Tomato Juice RevelationsApril 22, 2015 Written by JP [Font too small?]
Long time readers of this site know that I’m not a big fan of juicing. Sure, some juices are better than others i.e. those made from low glycemic, nutrient dense vegetables and small amounts of fruit. But, in most cases, they’re simply not as health promoting as eating the whole foods which are the starting points of the juices. What’s more, juices are often too high in naturally occurring sugar and deficient in dietary fiber which supports optimal blood sugar response. Still, it’s important not to paint virtually any food category with too broad a brush.
In the past, I’ve written several columns extolling the multitude of health benefits of tomato consumption. However, I’ve never expressly recommended tomato juice as a means of acquiring the nutrients and phytochemicals present in these red wellness makers. Much to my surprise, I recently came across a slew of studies that broadened my perspective on this issue. And, as the old saying advises, “One must follow the evidence wherever it leads”.
Of late, three of the most compelling tomato juice (TJ) trials have involved women. Each of the experiments required supplemental intake of between 280 ml – 400 ml tomato juice daily. That works out to roughly 9.5 to 13.5 ounces a day. One of the trials, documented in the April 2015 issue of Nutrition Journal, found that TJ increased resting energy expenditure and reduced anxiety, heart rate and menopausal symptoms in a group of middle-aged women. The May 2015 edition of Nutrition reveals that TJ significantly lowered body weight, cholesterol, inflammation and waist circumference in younger females. The third, female-centered experiment, examined the effects of tomato juice vs. placebo (water) in a group overweight students. After only 20 days, TJ use decreased oxidative stress in this at-risk population. This is important because excess weight is frequently associated with poor oxidative status, which in turn is linked to various health threats ranging from cancer to cardiovascular disease. Fortunately, the health effects conferred by TJ aren’t confined to females alone. A study from December 2014 found that men and women who drank tomato juice four times a week improved numerous markers relating to metabolic syndrome. Specifically, positive changes in endothelial function, inflammation, insulin sensitivity and lipid profile were noted.
Based on this new evidence, it seems that tomato juice may be a valuable addition to many dietary programs. But, let’s not stop there. Instead, let’s make tomato juice even healthier! For starters, if at all possible, buy or make organic tomato juice. At least two studies show that organic TJ contains higher levels of powerful antioxidants such as beta-carotene, chlorogenic acid, rutin, total flavonoids and Vitamin C. Also, it’s very important to add some fat to tomato juice. The addition of extra virgin olive oil or avocado not only enhances the absorption of fat soluble nutrients and phytochemicals, but also bolsters the dietary protection that tomato juice imparts. In fact, the February 2015 issue of Food Chemistry reports that combining 10% olive oil with tomato juice dramatically increases lycopene bioavailability and decreases LDL (“bad”) cholesterol within 6 hours. So, go ahead and add about a tablespoon or more of extra virgin olive oil to your tomato juice or blend it with half an avocado into a powerhouse veggie shake. Cheers to your health and mine!
Note: Please check out the “Comments & Updates” section of this blog – at the bottom of the page. You can find the latest research about this topic there!
To learn more about the studies referenced in today’s column, please click on the following links:
Study 1 – Tomato Juice Intake Increases Resting Energy Expenditure and Improves … (link)
Study 2 – Tomato Juice Supplementation in Young Women Reduces Inflammatory … (link)
Study 3 – Tomato Juice Consumption Improves Blood Antioxidative Biomarkers in … (link)
Study 4 – Dietary Supplementation w/ Tomato-Juice in Patients w/ Metabolic … (link)
Study 5 – Effect of a Special Carbohydrate-Protein Bar and Tomato Juice … (link)
Study 6 – Influence of Olive Oil on Carotenoid Absorption from Tomato Juice and … (link)
Study 7 – Tomato Sauce Making Process Affects the Bioaccessibility and … (link)
Study 8 – Home Cooking and Phenolics: Effect of Thermal Treatment and Addition … (link)
Study 9 – Seasonal Variation in Bioactive Compounds in Juice from Organic … (link)
Study 10 – Impact of Organic Farming on Quality of Tomatoes is Associated to … (link)
Avocado Increases Beta Carotene & Phytochemical Absorption
Source: J Nutr. 2014 Aug;144(8):1158-66. (link)
Tags: Inflammation, Organic, Tomatoes
Posted in Food and Drink, Heart Health, Women's Health