Superfood: TOMATOES

Would you be willing to eat more tomatoes to: 1. Reduce ovarian cancer 2. digestive tract cancer(colon mouth, throat),  3. cardiovascular disease, 4. asthma and lung disease, 5. prostate cancer, and 6. increase fat burning? This puts the tomato in the catagory of superfoods.

Anti-cancer: Tomatoes have a nutrient called carotenoids like beta-carotene. Its an antioxidant that protects from ultraviolet and infrared light from the sun. Then it gets turned into vitamin A in the body. Another carotenoid is the red pigment lycopene with proven anti-cancer benefits. In the U.S. diet, over 80% of lycopene comes from consumption of tomatoes.

Anti-ovarian cancer: Since both tomatoes and carrots are stocked with cancer fighting antioxidants lycopene and carotene, it will reduce you risk up to 50%(1). The study involved eating one cup of tomato sauce and five raw carrots a week. A modest addition to your diet to get dramatic health benefits. For those with cancer in the family, this makes a big difference.

Anti-prostate cancer: It is reported that men who eat four servings of tomatoes per week have a 40 less chance of prostate cancer(2). In another study, after eating 3 daily servings, men diagnosed with cancer saw it regress is only three weeks. The curative effectiveness of tomatoes can work surprisingly rapid. If you’re a male reading this, you certainly want to take note.

Cardiovascular benefit: Many studies have already confirmed reduced cardio risk with consuming foods high in antioxidants. Tomatoes offer this and reduction of low-density lipoprotein(LDL) cholesterol. It reduces homocysteine, an amino acid associated with inflammation and coronary artery disease. It reduces platelet aggregation which is the clumping together of  platelets in the blood. This helps blood clot. But when the platelet count is increased, it becomes correlated with diseases. Studies also show that blood pressure can be  reduced(2).

Weight loss: We already know that tomatoes are high in potassium, folic acid, and vitamins A, C, and E.  It starts with the bioflavonoids mainly in the skin that reduces inflammation and allergic reactions(3). Lower inflammation allows leptin to help you to lose weight. The hormone leptin controls your appetite, metabolism and weight loss.

Raw vs. cooked: Normally, it’s the fresh organic fruit or vegetables that are often the best. However, since cooking breaks down the cells, it increases the absorption of carotenoids and flavonoids. To increase the absorption of lycopene just add olive oil when cooking.

It makes sense to use less fresh tomatoes in salads or sandwiches and increase red sauces cooked in Italian type dinners. An easy dish is pasta primavera. It’s whole grain pasta with steamed broccoli, cauliflower, and baby carrots. Covered with tomato sauce(store bought is fine) with a little added olive oil. Topped with feta cheese and fresh basil. Add a little garlic bread and red wine and your have reached the mountain top with flavors and health. Bon appetit!

Lee Johnson of

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