Vegetable Juice Cocktail, Canned or Bottled

ORAC Value:
μ mol TE/100g.

The antioxidant value of Vegetable Juice Cocktail, Canned or Bottled described in ORAC units is: 548 μ mol TE/100g.

The USDA only identified this food as canned vegetable juice cocktail. We don't know the brand which isn't surprising, as their ORAC values rarely disclose that. Though reading between the lines we can safely assume this would be for V8 vegetable juice, either the name brand or a comparable version.

Is drinking vegetable juice the same as eating vegetables? Definitely not. When vegetables are processed, especially the heat from pasteurization, valuable vitamins and antioxidants are destroyed. This holds true whether you buy it in a can or bottle (though buying in a bottle may be preferred for a different reason, since many if not most manufacturers still use BPA in the lining of their cans). Furthermore, all or almost all of the fiber is removed, which is an important nutritional component of fresh produce. Lastly, you could even make a good argument that V8 or comparable vegetable juices are not really good for you, since they contain high amounts of added salt. In fact, as of 2016 the amount of sodium for just a single serving (8 ounce glass) of V8 Original is an astronomical 640 mg! That's 27% of the official daily value but for those with heart disease, a much lower ceiling is often recommended - 1,500 mg per day - by the American Heart Association (1). Based on that, an 8 ounce glass is over 42% of the daily value. And if you think this sounds like unfair discrimination against V8 juice, it's not. Even a large order of McDonald's french fries contains 290 mg of sodium, which is less than half of what's in a single 8 ounce glass of V8!

Conclusion? Considering the low ORAC value and high levels of salt for canned veggie cocktails, many people believe they are bad for you or more accurately said, unhealthy when compared to other more nutritious options. The eight vegetables in V8 juice are tomatoes, watercress, beets, lettuce, celery, carrots, spinach, and parsley. Consuming those in their raw, fresh forms would be ideal. If you prefer juicing, try making a homemade vegetable juice cocktail instead - a simple recipe of putting those 8 in a blender, without adding salt. Though if because of convenience or cost, you only can do a canned or bottled cocktail, then at the very least buy the low sodium versions. Though, calling them lower rather than low may be a more accurate description for many of the bottles and cans found on your grocery store shelf.

ORAC Source

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