Tomato Juice Recipes are a hit with my family and the variations are endless. So, you never get bored with the same old thing - as you will see. But, first, lets look at common questions and answers that give you everything you need to know about juicing tomatoes!
Tomatoes are probably one of the most commonly eaten foods in all the world. They are easy to grow, easily available and an economical vegetable that won't break your budget.
Did you know that the health benefits of tomatoes are as varied as the beautiful colors they come in? It's true. While most people think of orange tomatoes, they come in many colors - purple, white, red and yellow.
And, all colors make delicious tomato juice and can be used in any of the tomato juice recipes you will find below.
The health benefits start with the nutrition found in them. Tomatoes get their color from carotenoids which are antioxidants. Beta Carotene is one of these carotenoids.
Tomatoes also contain high levels of vitamin A along with vitamins C, D, E and K. They also contain minerals such as magnesium, potassium and calcium.
You probably know that tomatoes are considered a root vegetable. When growing, the tomatoes produce a green stalk above ground while the root is grown underground.
Many times, the tomato roots are sold in packages and people never see the green of the tomato. Tomato greens can also be eaten in salads and are good for juicing.
There are a number of health benefits that tomatoes have. And, by drinking tomato juice, you are getting a nutritional punch with the concentrated nutrients found in tomato juice.
1. Healthy for teeth
Eating tomatoes helps keeps your teeth clean and healthy. Just like when we discussed apples, eating tomatoes also increases our saliva production.
When you eat or drink them raw, you're going to produce extra saliva to digest tomatoes and get them down the hatch. And, since our saliva is alkaline, it helps fight bacteria that causes cavities.
The minerals found in tomatoes also help keep your teeth strong.
2. Helpful in Preventing Heart Disease
Eating tomatoes and drinking tomato juice may help reduce oxidative stress, lower cholesterol, and boost bile production. These factors all aid in our bodies work against heart disease.
The increased bile production will help your body digest fat better, keep digestion running smoothly and help your body to absorb the nutrients from the food you eat more efficiently.
3. Boost immunity
Tomatoes are high in vitamin C. Do you ever reach for a bottle of that come winter time?
Grab some tomatoes from the produce section instead and for an extra concentrated dose of the nutrition they contain, juice them!
Tomatoes are a great source of Vitamin C which stimulates our white blood cells that keep our immune system in peak performance mode all winter.
4. Prevent cancer
There are a lot of antioxidants in tomatoes. These include: include: vitamin C, beta carotene, lycopene, lutein, zeaxanthin.
Tomatoes are one of the highest natural sources of carotenoid phytochemicals and antioxidant beta carotene, both of which fight cancer by stopping DNA damage, levels of inflammation and cell mutation.
Beta-carotene has been linked to reduced instances of cancer, notably lung cancer. It may also reduce the risk of breast cancer in women.
The high fiber content of tomatoes helps prevent constipation and keep things processing smoothly in the body. This helps to reduce the incidence of colon cancer.
5. Boost eye health
Beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin are needed for eye health and tomatoes contain them all! These nutrients, along with vitamin A also found in tomatoes, help keep our eyes healthy longer and boost our overall vision.
Eating tomatoes can help prevent macular degeneration, night blindness, age related vision loss, and cataracts.
6. Encourage weight loss
Did you know that a medium tomato only has 25 calories? They are also high in fiber and low in fat. High fiber is the key to staying fuller longer. Adding tomatoes and many other vegetables to a well-rounded diet can aid in feelings of fullness.
You can eat drink them, eat them raw or cook them (try adding some healthy fat like coconut oil or grass fed butter) but, the high fiber may also reduce your overall calorie consumption which will help you lose weight.
7. Lower blood pressure
Did you know that tomatoes are a good source of potassium?
Potassium is a vasodilator and that means that it helps relax the tension in your blood vessels (veins and arteries). This in turn increases blood flow and circulation and helps reduce blood pressure.
Tomatoes also contain coumarin, which is associated with reducing hypertension (high blood pressure) and helping to protect your heart.
8. Reduce the risk of diabetes
Tomatoes contain carotenoids, which inversely effect insulin resistance. This may lower blood sugar or help keep it stable, making tomatoes a low-starch vegetable that can safely be consumed by diabetics.
Those with a genetic predisposition for diabetes may have a lower risk if they consume tomatoes.
Tomatoes are known to be a high fiber vegetable partly because of the thick layer of cellulose (fiber) that prevents your body from digesting and absorbing the nutritional benefits of the tomatoes.
When tomatoes are juiced, you are breaking down the fiber which makes the tomato juice more nutritionally dense than raw tomatoes. Your body is able to readily absorb more of the nutrients because the majority of fiber is removed!
However, tomato juice is very low in calories and fat but high in vitamins and minerals. This makes it a great addition to a diet designed to help you lose weight.
One cup of tomato juice has 42 calories, 1.8 g protein, 10 g carbohydrates, 0.1 g fat and 9 g sugar. And, one cup of tomato juice has 1 g fiber which helps you feel full while promoting digestion.
It also contains a whopping 556mg of potassium and 74% of your daily vitamin C!
Weight loss occurs when you burn more calories that you take in so, low calorie, nutrient dense tomato juice is a great addition to help you lose weight.
Drinking vs. eating
When tomatoes are juiced, the fiber is removed which allows your body to more easily absorb the vitamins and minerals in the tomatoes while still getting some fiber.
Tomato juice is a very important source of vitamin A. Scientists in the U.S. estimate that this juice contains the largest source of vitamin A, than any other fruit juice. Tomato juice provides an important source of dietary fiber along with beta carotene.
