Amazing Health Benefits Of Drinking Tomato Juice

Amazing Health Benefits Of Drinking Tomato Juice

Summer is here. It’s the season of bright skies as the wind frivolously dances with the trees and its pretty flowered branches, and the air is marked by the loud chirping of birds that seem so much more active, now that winter cannot steal their warmth any longer. As I am writing this, I am seated at my balcony thinking of whipping up a refreshing drink; like perhaps, tomato juice?

I love tomato juice. Apart from being versatile and delicious, the humble tomato is a powerhouse of nutrition. This juice takes me back to the days when my mom used to prepare this as an after-school drink alongside some yummy snacks. Trust me, on a hot summer day a delicious glass of tomato juice is just the coolant your body needs.

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Some facts:

The scientific name for a tomato plant is Solanum lycopersicum. While we have treated these plump berries as vegetables all our lives, they contain seeds which in fact make them a fruit. These brightly coloured nutrition powerhouses have inconspicuously found their way into cuisines around the world but their dominance in the Mediterranean cuisine makes them especially popular. Tomatoes are a good source of folate and thiamine, minerals like potassium, manganese, magnesium & phosphorus; they are also rich in Vitamin A, C, K and Vitamin B6. And yes, the most nutritious form of this low-calorie vegetable is the tomato juice.

Tomato gets its bright red pigment from a carotenoid and a phytochemical known as lycopene, which acts as a powerful antioxidant – helping our body fight the harmful free radicals that result from exposure to the sun’s UV rays there by reducing the risk of skin cancer. Quite contrary to common belief, tomato juice is more effective than fresh tomatoes because the concentration of fat-soluble antioxidant lycopene increases when tomatoes are processed.


With additional vitamins, minerals and phytonutrient content, there are many more benefits of tomato juice:

  1. Decreases The Risk of Cancer

Lycopene along with a strong army of other carotenoids like alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin are known to play an important role in keeping us healthy and lowering the risk of different types of cancer like breast cancer, lung cancer, colorectal cancer and prostate cancer. Research proves that men who include high amounts of lycopene in their diet can reduce the risk of pancreatic cancer by almost 30%.

  1. Reduces Risk Of Heart Disease

Cardiac related health problems plague a large segment of the world’s population. Urban lifestyles are often blamed for this, but since all of us may not be willing to give up our way of living, we can look for solutions that keep us healthy. Studies have showed that a tomato rich diet can reduce cardiovascular risks by almost 30%.

Tomatoes are considered a great source of niacin {Vitamin B3}, potassium, folate and Vitamin B6. These nutrients play a major role in lowering LDL cholesterol oxidization. Since higher oxidization levels of LDL can lead to an increased risk of coronary heart problems and atherosclerosis, tomatoes contribute to a healthier heart.

  1. Prevents Blood Clotting

When blood begins to clot abnormally, it can cause heart problems. The rich supply of phytonutrients found in tomatoes helps in reducing the excessive clumping together of platelet cells and keeps the bloodstream free of blockage. People who have a history of heart problems will find tomatoes to be a health booster.

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  1. Detoxifies The Liver and Kidney

Natural chlorine and sulphur present in tomatoes give the vegetable its detoxifying abilities. Since the liver and kidney play a pivotal role in purifying blood, with the help of tomatoes you can enhances the functioning of these organs. Also, the nutrients found in the vegetable will help in protecting them from fungal, bacteria or viral infections.

Another problem affecting many people today is irregular bowel movement, which is caused largely because of unhealthy eating habits. Tomato juice is rich in fibre which helps the digestive system by regularizing bowel movements and keeping constipation at bay.

  1. Strengthens Bones

When it comes to bone health, we generally incline towards milk and other dairy products since they are so popularly associated with calcium. But that little tomato peeping out of your fridge basket is a great source Vitamin K that contributes to the health of your bones by activating osteocalcin which in turn anchors calcium inside your bones. Healthy bones help in maintaining the right posture and carrying out physical activities effectively, so don’t miss out on your daily dose of Vitamin K.

  1. Improves Vision

Your eyesight relies on a nutrient-rich diet. Most people end up with eyesight problems because of a lack of certain nutrients. Tomatoes provide your body with phytonutrients like beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin which improves vision by aiding in the formation of Vitamin A. With the help of a good diet which includes minerals and nutrients, you can fight eye conditions like night-blindness and protect your eyes from macular degeneration.

  1. Improves Skin And Hair Health

Tomato juice has a lot of benefits for the skin too. It helps in getting rid of tanning, combats skin discoloration and is a great solution for treating acne. Tomato is also known to shrink open pores thereby regulating the secretion of sebum in oily skin.

Tomatoes play a role in nourishing your hair as the vitamins and iron present in tomato juice help bring back shine to dull and lifeless hair. For those who complain of dandruff and an itchy scalp, tomatoes can come to your rescue. Just apply fresh tomato juice after shampooing and let your scalp soak in all the goodness by leaving it on for 4-5 minutes before you rinse with cold water.

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Spicy Tomato Juice Recipe {Makes 3-4 cups}

The rule of the thumb is to wash tomatoes under cool running water before you use them in any dish. For recipes that use seeded tomatoes, you can simply cut the vegetable in half and gently squeeze out all the juice with seeds intact. Since the seeds have a lot of valuable nutrients too, I prefer keeping the seeds in the juice I prepare.


Ingredients

Tomatoes                      4

Salt                                  1/2 tsp

Sugar                               1/4 tsp

Cayenne pepper           1 pinch


Instructions

Boil a pot of water and add the tomatoes to the boiling water. Remove them after 30 seconds to be able to easily peel off the skin. Quarter the tomatoes and put them in a blender. Add salt, sugar and cayenne pepper to it and blend well. Strain the juice to separate the thick pulp from the juice and serve chilled.

 

Note: An added advantage of tomato juice is that it aids in weight loss. It keeps you hydrated, while the low sodium and high fibre content in it ensure that you do not crave food or feel weak. It provides your body with the requisite amount of calories and nutrients to ensure that the metabolic process of your body works effectively.

End note: All it takes is for us to explore new ways to add healthy nutrients to our diet. This summer, let tomatoes dictate your food choices. Instead of a cup of coffee, try drinking a glass of refreshing tomato juice to get that energy kick you crave. So what are waiting for? Grab those plump juicy tomatoes from your kitchen, juice them up and give yourself the chance to enjoy its benefits. Stay fit, stay healthy!

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