Doctor's Note

In general, though, whole foods are best. See my other videos on processed foods. For more on the bioavailability of phytonutrients, check out my videos Raw Food Nutrient Absorption, and Raw Food Diet Myths. Everything on this website is free!

For more context, be sure to check out my associated blog posts: Eating Green to Prevent CancerApple Peels Turn On Anticancer Genes; and The Science on Açaí Berries.

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  • Michael Greger M.D.

    In general, though, whole foods are best. See my 33 videos on processed foods. For more on the bioavailability of phytonutrients, see my videos Raw Food Nutrient Absorption and Raw Food Diet Myths. And I have hundreds of other videos on more than a thousand subjects you are welcome to check out. Everything on this website is free!

  • RudyS

    Are the fruit juices in question store bought juices that have been pasteurized or are they “raw” fruit juices from a home juicer? I expect the answer is the former considering the added vitamin C mentioned in the grape juice but I want to be sure. As always, these videos are dearly appreciated.

  • randy

    Just something to notice on the graph, cranberry juice fared well in comparison to the others in relation to whole vs juice. True, the juice had less but certainly not by a great deal.

    Also the VCE, assuming no added vitamin C was at quite a respectable level, 100mg, higher than all the rest than grape juice which had a vitamin C additive.

    Just curious but I was wondering how Pomegranate juice/whole rated in this mix.
    Juice is readily available usually without additives and is certainly advertised heavily for all it’s health benefits (excluding the POM companies false documentation on arterial plaque removal).

  • VeganNutritionist

    This discounts the benefits of juice fasting which can help the body detox because it spends only a fraction of the time digesting its foods and more bodily processes can be used for detoxification.

    And more isn’t always better. Sometimes it is simply just more.

  • organicsauce

    So, if I take a tomato and juice it instead of eating it (that same tomato), it’s higher on the VCE scale? What happens during the juicing process that boosts this up?

  • Judas_priest

    Perhaps the good doctor should stick to nutrition.  The Dred Scott decision was in 1857, and no justice then sitting was on the court when it decided the status of tomatoes under the then extant tariff law.

    • Michael Greger M.D.

      You’re totally right JP! Though the terms of Stephen Johnson Field and Samuel Freeman Miller evidently came close, they did not overlap with both cases–yikes! I’m so sorry about the mistake.  Maybe I should leave history buffing to the buffs! I’m going to re-record the video to correct the error. Thank you so much for pointing it out. As always, anyone who points out any error on the site wins a free DVD of their choosing. Please email your mailing address to me at with your selection and I’ll get it out to you first thing on Monday!

      • Michael Greger M.D.

        All right–rerecorded! Changed from “among the Justices” to “a batch of Justices away from.” Thank you again so much, and urge you to please continue to help me make the site as robust as possible.

        • Gadea

          Thank you for the good work that you do in bringing vital information about nutrition to so many.

    • rawismyreligion

      good comment, but little rude for my taste

      • val

        Doc handled it so graciously, though, didn’t he? AND sent a *gift* to Judas Priest!, totally awesome my dear Michael Greger! love ya!

  • pbeach

    Knowledge is knowing tomato is a fruit, wisdom is knowing not to use it in a fruit salad.

    • Pete

      actually tomato tastes great in a ‘fruit’ salad – try it with watermelons, mangos and nuts ~ and all kinds of fruits taste great in vegetable salads too

    • Pedecia

      The tomatos I used to eat grown by my grand farther were sweeter then sugar back then and you could use tomato as fruit and with all fruits anytime. Now it tastes like an eggplant. Only in Japan paying 5 to 10 usd for one you can still find tomatoes grown like they are meant to be and they are sweet as honey. Once in awhile I find them in special and I buy a truck load of them.

      • Thea

        Pedecia: I’ve heard that before about tomatoes. I’d love to try an authentic tomato like that some day.

        • Brigitte

          Hi Thea,
          try and look for heirloom tomatoes at a farmer market in sumertime, for your delight!

          • Thea

            Brigitte: Thanks! Will do.

