22/11/2010 10:53 GMT | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

How To Keep Your Bones Healthy: Drink Tomato Juice

Here's another reason to make a Bloody Mary your favourite tipple this Christmas. Drinking tomato juice on a regular basis may help keep your bones strong and healthy.

Antioxidants in tomatoes may help keep bones healthy Antioxidants in tomatoes may help keep bones healthy. Photo: Flickr, Martin Kingsley

According to researchers from the University of Toronto writing in the journal Osteoporosis International, an antioxidant in tomato juice called lycopene could help prevent the brittle bone disease osteoporosis. And while that may not be an immediate concern for women in their 30s (since osteoporosis generally affects women who are post-menopausal), experts suggest keeping your bones healthy while you're younger can greatly help reduce your risk of osteoporosis when you're older.

The Canadian researchers asked female volunteers to cut out tomatoes from their diet completely for a period of 30 days. That led to a dramatic increase in the level of a chemical in their blood called N-telopeptide, which is a marker of bone loss.

Then the volunteers were asked to drink tomato juice every day for four months, which subsequently helped to slash their levels of N-telopeptide. As a result, the researchers concluded that drinking tomato juice is good for your bones.

Tomato juice is a great source of antioxidants, including lycopene, as well as vitamin C, fibre and potassium, so drinking it on a regular basis may have many benefits. Lycopene, however, isn't just found in tomatoes but other red and pink-coloured fruits and vegetables too, including carrots, watermelons, papayas, pink grapefruit and red peppers.

Sounds like a delicious way to keep your bones in good shape (even with the vodka).

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