Tomatoes are the plump berries of the Solanum lycopersicum – the tomato plant. Although we treat them as a vegetable, they have seeds which actually makes them a fruit.
To this day it’s still a mystery why tomatoes never took off as a hand fruit.
The thing which gives tomatoes their red color, lycopene, is also what gives us its most unique health benefits.
Lycopene is a bright red pigment, a carotenoid and a phytochemical, which acts as a powerful antioxidant.
Lycopene’s health benefits include:
1. Strong Bones
Some free radicals disrupt the natural bone formation / bone breakdown balance, leading to osteoporosis. Lycopene acts as an antioxidant which removes these harmful free radicals.
2. It Protects Your Skin From Sun Damage
Lycopene’s antioxidant action removes free radicals caused by the sun’s UV rays. It helps prevent UV skin damage and studies have shown that people who regularly ingest lycopene have a lower incidence of skin cancer.
3. Protection From Other Chronic Diseases
Due to its antioxidant action.
Tomato Juice Benefits
With additional vitamins, minerals and micronutrients, there are many more benefits of tomato juice:
4. It Protects You From Cancer
Studies have shown tomatoes to help prevent prostate, lung and stomach cancer, while also suggesting that is helps in preventing cancers of the pancreas, colon and rectum, esophagus, oral cavity, breast, and cervix.
It’s likely that this effect is due to the lycopene, but science hasn’t proven that 100% (yet). Either way, tomatoes will help you lower your cancer risk.
5. It Lowers Cholesterol Levels
One of the best tomato juice benefits is its ability to decrease LDL cholesterol levels (the bad type of cholesterol). High cholesterol has many bad effects on health, including erectile dysfunction, heart attack and stroke.
6. It Protects Your Heart
In addition to lowering cholesterol, one of the other tomato juice benefits is a decrease in LDL cholesterol oxidation. High levels of LDL oxidation are linked with an increased risk of coronary heart disease and atherosclerosis.
The Vitamin B6 in tomatoes helps control homocysteine levels – high levels of which can lead to heart disease.
The high levels of niacin, potassium, and folate also help contribute to a healthy heart.
7. It’s A Potent Sports Recovery Drink
Studies found people who drank tomato juice after strenuous exercise to have quicker muscle and blood glucose level recovery times, versus those who drank fizzy energy drinks.
This means tomato juice is a more efficient recovery drink to take with you to the gym, while the lycopene simultaneously protects you from the oxidative, free radical damage from exercise.
8. It Helps You Lose Weight
Tomato juice has the right balance of water, nutrition and fiber to hydrate and nourish you. This balance lowers hunger levels, giving you less reason to stray from your diet.
9. Detox Booster
As well as being a powerful antioxidant and being good at removing toxins itself, it also has naturally occurring chlorine and sulphur, both of which are needed by your kidneys and liver to perform their detox duties.
They do this by helping them function, and by keeping them in tip-top condition by protecting them from infection.
Homemade or Store Bought?
You’ll receive much more nutrition and enjoy more tomato juice benefits by juicing your own tomatoes. When you buy store-bought tomato juice, enzymes and nutrients are lost in the pasteurization process.
Plus it will have all manner of things added to it help restore some of the lost tomato flavor – sugar, salt and additives, as well as artificial colorings and preservatives.
Since tomatoes have a high water content, they are easy to juice and any good juicer is up to the task. If you don’t already have one, this guide will help you select the right one for your budget, needs and lifestyle.
What else can I do with it?
If you want to get creative, the following video will show you how to use your tomato juice to make a tomato and chive vinaigrette, a vegetable bean chilli, and even a tomato juice cake!
By applying tomato juice directly to your skin and hair, you’ll receive more benefits of tomato juice since the vitamins and nutrients will be absorbed right where they’re needed.
Although it might sound weird, it makes more sense to do it this way than to spend a fortune on creams and pastes which boast the exact same nutrients extracted from tomatoes.
Tomato Juice for Hair
One of the most interesting benefits of tomato juice is its use as a conditioner – adding the shine back to lifeless hair by increasing the your hair’s acidic pH.
Use it in the same way you’d normally use a conditioner – massage a small amount of tomato juice into your hair after conditioning, leave for a few minutes, and then wash out.
Tomato Juice for Skin
Simply mix tomato juice and raw honey to form a thick paste, then apply it to your face. Leave it to dry for 15 minutes, and then wash off.
How else are you using tomato juice? Let us know below!