  • Valnaples

    Avocado is ALSO a fruit…just saying…love my low-sodium V-8 every day as a snack with some nuts or seeds…also I’ve read that cooked tomatoes are more nutritious than raw tomatoes…BOTH are very good to eat.

    • Jason

      Campbell’s confirmed their “flavoring” may include “meat/seafood/poultry/dairy” on Twitter the week of August 3rd. They also confirmed they don’t offer any vegan products. So much for the “100% Vegetable Juice” claim on the label of V8.

      • jamfhall1

        Don’t worry, someone out there will file a lawsuit, just like what happened with my husband’s favorite juice: MinuteMaid Pomegranate Blueberry Juice (or Blueberry Pomogranate, whatever). Turns out, there are more other ingredients than the two mentioned fruits. Maybe that’s why they’re listed in order from greatest to least? But that’s for another video…

  • Xavdeq

    I think this interesting review deserves a precision:
    what kind of juice is it?
    Fresh pressed, bottled/canned? Pasteurized?
    For tomato it is cooked I think

  • Michael Greger M.D.

    In general, though, whole foods are best. See my 33 videos on processed foods. For more on the bioavailability of phytonutrients, see my videos Raw Food Nutrient Absorption and Raw Food Diet Myths. And I have hundreds of other videos on more than a thousand subjects you are welcome to check out. Everything on this website is free!

    • Margaret Adams

      You are awesome!!!

  • Thea

    I’m curious about the dark bars in the graph which show antioxidant levels for the fruits themselves.  Dr. Greger says that vitamin C was manually added to the grape juice, but surely nothing was injected into the fruit itself?

    So, when looking at the levels for the fruits, it is odd to me that grapes show so high.  I thought I remembered (and please forgive me if I get it incorrectly) that Dr. Greger once called grapes something like, “the wonderbread of the fruit world” or something like that.  (Or maybe that was iceberg lettuce and vegetables?)

    Whether I got the exact quote right or not, it seems like grapes have not fared well in previous videos when talking about antioxidant levels?  And yet, in this video, grapes look great!  Is there an explanation that pulls all of this together?  I know that grapes are not bad for me.  But how do they really stack up compared to other fruits in terms of adding lots of health? 

    Perhaps this is a case of using different methods to measure antioxidants?  (I remember one Dr. video which explains reported differences in antioxidant levels in foods by looking at the different methods used to measure antioxidant levels.) 

    Just mildly curious/confused. 

    • Michael Greger M.D.

      Thank you for your question Thea! The seedless pale green table grapes are indeed comparatively pitiful, and so “white” grape juice is probably not a far cry from sugar water, but purple grape juice (as was used in this study) is made from gorgeous deep blue “concord” grapes which are unfortunately hard to find commercially, since consumers tend to prefer seedless grapes–a shame!

      • Thea

        Thanks so much for your reply Dr. Greger.  Such great info.

        Now, though, I admit to being uneasy about one of my favorite fruits: watermelon!   You pretty much can’t get the seeded kind in stores any more and anyway, I admit to being one of those people who prefers seedless.  But now I have to wonder if I’m missing out on a bunch of nutrition that way.  Oh sigh.  :-)

        Thanks again.

        PS: Note: even if I log in, this new version of your website still only allows the “post as” button.  It does not recognize me as being logged in.

        • val

          haha, Thea…the watermelon I buy at Publix ALL says “seedless” but last time I bought some (and it’s getting quite hot here in Naples, FL…cold watermelon is about the ONLY thing that will quench a post-walk & workout for me!) EVERY piece had seeds in it !!!

          • Thea

            val: I know! Those seeds still creep in. Sounds like you got a particularly bad one. Still, a highly seeded watermellon is better than no watermellon. Watermellon rocks. ;-)

      • jamfhall1

        Maybe that’s why white(?) grape juice AND apple juice are used as cheap fillers for more “exotic” juices. Just read the labels.

  • Umar

    great web site im planning on losing weight and this has all the nutrional information i could ever want !

    • Michael Greger M.D.

      I’m so glad you’re finding my work useful!

  • Schilly76

    Could you do a video on juicing vs blending fruits and veggies? Which one is more beneficial and why?