Refrigerated shelf life
Fresh homemade tomato juice lasts in the refrigerator for about 24 - 48 hours. Once juiced, it should be refrigerated immediately to help prevent oxidation and slow the breakdown of the nutrients.
I like to drink it as fresh as possible and normally have it consumed in 24 hours.
How many tomatoes?
The number of tomatoes it takes to yield one cup of juice will, of course, depend on the size of your tomatoes. A good rule of thumb is about 1 tomato per cup of juice.
Again, depending on the size of your tomatoes, it could be 1 tomatoes to make two cups of juice.
Yes, tomato juice is good for blood pressure. (1)
Tomatoes are high in fibers, carotenoids, vitamins C and E, and phenolics such as p-coumaric, chlorogenic, and caffeic acids. (1)
Phenolic compounds are dietary antioxidants found in plants that are shown to inhibit LDL oxidation, inhibit platelet aggregation and adhesion, decrease total and LDL cholesterol, and induce endothelium-dependent vaso-relaxation. (2, 3)
Uses for tomato juice pulp are:
- Feed it to your animals - our chickens love it! But don't forget your rabbits, cows, and horses...
- Add tomato juice pulp to your spaghetti sauce - it adds a natural sweetness and thickens it. I love adding veggies when my family doesn't even realize it!
- Compost it for rich garden soil.
Types of juicers
There are 3 main types of juicers and I will give a quick overview of each.
- Centrifugal - A centrifugal juicer uses teeth to chop the veggies and fruits and separate the pulp. As the juicer's mesh strainer spins at high speed, the juice is separated from the pulp. This is probably the most common, quick and popular type of juicer. Prep and clean up are faster because of the larger chute. The most notable con is the potential for the heat occurring from the high speed to destroy nutrients in the juice. Some sites comment that this is not a good machine for juicing leafy or watery fruits. I beg to differ - see my Breville juicer review below.
- Masticating - A masticating juicer is also known as a slow juicer. It uses an auger to crush the produce placed through the shoot, then separates the juice from the pulp by slowly squeezing the produce. The juice squeezed, is pushed through a mesh while the pulp is pushed through to another container. This type of juicer is much slower but does not generate the heat of the centrifugal juicer. It also requires more prep time of the veggies and fruits because the pieces must be smaller to fit into the chute.
- Triturating - As produce is put into the chute of a triturating juicer, there are two gears that twist and crush the produce, grinding it into small pieces and juicing. The heat produced is just a bit more than a masticating juicer so the resulting juice is stable for about 48 hours.
It is hard for me to say which is the "best" juicer of all. Budget must be considered and with that in mind, the centrifugal is the least expensive, followed by the masticating and finally, the triturating is the most expensive.
Also, the quality of juice must be taken into account, as well as, time required to prep and clean up after juicing.
Breville Juicer Review – 2 Models
I started out with the Breville Juice Fountain Plus, but after a few uses, felt that it would not hold up to the wear and tear of a large family.
Don’t get me wrong, it was a great machine, but it had a lot of plastic that I was afraid would break.
So, I traded up and bought the Juice Fountain Duo and have not been disappointed. It also has a puree disc that enables me to juice soft fruits like bananas.
Other Differences between the two Breville Juicers:
- The Juice Fountain Duo has a whopping 1200 watts of power compared to the Juice Fountain Plus at 850 watts.
- The Juice Fountain Duo also has a second disc for fruits that makes them into a smoothie and the top has more stainless steel making it more durable.
Champion Juicer Review
The Champion juicer is a masticating juicer which means it is slower and the juice is not heated as with the centrifugal Breville.
But, it does take considerable more time, not only for prepping the veggies and fruits but also for cleanup. It is a good heavy duty machine that works well but, to be honest, I use my Breville.
The primary benefit of tomatoes comes from the high levels of vitamin A and beta carotene. It is also as excellent source of antioxidants to help fight cancer. (1)
Tomato juice is a low acid drink which, if canned improperly could harbor bacteria. Once tomatoes are juiced and poured into canning jars, they must be pressure cooked to prevent any bacterial growth. This heat can destroy the nutrients of the juice.
So, because tomatoes are so readily available, I do not recommend canning tomato juice.
If you grow your own tomatoes, you can always freeze them and use them later for juicing. After freezing, it is easier to use a blender and then squeeze the pulp through a muslin cloth or nut bag over a container to catch the juice.
Again, nutrients are lost even with freezing so I recommend using fresh tomatoes for juicing.
I prefer to drink tomato juice in the morning but anytime of day is fine.
When drinking tomato juice in the morning on an empty stomach, you are gaining the maximum absorption after your overnight fast because nutrients are easily absorbed.
There is no danger to drinking tomato juice unless you consider better health a concern. ;)
The USDA recommends for women to eat about 2 - 2 ½ cups of vegetables each day and men 2 ½ - 3 cups/day.
So, you can drink tomato juice as part of your daily requirements but in fact, you are getting more nutrients per cup than if you ate the tomatoes.
Excessive intake of beta-carotene can possibly change the coloring of your skin and give it a yellow - orange tint. And, this is eating excessive amounts of tomatoes or drinking excessive amounts of tomato juice.
But, this is drinking a LOT of tomato juice. Personally, I have been drinking several cups a day without any problems and have had no discoloration.
It is also important to note, that if the discoloration occurs, it is temporary and will reverse itself once less tomato juice is consumed. (2)
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