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Tomatoes are one of the staples found in the kitchen and are also one of the vegetables that can easily be grown in the garden. In recent years, tomato consumption has increased due to its processed products, especially tomato juice which is easy to make, easily available in the market and has health-promoting effects on the body.
Pic credit: freepik.com/
Tomato juice is nutritious and filling as well. It is considered one of the best drinks for dieters. According to a study, tomato juice contains many bioactive compounds such as GABA (a natural amino acid that works as brain neurotransmitters); lycopene (a natural pigment that gives tomatoes red colour); esculeoside A (a spirosolane steroidal glycoside with many benefits), and 13-oxo-9,11-octadecadienoic acid or 13-oxo-ODA (it has a role as a metabolite). 
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The study also mentions that compared to fresh tomatoes, tomato juice has more health benefits as the process of canning increases the level of the lycopene, and 13-oxo-ODA is found only in the fresh tomato juice, not in the fresh tomato fruit. 
Here are some of the amazing health benefits of drinking tomato juice. Take a look.
Health Benefits Of Tomato Juice
1. Lowers cholesterol
As aforementioned, 13-oxo-ODA is only found in tomato juice which is a potent PPAR alpha agonist, meaning it helps lower high cholesterol levels in the body (dyslipidemia) that may lead to the development of atherosclerosis, stroke and other circulatory problems. Consuming tomato juice may help regulate lipid metabolism and related inflammation and proliferation, and thus, manage chronic diseases which are related to dysfunction of cholesterol metabolism. 
2. Manages diabetes
Obesity is the major risk factor for diabetes. Tomato juice, as a potent PPAR alpha agonist, not only helps lower cholesterol levels, but also high glucose levels, which may help improve insulin insensitivity in diabetics and pre-diabetics.
The PPAR also helps reduce inflammation (a major cause of diabetes) and increases the production of adiponectin and AdipoR hormones, whose decreased levels could be the central cause for triggering obesity-induced diabetes. 
3. Boosts immune system
Antioxidants have a great effect on the body's immune system. The presence of strong carotenoids like lycopene and beta-carotene in tomato juice is known best for its immunomodulating effect. Carotenoids can change the expression of many proteins involved in cell proliferation and cell differentiation along with scavenging harmful free radicals. Thus consumption of tomato juice increases carotenoids in the body which tends to boost the immunity and may help prevent autoimmune disorders. 
4. Has a cytotoxic effect
Lycopene has cancer-preventive properties. According to a study, more than 80 per cent of dietary lycopene in the US comes from tomato juice and other tomato products and the consumption of these tomato products is linked to reduced incidence of different cancer types such as lung, stomach, breast and prostate. Lycopene, being a strong antioxidant may help scavenge free radicals in the body and thus, prevent the risk of cancer or help decrease its progression. 
5. Reduces risk of heart diseases
Tomato juice consumption is linked to a reduced risk of inflammatory and non-communicable chronic diseases like heart diseases. The presence of lycopene (50.4 mg) in the juice along with essential vitamins (like vitamin C) and phenolic acids, may help improve the body functions such as lowering cholesterol and glucose levels, which are the risk factors for heart diseases. 
6. May help in weight loss
Drinking tomato juice could be one of the simplest ways to reduce weight. According to a study, tomato juice can help reduce inflammatory cytokines, whose higher concentration is linked to obesity or an increase in body's weight, fat mass, muscle mass and waist circumference. Also, the juice is low in calories and filling and can thus, help in the management of weight in a healthy way. 
7. Treats depression and anxiety
Tomato juice has great levels of lycopene and GABA. Both these compounds are known to alleviate many psychological symptoms such as depression, anxiety and mood swings, especially in menopausal women. According to a study, imbalance in brain neurotransmitters can cause several psychiatric disorders. As GABA and lycopene help in neural transmission, an increase in their amount through dietary sources such as tomato juice can help treat many mental health disorders. 
8. Keeps you hydrated
Staying hydrated is very important for cellular functions that support many other functions of the body. Tomato juice is considered an excellent source of hydration as it is rich in water content (94.5 g per 100 g). Therefore, consuming the juice can help maintain the body's electrolytes, keeps you hydrated and prevent related diseases like dehydration
9. May reduce risk of osteoporosis
Postmenopausal women are more prone to developing bone-related diseases such as osteoporosis. According to a study, lycopene, found abundantly in tomato juice, can help decrease bone resorption marker N-telopeptide (NTx) and oxidative stress due to its antioxidant capacity, and may help lower the risk of osteoporosis. 
10. Acts as anti-ageing agent
Tomato juice has carotenoids which are a natural anti-ageing compound. Including tomato juice in the daily diet can help prevent damage to cells caused by free radicals and promote cell regeneration, which is essential for slowing down ageing. The juice also helps treat many skin problems such as acne, pimples and dry skin.
How To Prepare Fresh Tomato Juice?
- 2-3 fresh tomatoes
- A pinch of salt
- 200-220 ml of hot water
- In a bowl, put the tomatoes and pour the hot water.
- Stir for a while
- Take the tomatoes out. You will notice that their skin has loosen a bit. Now peel the tomatoes.
- Cut them into pieces and put in a blender.
- Blend to form a smooth juice.
- Strain the mixture, pour in a glass, add salt and consume fresh.
- You can also add lemon juice and a teaspoon of sugar to lift up the taste.
Experts suggest that it is healthy to consume around 240 ml or a cup of tomato juice daily to get its benefits. Nowadays, many brands are marketing tomato juice. Before buying these products, it is good to check the sodium content in them as increased sodium can adversely affect your health. Remember, it is always good to prepare tomato juice fresh at your home and consume it.
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