drunk for weight loss.
To conclude, tomato juice is good for you and your health. With no added salt or sugar, tomato juice is great for increasing your nutrient intake.
The healthiest tomato juice is definitely homemade. Read on to find out how to make your own healthy tomato juice.
How to Make Your Own Tomato Juice
To benefit from the health benefits of tomato juice, you can also make your own. The homemade version is not only much less expensive, but also tastes better.
Additionally, by making your own, you have the greatest control over all ingredients and can influence both the sugar and salt content directly.
We’ll introduce you to a simple basic recipe and usable tips in this section.
Basic Tomato Juice Recipe
For the tomato juice you need only a few ingredients:
- A kilo (2 lb 3.28 oz) of tomatoes
- Spices of your choice
- A metal strainer
- Glass bottles
And this is how you proceed:
- First you grow the tomatoes and cut them into rough cubes. Remove the stem and any green parts.
- Place the cubes in a saucepan and simmer on low heat for about ten minutes.
- Mash the mixture with a fork and then pass it through a metal sieve. Alternatively, you can also use a blender or a vegetable grinder.
- Season the resulting juice with spices of your choice.
- Pour the tomato juice into clean glass bottles.
Cut Off the Tomato Stalk
You’ll have noticed that the recipe asks you to remove the stalk and any green parts. No matter how you want to process tomatoes, you should always remove the stalk first.
Unfortunately, it is not a myth that tomato stalks contain small amounts of poison.
Both the stalk and the leaves, stems and green parts of unripe tomatoes contain the so-called solanine.
The bitter-tasting alkaloid is mildly toxic to humans. However, ripe tomatoes contain less solanine than unripe specimens – less than one milligram per 100 grams (3.5 oz) of ripe tomatoes.
Only by ingesting 25 milligrams of solanine might you experience mild symptoms of poisoning — these include:
Refine Your Juice with Spices
To add a special touch to your freshly squeezed juice, you can refine it with spices.
The following spices work particularly well for this purpose:
If you want to add some spicy heat to your juice, you should reach for chili powder or pink hot bell pepper powder. This variety of bell pepper is significantly hotter than the sweet version.
Boil Down Tomatoes: Preserve the Juice
In order to benefit from your homemade juice for as long as possible, it is best to preserve it.
To do this, you can put the juice in a well-sealed plastic container and then freeze it.
In addition, you have the option to preserve the tomato juice by home canning. Pour the juice into sterile jars and close them with clean lids. Use a canner to finish the procedure:
To sterilize the utensils, place them in a pot of boiling water for ten minutes. Afterwards, boil the jars filled with tomato juice in a water bath for about 30 minutes, depending on your altitude (check with local extension agencies for recommendations).
The optimal boiling temperature is around 194° Fahrenheit. After boiling down, your tomato juice should keep for several months – provided your jars are clean and germ-free.
Tip: Label the jars with the bottling date so you don’t lose track.