  • Is this a chart using Juicers like the Breville and Norwalk or the processing of juice by plants that pasteurize?

  • Stephen Albers

    I’d like to see the same statistics for the vegetables people often juice, like carrot, celery, and kale!

  • Brody

    Keep in mind that the tomato – like cucumber, squash and peppers – is botanically a fruit, but is considered a vegetable in culinary terms.

  • susan

    Is there any tomato juice that you can buy that is 100% juice without sodium? I know they make lower sodium tomato juice but that still has sodium in it. Can I make tomato juice in my vitamin?

    • val

      Susan, I *still* have not found one…I’ll stick to my low-sodium V-8 for now…I would LOVE to find a low or no sodium tomato juice product but it is not even in Whole Foods. All of the tomato juices I can find on store shelves have MORE sodium than the low-sodium V-8, just saying. eesh!

  • DanielFaster

    Matbucha is now more popular in Israel than hummus – it is a dip/spread/salad made by cooking diced tomatoes, peppers, garlic, and usually olive oil (not in my version) for several hours until really thick like lumpy tomato paste and served chilled. Assume it would be on the upped lycopene/antioxidant spectrum?

    • Thea

      DanielFaster: Thanks for your post about Matbucha. I had never heard of it before, but looked it up after reading your post. I’m really intrigued. And it does sound incredibly healthy.

      Do you happen to have a recipe for the oil-free version that you make? Either way, thanks again for your post.

      • DanielFaster

        Really we learned from my nephew’s Israeli mother in law you just throw a box or two of BPA-free POMI diced tomatoes and/or one of stewed tomatoes into the pan with lots of garlic and peppers and everything else and then cook it on low for several hours stirring occasionally until thick and lumpy. Hard to go wrong. Here’s one I googled you can just leave out the oil and the sugar – and here’s a tip from Ramses Bravo at True North I picked up at the NYNY festival in Marshall Tx: if you don’t put oil in a dish it will need less salt if any

  • Iggy Dalrymple

    There is a school of thought(don’t know how true) that many nutrients and phyto-thingies are lost by not eating the peels and the seeds. It might be easier to consume these in a juice. My late great-grandma always ate her citrus peel. I always eat the seeds with my muscadine grapes. I also eat apples, seeds, and core. Granny lived into her 90s and I’m 75 & OK.

    • Anybody have any concerns about eating fruit seeds that are hard–grapeseeds, apple seeds? Can we actually get nutrition from them? Or do they need to be ground up like flaxseed does?

      • Corina-Aurelia Zugravu

        If you eat them as they are, you risk an intestinal occlusion. Maybe you can chew them well..but ….Apple seeds are smth else, they are soft.Regarding nutrients, I doubt that our enzymes are strong enough to allow any nutrients to get out from the fiber matrix, but..

        • Thanks so much. And what do you think about chia seeds? Do you think we should grind them?

          Was there language to follow the final “but”?

          Would you mind taking a stab at answering my questions re: lectins that I asked here:

          Here are the questions:

          Could you address the lectins issue? This s particularly important in light of the recent research, published by Oxford University Press, showing that lectins in peanuts survive cooking and digestion and stick to cancer cells that are already in the blood, thus contributing to metastases.https://eatandbeatcancer.wordp

          To what degree are lectins destroyed by sprouting alone? By cooking? By cooking and sprouting? What temperatures must be used to destroy lectins?

          Are the lectins in some legumes (the red kidney bean family, for example) harder to destroy than in others? Are the lectins in smaller legumes (e.g., mung beans, lentils) easier to get rid of than those in bigger legumes?

          What about grains? Same questions.

          What about nuts and seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, chia, etc.)? I’m particularly concerned about these because we usually don’t cook or sprout them. Does soaking help? To what degree are their lectins problematic?

