Tomatoes are a great staple ingredient of many dishes in the kitchen. Italian dishes, Mediterranean dishes, in fact, a wide-range of cultures and places uses tomatoes as one of the main ingredients in their typical dishes and when you take a closer look at some of the benefits the healthy fruit can bring to a plate, it’s not very hard to see why.
Versatile and functional, the vitamin-rich good can be used in soups, sauces, starters, main dishes, accompanying dishes and even in cocktails and other drinks. In fact, it is the tomato juice that proves to be one of the most effective options. With benefits when eaten as well as when used in beauty treatments, you can either make your own by juicing your own fruits or buy cartons as long as you check the sodium levels are down.
Tomato Juice Nutritional Info
In one cup or 243 grams of tomato juice, you will find 42 calories. You will also find the following:
- 1.8g protein (3% RDA)
- 1g dietary fiber
- 23mg lycopene
- 74% RDA of vitamin C
- 21% RDA of vitamin A
- 15% RDA of vitamin B-6
- 5% RDA of iron
- 6% RDA of magnesium
- 2% RDA of calcium
*RDA = Recommended Daily Allowance
*Based on a calorie-controlled diet of 2,000 calories
All of those vitamins and minerals are vital for your body to run fit and healthy but a couple of them in particular should be highlighted:
Lycopene is the chemical found naturally in tomatoes which give them their red color and is otherwise known as a carotenoid. Studies are still ongoing but have so far been incredibly positive showing the links between tomatoes and their lycopene content, and the positive effects they can bring to the human body.
There have been positive links showing that lycopene could work in the prevention of a number of cancers as well as preventing and treating or improving the symptoms of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis and a number of other chronic diseases.
Vitamin C – With 74% of your daily allowance of vitamin C (or ascorbic acid), tomato juice is very good if you are lacking in this vitamin in your diet. If you struggle to get your family five-a-day portions tomato juice would make the great staple to a juice or smoothie. You can either drink this alone or add other ingredients.
The body needs vitamin C to keep the cells healthy. It also helps to maintain the connective tissues which offers both structure and support to the organs and surrounding tissue, and helps to heal wounded cells.
Vitamin B-6 will help with your heart health. There is a hormone that negatively affects the heart when too much is produced called homocysteine and vitamin B-6 alongside potassium, folate and niacin together help lower the amount of hormone produced.
Studies have also shown that a diet rich in tomatoes will reduce your chances of suffering with cardiovascular disease by as much as thirty percent.
Other Tomato Juice Benefits
The vitamins, minerals and other compounds found with tomato juice have been shown to be particularly effective in the fight against a number of conditions.
Lycopene, for example, has been shown to have links to reducing prostate cancer. When the lycopene is added to the water content plus the fiber content of the humble tomato, and the fact that the juice makes it easier for your body to digest, and you have a food that will boost the health of your digestive system, especially your bowel and colon.
Going back to the fiber, tomato juice can help against constipation, and because tomato juice has been shown to be a natural antiseptic, it can also help prevent stomach infections and other bug-related problems in your digestive system.
There have even been positive links between tomato juice and gall stones and kidney stones.
Fiber does more than just help your digestive system at the end of the journey either, the fat-soluble fiber found in tomatoes can help to lower cholesterol by breaking down LDL cholesterol.
Niacin is another mineral found in tomatoes which again has shown positive reports for lower cholesterol.
The combination of vitamins and minerals you’ll find in tomatoes have been studied in great depth over recent years and they have shown to have impressive benefits on the human body. For those suffering with clotting problems, tomatoes can help to thin the blood and prevent blood clots. Patients with Type 2 diabetes have also been shown to have a reduced risks of blood clotting when they have a tomato-juice rich diet.
Tomatoes have been well documented to contain high levels of powerful antioxidants; compounds that can fight against the free radicals in the body that cause cancer and other chronic conditions. These antioxidants also reduce inflammation for those suffering with many chronic conditions as well as cardiovascular disease.
Offering healthier skin and hair, fewer stress hormones, improved bone health, antioxidant protection and more, tomato juice has definitely proved itself in the world of healthy foods. More and more studies are showing that diets rich in tomatoes and tomato juice have more benefits and it’s no wonder that they are being deemed a ‘superfood’.