"When it comes to tomatoes, the antioxidant lycopene is all the rage."
Tomatoes may feel a little strange in this list because they are in fact a fruit, being the seed-bearing part of a flowering plant. But we assumed anyone looking for tomatoes would go to the vegetable section, so here they are. Besides, in 1893, the United States Supreme Court declared tomatoes a vegetable, ending their identity crisis once and for all.
The tomato plant was first cultivated by the Incas and Aztecs around A.D.700. Today the enduring tomato has become one of America’s favorite foods, coming in many shapes, sizes and colors, and creating an endless array of savory sauces. About 550 million pounds of ketchup are sold every year in the USA, or almost two pounds per person.
The Healing Powers and Health Benefits of Tomato Juice
Helps Protect Smokers From Developing Lung Cancer
Protects Against Prostate Cancer
Protects the Heart and Lungs from Oxidative Damage
Reduces Kidney Hypertension
Tomato Juice Nutrition
Providing tomatoes are vine-ripened, they are a high source of vitamin C. One tomato provides more than 50% of the recommended daily allowance of Vitamin C. Tomatoes are also a good source of organic sodium phosphorus, calcium, potassium, magnesium, malic acid, oxalic acid and sulfur. When eaten, tomatoes provide a good supply of fiber.
Tomato Juice is an excellent source of:
Tomato Juice is a good source of:
- Fibre (when eaten)
- Sodium Phosphorus
- Malic Acid
- Oxalic Acid
Phytochemicals & Antioxidants in Tomato Juice
When it comes to tomatoes, the antioxidant lycopene is all the rage. A member of the carotenoid family, it’s what gives tomatoes their bright red color. Paul Lachance, professor of food science and nutrition at Rutgers University, states, “Lycopene is one of the most potent free-radical scavengers in nature.” This red pigment concentrates in particular organs of the body, including the lungs and prostate, resulting in a reduction of cancers related to those organs. A1995 Harvard Medical School study found that men who ate ten or more servings of tomato products a week had a 35% risk reduction of prostate cancer and a remarkable 50% reduction in developing aggressive prostate tumors.
Further, lycopene protects the heart and lungs from oxidative damage. This is important, considering the lungs are particularly vulnerable to oxidative stress because of their high oxygen exposure.
Lycopene also has exciting anti-aging properties. In 1986, Dr. David Snowdon of the Saunders-Brown Center on Aging at the University of Kentucky conducted a now somewhat famous study on 88 Roman Catholic nuns between the ages of 77 and 98. The nuns who possessed the highest amounts of lycopene in their blood maintained the greatest youthful vigor, able to perform tasks like bathing and getting out of chairs with greater dexterity then those who had lower levels.
Lycopene is not the only carotenoid found in tomatoes; in fact they contain a dozen others not yet fully understood. Who knows what will hit the front page tomorrow about this amazing fruit…I mean vegetable!
Preparing for Juicing
Overripe tomatoes can come out of the juicer thick and hard to strain. It’s easier to juice tomatoes when they’re slightly firm. Simply rinse and juice. Do not juice green tomatoes, as they may irritate the kidneys.
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Tomato Juice Tips
Home-juiced tomato juice has a wonderful taste that is quite different from store-bought juice, which is boiled and stored in cans for months. The health-giving acids in tomatoes are reduced when they are heated or canned. For a treat while juice fasting, you can warm fresh tomato juice, add some spices and drink like tomato soup, guilt free.
Picking Perfect Produce
The problem is that most tomatoes found in the supermarkets during the off-season have the quality, taste and vitamin C content of a baseball. Vine-ripened, heritage varieties may cost you a little more because of the difficulty in shipping, but it is well worth the money in nutritional value. Look for deep red, soft, sweet-smelling tomatoes. They should be plump and heavy. When in season, buy from your local farmer, or, better yet, grow your own succulent, sweet tomatoes. Even if you live in an apartment, there are hybrids that have been created especially for growing in pots.
Storing Your Produce
What’s the fastest way to turn a perfectly tasty tomato into a bland imitation? That’s right, the refrigerator. Store tomatoes on the counter, and depending on ripeness, they should last 4 or 5 days.
Tomatoes liven up any veggie juice, adding rich color and taste. I love tomato, celery, a little garlic and dap of Tabasco.
The The Juice Nut Guide To Juicing (eBook) is available to purchase now!
If you are interested in anti-aging, detoxifying, and maintaining radiant health, or discovering what type of juice will heal and protect from just about every ailment, then this is book for you. In an easy, fun read, Ron provides detailed nutritional information about all of the common fruits and veggies in your supermarket, plus 20 years of personal juicing tips. Everything you need to know about juicing in one book! (Available in PDF & Kindle formats)