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Tomato Juice vs. Tomatoes: Which is Better?

Jun 9, 2010

Have you ever wondered if you're getting the same health benefits when you grab a glass of tomato juice compared to a few tomato slices? Read below for a few facts about the tomato.

Unlike what many people believe, tomatoes are actually a fruit. This fruit grows in gardens across the United States and is available at your local grocery store year round. There are over 4,000 varieties of tomatoes, ranging from tiny bite size grape tomatoes to large beefsteak tomatoes. Tomatoes come in a range of colors, including yellow, red, purple, green and orange.

Tomatoes are a widely consumed product around the world; popular uses include ketchup, salsa and pasta sauce. Tomatoes can be eaten whole or diced.

Health Benefits of Tomatoes

A tomato is packed with a range of health benefits. One of the best-known benefits of the tomato is the lycopene found in it. Lycopene is an antioxidant that helps fight free radicals. This has shown to reduce the risk of prostate cancer, rectal cancer, cervical cancer, mouth cancer and colon cancer.

In addition to antioxidants, tomatoes have vitamins A, C, and K, which helps prevent hemorrhages, and nicotinic acid, which reduces cholesterol levels.

Nutrition value of a tomato Per 100g:

  • 18 calories
  • 0 fat
  • 1.0 g protein
  • 0 mg cholesterol
  • 5 mg sodium
  • 4 g carbohydrates
  • 1 g fiber
  • 3 g sugar 

Additionally, 100 g of tomato provides you with 17% of your recommended daily amount of vitamin A, 21% of your recommended amount of vitamin C, 1% of your recommended amount of calcium and 1% of your recommended amount of iron.

Health Benefits of Tomato Juice?

Tomato juice is a juice that is derived from a tomato. This beverage was first created at the turn of the 20th century. Many commercial blends of tomato juice contain added salt and sugar and are boiled before being bottled. Other ingredients are often added to enhance flavor including onion powder, spices and garlic powder.

Like a tomato, tomato juice contains lycopene. Lycopene has shown to protect individuals from breast cancer, heart disease, atherosclerosis and myocardial infarction, or heart attack.

In addition to drinking straight, tomato juice is often used as a mixer for alcohol beverages. Additionally, many manufactures use tomato juice when canning tomatoes.

Nutrition Value of Tomato Juice without salt per 100g:

  • 17 Calories
  • 0g fat
  • 1 g protein
  • 0 mg cholesterol
  • 10 mg sodium
  • 4 g carbohydrates
  • 0 g fiber
  • 4 g sugar

Additionally, 100 g of tomato juice provides you with 9% of your recommended daily amount of vitamin A, 30% of your recommended amount of vitamin C, 1% of your recommended amount of calcium and 2% of your recommended amount of iron.

Which Is Healthier?

This one is a toss up. If you have an all-natural juice or make your own tomato juice, then the benefits between tomatoes and tomato juice are nearly identical. When purchasing a commercial brand of tomato juice, double check to make sure there are no added salts, sugars or chemicals. The high levels of sodium in some tomato juices are unnecessary and can present a health issue for individuals with a sodium-sensitive health condition.

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