The Nutritious Tomato Juice
What's Tomato juice?
Tomato juice is a juice from tomatoes, the typically red and round fruits which are said to originate from South America, and spread around the world after the Spanish Colonization of America. Tomatoes are consumed in diverse ways including raw, as an ingredient to many cooked dishes, as a sauce or ketchup and as a refreshing juice. Tomato juice is a beverage, either plain or in cocktails. A tall glass of tomato juice, can be decorated with a slice of tomato and sprig.
History of Tomato Juice
Tomato juice was first served as a refreshing beverage in 1917 by Edgar Berman at some Hotel in southern Indiana. He ran out of orange juice, needed a quick substitute, and used tomatoes instead.
The combination of squeezed tomatoes, sugar and the special sauce made by Berman instantly became a hit and popular as a tomato juice cocktail. It contributed much to his success as a Businessman.
Nutrients in Tomatoes
Tomato is one of the popular fruits throughout the world, and tomato juice as well is one of healthiest and best-loved juices. So what are the main health benefits of tomato juice? Tomatoes contain a significant amount of potassium, vitamin C and outstanding concentrations of lycopene. These nutrients are needed by the body to perform vital functions and fight off diseases.
Tomatoes also contain unusual phytonutrients that provide us with heart-protective benefits. One of these phytonutrients is a glycoside called esculeoside A; another is a flavonoid called chalconaringenin, and a fatty-acid type molecule called 9-oxo-octadecadienoic acid. Each specific phytonutrient plays a unique role in supporting heart health.
Tomatoes and tomato juice are known for their rich concentration of the antioxidant, lycopene. Lycopene is the heart-friendly antioxidant. It helps maintain healthy heart muscles prompting it to function optimally. Fresh tomatoes and tomato juices have been proven to help lower total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides. Further, tomato extracts have been shown to help prevent unwanted clumping of platelet cells in the blood, thus reducing our risks to heart problems like atherosclerosis.
Lycopene and Bone Health
A recent study suggest that lycopene has something to do and may contribute to bone health. The study included restricting lycopene-rich foods from the diets of postmenopausal women for a period of 4 weeks, to see what would be the effects of lycopene restriction to bone health.
At the end of 4 weeks, women in the study started to show increased signs of oxidative stress in their bones and unwanted changes in their bone tissue. The researchers concluded that removal of lycopene-rich foods (including tomatoes) from the diet would likely put women at increased risk of osteoporosis.
Fight Cancer with Tomatoes
Since most cancers are triggered by persistent unwanted inflammation and oxidative stress from free radicals, researchers found a strong link between tomatoes’ anti-inflammatory, antioxidant nutrients and cancer. Any food, including tomato, that’s high in antioxidants and phytonutrients that are able to neutralize free radicals, combat oxidative stress and fight inflammation are foods that could somehow reduce our risks of cancer. With regards to tomato consumption, the area of prostate cancer is so far the best-studied type of cancer. Study results reveal that regular intake of tomatoes including tomato juice could significantly reduce men’s risks of prostate cancer due to a certain saponin nutrient in tomatoes called alpha-tomatine which could promote programmed cell death in prostate cancer cells. The effect of this nutrient has also been investigated for small cell lung carcinoma.
We all know tomatoes are very rich in the antioxidant, lycopene. Lycopene intake was found in studies to considerably reduce women’s risk of breast cancer. This is another breakthrough of tomatoes and its relationship to cancer.
When summer is approaching and you're garden is filled with fresh, ripe tomatoes, make a refreshing juice or cocktail out of these garden tomatoes. This recipe is highly recommended for those who love tomato juice, V8, Bloody or Virgin Marys.
- 3 pounds very ripe garden tomatoes
- 1 1/4 cups chopped celery with leaves
- 1/3 cup chopped onion
- 2 Tbsp sugar (to taste)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- a pinch of black pepper
- 6 -8 drops of Tabasco sauce (to taste)
- 1. Wash, core and roughly chop your tomatoes.
- 2. Place all the ingredients into a large non-reactive pot (use stainless steel, not aluminum). Bring to a simmer and cook for 25 minutes, uncovered, or until mixture is completely soupy.
- 3. Filter and Force mixture through a sieve, chinoise, or food mill. Cool the mixture completely.
- 4. Cover, store and chil in refrigerator
- - The resulting juice can be stored in the fridge for up to 1 week.