You Say Tomato, I Say…

While it looks like it could be lots of fun, dowsing yourself and your loved ones in tomatoes won't cure your ills. The annual La Tomatina Festival in Buñol, Spain is held at the end of August. It's the world's biggest and messiest food fight. 20,000 locals and tourists enthusiastically hurl truckloads of ripe tomatoes at each other for one hour.

Instead of hurling tomatoes at each other, get healthy with the juice of this sexy red fruit. The benefits of tomato juice stem from the tomato's rich vitamin, mineral and phytonutrient content. Of these, lycopene in particular deserves special attention. A powerful antioxidant, it has been found to promote good general health.

Here’s to a healthier heart and happier hangovers! Come to Bacchus for a Bloody Mary!

We've got a make-your-own Bloody Mary Bar that allows you to create the drink you want. Bloody Marys are perfect for that Sunday morning brunch. If you overindulged last night, the drink can also be served as a virgin Bloody Mary. Keep the drink in the glass and swallow it down. No food fights allowed! :-)

Tomato juice has also been linked to the prevention of a range of diseases, including cancer. So drink up!

Men's Health also suggests these tomato cocktails for your healthy enjoyment:

The Flu Crusher

COCKTAIL: The Micheladas Cubana
WHAT: This is a fighter all right. The MC is the head-soothing, mucus-decimating nemesis to influenza.
WHY: The Tabasco and jalapeños in the clamato sauce contain capsaicin which, say scientists at Bastyr University, Seattle, cuts off neurotransmitters that trigger headaches. The chilis also clear mucus from your nose and lungs.
HOW: Mix half a dark beer with half a glass of clamato, 8-10 dashes of Tabasco and a splash of lime juice.

The Nutrient Replacer

COCKTAIL: The Tomato Gardener
WHAT: An easy-to-make, hangover-crushing cocktail that puts back into your system what alcohol takes out.
WHY:“Water-rich juices help flush away toxins from your body, while replacing essential nutrients lost through dehydration,” says Áine O’Connor of the British Nutrition Foundation. Tomatoes and carrot juice both score highly in nutrients which detoxify and restore your body after a binge.
HOW: Mix 2 liters of fresh tomato juice, 750ml carrot juice, parsley, salt and pepper. Stir and serve over ice.

The Pressure Releaser

COCKTAIL: The Piquant
WHAT: An easy-to-make, alcohol-free Mary-alike to help lower your blood pressure and protect your kidneys.
WHY: According to a new study from Hong Kong-based nutrition researchers, onion significantly lowers your stress signifiers, such as LDL cholesterol. Also, the antioxidant lycopene, found in tomatoes, decreases your blood pressure, according to the American Heart Journal.
HOW: Mix 3 liters of tomato juice, 1tsp of grated onion, 1⁄2 tsp of sugar and 1⁄2 tsp of Worcestershire sauce. Stir well and chill before serving.

The Heart Strengthener

WHAT: It’s an acquired taste and featured in Cocktail, but that’s where the Tom Cruise similarities end.
WHY: A study in The Archives of Internal Medicine found ethanol in small amounts, such as those found in 350ml lager, reduces your risk of heart attack. The Rowett Institute also found tomato juice has a heart-protecting effect.
HOW: Pour 180ml of tomato juice into a glass, followed by 350ml lager and a raw egg (more protein and vitamin D than cooked egg). Now down it in one.