The Lycopene-Rich Tomato Juice
The Tomato: Fruit or Vegetable?
Scientifically speaking, tomatoes are actually a form of fruit with bright and shiny red exterior and its succulent flesh contains hundreds of tiny, gooey seeds. It is circular and approximately the size of a lemon.
But from the chefs’ point of view, they classify tomatoes as a vegetable mainly because of its usage. What is good about tomatoes is that it could actually be consumed in an amazingly diverse ways; it could be used as a spice, as an ingredient to a lot of tasty recipes for dinner, it could be mixed in salads as well as soups, it is famously consumed as a sauce or paste, it can be turned into good and healthy juices, and it could also be eaten raw. These varied ways in using tomatoes in the kitchen made it known to be a vegetable just because of its culinary use.
Tomatoes originated in South America and were spread throughout the world after the Spanish colonization of South America. Since then, its reputation boosted as people discovered its taste and many uses as well as incredible health benefits.
Tomatoes are typically red in America and in other countries, but there are actually a variety of other colors such as green, orange, yellow, purple, pink, black, or even white tomatoes. It is credited worldwide for its uniquely delicious sour taste because of its low fructose level, unlike most fruits which taste sweet.
Tomatoes are famous for their extremely healthy juice which became well-known by accident. It was actually first served as a beverage when a chef in a hotel in Indiana, Edgar Burman, ran out of oranges for his orange juice and needed a quick and accessible substitute, and tomatoes seemed a good enough alternative. To his great surprise, his squeezed tomatoes with sugar and his special sauce became a big hit as a Chicago businessman spread the word of this heavenly tomato cocktail. Since then, tomato juice has been popular all over the globe.
In making a fresh and delicious tomato juice, you must consider some very important things in preparing and choosing your ingredients; picking your tomatoes, for instance, requires careful choosing. In picking your perfect tomatoes, choose the summer tomatoes because nothing is more delicious than tomatoes during summer; but then, let’s consider that you’re not growing your own tomatoes and it’s not summer – just pick the reddest, ripest, and freshest tomatoes you could possibly find in your local supermarkets and you’re good to go. Remember, when buying tomatoes, don’t pick from the refrigerated section because the cold dulls its flavors and taste. Size is actually not an indicator of its quality, so you can choose whatever size you want them to.
The Incredible Health Benefits!
Lycopene is the main and most well known benefit you can get from tomatoes; but tomatoes offer a lot, lot more!
Lycopene is actually a form of carotenoid and carotene pigment which are found in red fruits, especially in tomatoes, watermelons, red carrots, and red papayas. It is a strong antioxidant that gives tomatoes its bright red color; this substance could lower the risk of cancers such as prostate, lung, and stomach cancers. Tomatoes have the highest lycopene content among all fruits and vegetables. Interestingly studies show that there is a higher lycopene level in the blood of people who ate cooked tomatoes than in blood of people who ate raw or juiced tomatoes. This shows that our bodies can better absorb the lycopene from cooked tomatoes than from raw ones.
Consuming tomatoes could help cleanse your skin and remove impurities, it could purify the blood, they are a a natural antiseptic, and can melt or remove gallstones. This fruit helps fight off diseases such as liver cirrhosis, the nicotinic acid in tomatoes can lower the cholesterol levels in your blood and lowers blood pressure. The significant amount of Vitamin K found in tomatoes also thins your blood.
Nutrition Facts per 100 g of Tomatoes
Calories : 20
Calcium : 11 mg.
Iron : .6 mg.
Phosphorus : 27 mg.
Potassium : 360 mg.
Protein : 1.0 gm.
Vitamin A : 1,000 I.U.
Vitamin B : Thiamine .06 mg.;
Vitamin C : 23 mg.
Vitamin K : amount uncertain
Homemade Tomato Juice Recipe
- 3 pounds ripest, reddest garden tomatoes (cored and chopped)
- 1 ¼ cups of sliced celery with leaves
- 1/3 cup of onions (chopped)
- 2 tablespoons of sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- A pinch of black pepper
- 6-8 drops of Tabasco sauce (optional)
- Using a stainless steel cooking pot, mix all the ingredients together and bring to a boil, uncovered, until thick and mushy or for 25 minutes.
- Pour the soup mixture into a blender or food processor and blend thoroughly.
- Cool for a couple of minutes.
- Cover with a tight-fitting lid and chill in the refrigerator for about a week.
- Serve in individual glasses and enjoy the chilly and healthy tomato juice!
- Best Tomatoes For Tomato Juice And How To Choose Them Tomato juice is a delicious source of many vitamins and nutrients, but choosing the best tomatoes for juicing can be difficult. With a quality juicer and fine tomatoes, you can easily create tasty and healthy juice at home. The following guide will help you choose the best tomatoes for juicing. Porter Tomatoes These plum-shaped tomatoes are great ...
- Health Benefits of Tomato Juice You may already have heard tomato juice described as a “super food” but you may not know exactly why it was placed in this healthy food category. The health benefits of tomato juice are numerous and range from cancer fighting properties to heart and bone health. One look at the list of vitamins and minerals ...
- Tomato Nutrition Facts Tomato Nutrition Facts Betaine 0 mg Calcium 10 mg Calories 18 Calories Carbohydrate 3,9 g Carotene-a 101 mcg Carotene-ß 449 mcg Choline 0 mg Copper 0,1 mg Dietary Fiber 1,2 g Fluoride 0 mcg Folate 15 mcg Iron 0,3 mg Lutein-zeaxanthin 123 mcg Lycopene 2573 mcg Magnesium 11 mg Manganese 0,15 mg Niacine 0,594 mg Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) 387 µ mol TE Pantothenic Acid 0,2 mg Phosphorus 29 mg Phytonutrients 3246 mcg Potassium 237 mg Protein ...
- Tomato Juice Side Effects: Can You Drink Too Much Tomato Juice? Several possible side effects are notorious for accompanying excessive amounts of tomato juice. The main side effect of consuming tomato juice too often is a spike in sodium levels. Ingesting tomato juice too often can drastically increase your body’s sodium intake. While sodium is an essential mineral that promotes a healthy heart and assists in ...