There has been a variety of research studies conducted that have shown strong evidence for the health promoting properties of drinking tomato juice. It’s benefits include anti-inflammatory properties, anti-cancer properties, cholesterol lowering abilities, blood thinning abilities and protection from developing atherosclerosis.
Heat Health Benefits of Tomato Juice
Several studies show that tomato juice may be extremely beneficial for the heart. In one study they gave healthy volunteers a daily 13.5 oz tomato juice and a 1 oz portion of ketchup. After a few weeks, the volunteers experienced a 5.9% decrease in overall cholesterol levels and a 12% decrease in LDL “bad” cholesterol levels! The same study also revealed that the volunteers blood levels of the carotenoids lycopene and beta-carotene (2 antioxidants found in tomatoes) were elevated. These antioxidants can help protect LDL cholesterol molecules that are circulating in the blood from oxidation, a process that can lead to atherosclerosis and heart disease. In the case of this study the protection of cholesterol molecules was raised by 13%.
Another similar study also found that giving diabetic but otherwise healthy volunteers an 8 oz glass of tomato juice significantly reduced blood platelet aggregation (the clumping together of blood). This could be a great aid to diabetics, whose condition greatly increases their risk of developing high cholesterol, high blood pressure and blood platelet aggregation – all of which are major factors in heart disease.
One of the main reasons that tomato juice, and tomato products like ketchup and tomato sauce, appear to have more health benefits than just eating the raw fruit (which is still great for you) is lycopene content. When tomatoes are processed by juicing, blending or heating a lot more of the lycopene becomes available for digestion. Such processing helps “break free’ more of the lycopene from the tougher fibers of the fruit.
Some people prefer to blanch tomatoes so that they can peel them before juicing. However I recommend juicing the raw tomato with its skin on for your tomato juicing recipes. The skin is a rich source of lycopene that we can take advantage of.
Tomato Juice Recipes #1 – Plain O’ Tomato Juice
5 large tomatoes
Tomato Juice Recipes #2 – V8
2 stalk of celery
1 small beet
1 cup of spinach
1 cup of kale
1 red bell pepper
1 green bell pepper
Tomato Juice Recipes #3 – Spicy Tomato Juice
5 large tomatoes
1 glove of garlic
dash of chili sauce