V8 Juice Nutrition: Friend or Foe?
“You could have had a V8!” V8 juice nutrition is highly touted, with advertising claiming that a 12-ounce bottle of its juice contains 3 out of 5 to 7 servings of the daily vegetable requirement. But is V8 really all it’s cracked up to be in terms of nutrition? Let’s take a look at V8 juice nutrition.
There’s plenty of evidence to call V8 a friend. It’s been around since 1933, and the 100% vegetable juice contains juices of tomatoes, carrots, celery, beets, parsley, lettuce, spinach and watercress. An 8 oz. glass contains just 50 calories and is fat- and gluten-free.
Tomato juice is the primarly component of V8, and tomatoes are an excellent source of the antioxidant lycopene. In fact, an 8 oz. glass of V8 contains 4 times the lycopene found in a medium tomato. V8 also contains 100% of the recommended daily allowance of vitamins C and E; an 8 oz. glass also contains as much potassium as a banana.
V8 has other beverages available now; V8 Fusion for instance is a fruit-based drink. Similarly to the vegetable version, it contains various 100% fruit and vegetable juices, and no gluten, high fructose corn syrup or added sugar.
With all this going for it, what could be the downside of V8? Sodium content, for one. An 8 oz. glass of V8 contains 420 mg of sodium, or nearly 25% of the recommended daily intake of 2000 mg in a 2000 calorie diet. If you are watching your sodium intake because of high blood pressure or other reasons, you won’t want to make V8 a regular part of your diet. It’s worth noting that a reduced sodium version of V8 is available which contains 140 mg of sodium per 8 oz. glass, although reviews suggest that flavor suffers when the sodium is reduced.
The V8 Fusion juices have much lower sodium content; around 50 mg per 8 oz. glass depending on the variety.
It’s also worth noting that despite all its vegetable claims, V8 is predominantly tomato juice (the other veggies make up just 13% of its content). You might be just as well off drinking plain tomatoe juice (and it would probably be cheaper as well).
Despite its claims of containing no preservatives, V8 juice is cooked at high temperatures which no doubt reduce its health benefits over those of uncooked and unprocessed fruits and vegetables.
V8: Friend or Foe?
So – which is it? It’s clear that V8 is basically a healthy drink; certainly much better for you than sodas and other sugar-sweetened beverages that you could choose.
It’s also clear that your body’s nutritional needs would better be met by eating fruits and vegetables in their natural, raw state. However, since that’s not always possible, getting some of your 5-7 daily recommended servings of veggies through a glass of V8 isn’t a bad idea. Try the low sodium version and enjoy a V8 today!
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