          • Corina-Aurelia Zugravu

            The “but” ..: .practice has shown that even if we cannot digest fiber, and even though fiber hiders to some extent nutrient absorption, if we really need a certain nutrient, our organism can rise the absorption and extract what it needs even though this requires a certain amount of effort. Chia are ok because they have a rather low amount of insoluble fiber and a high amount of soluble ones. So you don`t need to grind them (though I try to chew them well and, obviously, I let them stay in whatever liquid I drink, before consuming them). Look, if you put un-grinded flax seeds in water they don`t swell…you have to grind them. When you put chia, even ungrinded, they swell. I`ll be back soon with lectins.

          • Corina-Aurelia Zugravu

            Now, some time ago I participated to a summer school where I had to present some nutritional advantages (and hinderances) of plant protein sources. The hard candy were indeed lectins, about which I couldn`t find reliable scientific studies. I mean, not an isolated study, but meta-analyzes or reviews (because they are not newly discovered substances…people know them for many many years). And not studies targeted just on lab research carried out on isolated cells or rats or whatever, because you cannot just transpose them to real humans. I found, instead, a lot of nonsense on popular science blogs! And I asked myself why were not poisoned by lectins our grand parents, if they are so nocive?! The tradition, here, where I live, is just to soak beans , no one sprouts them, and then to rinse them and boil thoroughly until well cooked. The idea is that I don`t think it`s ok to eat beans just sprouted, you really need to cook them well. With an accent for red beans, which have, seemingly, a higher level of lectins (but easily destroyed by wet heat- aka boiling). Some sprouted mung can`t harm, but on a daily basis just boil well beans. Nuts have far lower levels of lectins, however I think that just a little heat treatment is enough (I roast them …but for a very short time). As far as I understand, soaking them and than dehydrating them in the oven is even better, but it`s far to time consuming for me. You know, all the studies I red about peanuts and cancer are carried out on models. The recent one you quote is done on “mouse metastasis models”.With purified agglutinines. There is not one epidemiological study showing that peanut ingestion rises the risk of cancer or metastasis. Not one. There is a huge distance between labs and real nutrition. However, in the end eating a very diverse plant based diet is the key to success. Rotate beans in daily diet, one day red beans and almonds, the other, mung and peanuts :) and so on…
            You ask also about grains:even less question marks than beans.

            One thing that I noticed is that people are quickly afraid by the findings from an isolated study, though they neglect to consider nutrition as a complex science. We really eat (to stick with the above example) peanuts, not agglutinins from peanuts :) We eat complex matrixes, where different components of different foods interact and it is almost impossible to draw solid conclusions just from lab studies. Hope I covered all that you asked ;)

          • What about oilseeds– pumpkin, for example? In terms of lectins, would you put them in the same category as nuts or as legumes? And have you any idea why wet heat is needed for legumes yet dry may be sufficient for nuts?

          • Corina-Aurelia Zugravu

            More like nuts, because they are rich in fats. For the wet heat (but here I am only speculating), maybe because it allows a longer and more thorough treatment of the legume, since legumes have generally higher quantities of lectines . Even more, with wet heat you can start with a quick and very intense treatment, and than lower the temperature. I don`t think this can be done with dry heat, and not to burn the legume…

  • Treacle234

    So glad you changed up the website. It is a lot more user friendly than before.

  • HungryVegan

    I didn’t understand the reason though. Why is tomato juice the exception to the rule that whole foods are healthier?

  • Really

    This is based on canned or processed juice from stores and not freshly made juice from a juicer, correct?

  • Dave

    It is important to note that this seemed to be “processed” juice and pasteurized (heated). Although…the photo seems to represent fresh pressed juice…completely different.

  • karehew

    Sadly, though, most juices are pasteurized… which kills the C and all the living enzymes.

  • Bat Marty

    By tomato juice do You mean industrial tomato juice (so cooked/ pastorized) or slow pressed juice? Is lycopene available if the tomatoes are not heated?

  • blayman6

    Was all the juice in this study freshly
    squeezed? I gathered by yyou comment on grape juice (vitamin C added) it may have been a bottle off the shelf that was processed, maybe pasturized? So my question is was the tomato juice fresh squeezed or processed and heated which increases the availability of lycopen? Wouldn’t want someone to think they can juice a tomato at home to gain benefits if they aren’t there.