Tomato Juice, to Keep You Moving This Summer

 

By Sharon Palmer, RD

There is no better time of the year than summer to be active. With the season now in full swing, you may be spending your days hiking with friends, playing games with your kids at the park, going for bike rides with your family, or soaking up the sun on the beach or at the swimming pool. While it may be the weather that keeps you moving and motivated in the summer, food should be able to keep you fueled, energized, and feeling good the whole season through. Tomato products are one of those incredible foods that have the ability to not only help keep you moving, but they also taste delicious.

A recently published study in the Nutrition Journal indicated that having 150 ml, or just over half a cup of tomato juice a day helps to reduce inflammation in the body following vigorous physical activity. The antioxidants in tomato juice, primarily lycopene, help to reduce the effects of oxidative stress we typically associate with aging, pollution, smoking, and exercise. By simply having a small glass of tomato juice daily you may be preventing muscle soreness and also increasing the pace at which you hike or even improving your beach volleyball playing ability.

There are a lot of ways we can add tomato juice to our typical summertime eating habits, primarily by using it as an ingredients in your delicious and refreshing beverages.

Some ways to incorporate tomato juice into your summertime drinks include:

  • Blending tomato juice with your choice of fruit juice such as apple or pineapple for an additional hint of sweetness.
  • Making your own vegetable juice by combining carrots, celery, tomato juice, a squeeze of lemon, and a pinch of salt and pepper.
  • Creating your own spicy tomato drink by experimenting with spices and seasonings. Try adding cayenne pepper, Worcestershire sauce, or Tabasco.
  • Blending some dark leafy greens with tomato juice to sneak in even more nutrients, such as spinach or even a little fresh parsley.
  • Enjoying a glass of tomato juice on its own!

Tomato juice can also be easily incorporated into delicious fruit and veggie smoothies. Smoothies are especially conducive for the summertime lifestyle, because they’re incredibly refreshing, yet also extremely simple and efficient to make.

Because tomato juice is fairly versatile, be experimental with the ingredients you choose to combine it with! Or, simply try this Tomato Citrus Smoothie recipe.

 

Tomato Citrus Smoothie

Prep Time: 5 minutes

This smoothie gets two thumbs up in in the nutrition department. It’s both high in antioxidants and Vitamin A, and contains the perfect hint of sweetness without going overboard. Drink this during the summer months and your body will thank you!

2 medium carrots, chopped

2 celery stalks, chopped

1 medium apple, chopped into pieces

½ cup tomato juice

1 cup apple juice

1-2 cups ice

Lemon juice to taste

Combine all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth.

Makes 2 servings.

Nutritional Analysis per serving:

Calories: 138, Fat: 0.5g, Saturated Fat: 0g, Trans Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 0mg, Sodium: 484mg, Carbohydrates: 34.6, Fiber: 9g, Sugar: 28g Protein: 1.6g, Vitamin A: 77% Vitamin C: 51% Calcium: 6% Iron: 6%

Sharon Palmer is a Registered Dietitian, and the author of the upcoming book; The Plant Powered Diet! Look for it in a bookstore (or online) near you!

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