Unlike orange juice, for some reason it's quite difficult to find fresh tomato juice for sale. Obviously tomato are in plentiful supply year 'round so that's not the reason. Rather it's most likely due to there simply not being enough demand for this delicious red beverage. But is drinking tomato juice good for you when it's in a bottle or can?
Whether it be juice or something else, as is the case with practically all canned items, the manufacturers add a high amount of salt to them. This turns the otherwise healthy tomato juice (which is good for you) into a beverage which shocks your body with more sodium than an order of Burger King fries. That's right, there's 570 mg of sodium in a medium order of BK fries versus 670 mg of sodium in an 8 ounce can of Campbell's tomato juice from concentrate.
Their V8 tomato juice blend (another of Campbell's brands) is even smaller - only 5.5 ounces - and contains an astronomical 920 mg of sodium, which is 38% of the daily value. For this reason, many people say canned or bottled tomato juice is not good for you if you have high blood pressure, heart disease, or are simply trying to have a more heart-healthy diet.
The exception? If you go with the juice versions that are low sodium tomato bottles/cans, then they most likely are a healthy choice. For example, the same 5.5 ounce of V8 in the low sodium version only has 95 mg of sodium, which is merely 4% of your daily value. And unlike soda, they're low on calories, hardly any sugar content (just what's naturally in the vegetables) and do provide a small amount of antioxidants, including lycopene. For the sake of your health and doing what's best for you, please choose the low salt varieties rather than their extra-salty counterparts!
USDA Database for the Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) of Selected Foods, Release 2 - Prepared by Nutrient Data Laboratory, Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center (BHNRC), Agricultural Research Service (ARS), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) - May 2010