Tomatoes are nutritious fruits that are a staple in many people’s diets. Tomatoes can be eaten raw, cooked, or processed into products like tomato juice. Tomato juice is a popular beverage made by crushing tomatoes and extracting the juice. Some of the main benefits of drinking tomato juice include staying hydrated, getting essential nutrients, and boosting heart health.
Nutrition Facts of Tomato Juice
Tomato juice is low in calories but packed with nutrients. One cup (240 ml) of tomato juice provides (1):
|Vitamin C||23% of the DV|
|Vitamin A||22% of the DV|
|Vitamin K||12% of the DV|
|Potassium||11% of the DV|
Tomato juice is especially high in vitamin C, providing nearly a quarter of the recommended daily intake in one cup (240 ml). It’s also a good source of vitamin A, vitamin K, and potassium (1).
Staying hydrated is critical for overall health. Drinking tomato juice can help you meet your fluid needs.
Tomatoes have a high water content, making tomato juice a very hydrating beverage. A 1-cup (240-ml) serving provides around a half cup (118 ml) of water (1).
Tomato juice provides fluid to keep you hydrated without tons of added sugars or calories like other juice-based drinks.
Tomatoes contain several powerful antioxidants that can benefit your health:
- Lycopene. A bright red carotenoid pigment that gives tomatoes their color. It’s linked to lower risks of heart disease and cancer (2).
- Beta carotene. An antioxidant that your body converts into vitamin A. It promotes skin and eye health (3).
- Lutein and zeaxanthin. Two related antioxidants primarily found in colorful fruits and veggies. They help prevent eye diseases (4).
- Vitamin C. A water-soluble vitamin that acts as an antioxidant in your body. It’s integral to immune health (5).
The processing of tomatoes into juice allows you to consume these beneficial plant compounds in a convenient beverage form.
May Benefit Heart Health
The nutrients and antioxidants in tomato juice may benefit heart health.
In particular, drinking tomato juice may:
- Lower LDL (bad) cholesterol. In an 8-week study in 42 people, drinking 280 ml of tomato juice per day significantly decreased LDL cholesterol levels compared to a control group (6).
- Reduce blood pressure. Tomato juice intake has been linked to lower blood pressure levels in multiple studies. One review reported an average reduction of 4.6 mmHg for systolic and 2.2 mmHg for diastolic blood pressure (7).
- Improve blood vessel function. A study in 27 people found that drinking tomato juice twice daily for 2 weeks increased blood flow by over 30%, compared to a control drink (8).
The beneficial plant compounds lycopene, beta carotene, and vitamin C in tomato juice are likely responsible for these heart-protective effects (9).
May Reduce Inflammation
Chronic inflammation is involved in the development of diseases like diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. Tomato juice may help reduce inflammation.
In a study in 105 overweight women, drinking 330 ml of tomato juice per day for 20 days significantly decreased levels of certain inflammatory markers, compared to a control group (10).
Another study found that drinking tomato juice twice daily for 2 weeks decreased inflammatory markers like IL-6 and CRP compared to a placebo (11).
The anti-inflammatory properties of lycopene and other antioxidants may be responsible for the beneficial effects of tomato juice (12).
May Help Manage Blood Sugar
Moderate evidence from human studies suggests that consuming tomato juice could help improve blood sugar control.
In a study in 31 healthy women, drinking about 2 cups (500 ml) of tomato juice lowered blood sugar levels by over 18% after 6 hours, compared to water (13).
Another study showed that drinking tomato juice twice daily for 2 months decreased hemoglobin A1c — a marker of long-term blood sugar control — by an average of 0.6% in 71 people with diabetes (14).
Drinking tomato juice may support blood sugar management, but more studies are needed.
May Promote Skin Health
Tomato juice contains various vitamins and carotenoid antioxidants that may promote skin health when applied topically.
In one study, supplementing with about 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of tomato juice concentrate daily for 8 weeks decreased skin redness caused by sun exposure in 40 women. What’s more, burning time doubled from 37 minutes to 74 minutes in the tomato juice group (15).
The researchers attributed these skin-protective effects to carotenoids like lycopene and beta carotene in tomato juice (15).
Though promising, more studies are needed on the effects of consuming tomato juice on skin health.
Easy to Add to Your Diet
Tomato juice is widely available and easy to incorporate into your diet.
It can be enjoyed on its own as a refreshing beverage or used to boost the nutrition of recipes like soups, sauces, stews, and baked goods.
Some popular ways to enjoy tomato juice include:
- Drinking it as a snack or part of a meal
- Using it in place of water when cooking rice or grains
- Adding it to smoothies
- Mixing it into gazpacho cold soup
- Diluting it with water and vinegar for a tomato drink
For maximum nutrition, select tomato juices with minimal added sugars and salt.
While tomato juice has many benefits, there are a few downsides to consider:
- High in sodium. Store-bought tomato juice can be high in added sodium. Choose low sodium varieties or make your own juice.
- May cause reflux. The high acidity of tomato juice may worsen symptoms in those with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) (16).
- Contains fructose. Tomato juice contains around 2 grams of fructose per cup (240 ml). This may be problematic for people with fructose intolerance (17).
- May interact with certain medications. The vitamin C in tomato juice can increase iron absorption. People taking iron supplements should avoid drinking large amounts of tomato juice (18).
In most cases, tomato juice is safe when consumed in moderation as part of a healthy diet.
The Bottom Line
Tomato juice is nutritious and may provide several benefits, including improved heart health, reduced inflammation, better blood sugar control, and skin protection.
It’s lower in calories and sugar than other fruit juices yet packed with vitamins, minerals, and plant compounds like lycopene.
Tomato juice is easy to incorporate into a balanced diet and can be enjoyed on its own or used to enhance the nutritional value of recipes.
While drinking tomato juice is generally healthy and safe, it’s best consumed in moderation and without tons of added sodium.