V8 juice is one of those love it or hate it inventions. Made popular about 75 years ago when mass production began, V8 has since expanded their line of products to include low calorie, low sugar, and gluten free options. Originally a jazzed up version of tomato juice, V8 has become a staple in many fridges around the world. But is V8 healthy?
The information below will help you decide for yourself.
V8: What Is It?
V8 is blend of fruit and vegetable juices. While it is mostly made from tomato and carrot juices, the juice from spinach, beets, and cruciferous (leafy green) veggies are also found inside. The beverage is pasteurized as well as reconstituted. This means that is was processed from products that were first dried and then re-hydrated during the pasteurization process.
Also, this also means that much of the original nutritional value has been lost during manufacturing. The heavy processing makes many wonder, is V8 healthy?
Where to Find V8?
- V8 is sold in grocery stores, convenience stores, and health food stores.
- In some places it can also be ordered online.
- It is also available in individual serving cans as well as large family size jugs.
Dangers of V8 Consumption
When trying to answer the question is V8 healthy, you should consider what you are using V8 for in your diet. V8 is not considered a generally dangerous drink. However, nutritionists warn that V8 and similar products should not be used as your primary form of vegetable consumption. If you are using V8 to supplement your diet or to replace more sugary drinks, it is of course a better option. Just remember drinking V8 does not mean that you don’t need to aim for the recommended number of servings of green vegetables each day.
There are some concerns about the extra sugars from some V8 blends to improve the taste. V8 Splash!, for example, is sweeter and uses more fruit juices in their blend than other varieties which may be an issue for those who want to limit their sugar consumption. When possible, opt for the more basic varieties that are mostly vegetable juices.
Another concern people have about V8 and similar drinks is the number of additives put in during processing. For this reason, many vegetable juice lovers have opted to make their own concoctions at home using a home juicer and the vegetables of their choosing. For ideas for your own juices, you can check out these fruit-free recipes.
Are There Benefits to V8?
Is V8 healthy? V8 does pack a good dose of many nutrients that our bodies need to function properly. Some of those nutrients and other benefits are discussed in this section. Remember, these benefits are only a guide. Your own nutritional needs may vary. Always check with your doctor if you have a health concern before adding or changing things in your diet.
- Vitamins A and Vitamin C: The tomato juice used in V8 contains both vitamins A and C, as does the parsley and lettuces present in most blends. Vitamin A is a helpful for eye health and for your immune system. Vitamin C also supports the immune system and prevents scurvy.
- Beets: The beet juice found in V8 is naturally low sugar and low calorie but also has a level of sweetness that helps improve the taste of the beverages. Beets are also high in both soluble and insoluble fiber which keeps your digestive system healthy.
- Spinach: Spinach, even in its juiced form, still packs a variety of nutrients from iron to folic acid and magnesium. As these are all nutrients we frequently lack in our diets, V8 may be a good option for those looking to supplement.
- Lycopene: Lycopene, a compound found in the tomatoes used to make V8 juices, is also part of V8. It has a bright red color and is only found in plants. Lycopene is one of the compounds that seem to help the body fight cancer and cardiovascular disease.
- Celery: The celery juice use in V8 is high in potassium. Potassium on its own is significant because it aids in keeping sodium levels balance. It also helps your body heal itself after strenuous activity.
V8 juices give some of us an alternative to a sugary soda or fruit juice. The information above will help you decide for yourself the answer to, is V8 healthy? If you are looking for a healthier option to sip on with your dinner, or a great way to supplement your diet with nutrients you may be lacking, V8 is a possible option for you.
Do you love V8? If you would like to weigh in on the is V8 healthy? debate, we would love you to leave a comment below. If you make your own vegetable juice, we would also like to read about your experiences. We invite you to share your favorite V8 blends or at-home veggie juice recipes with us.
Images from depositphotos.com.