Almost 200 years ago, the tomato as part of the nightshade family was considered poisonous. It is therefore hard to believe that this fruit has been rehabilitated as a wonder food. Tomatoes are a rich source of vitamins A and C and folic acid. They contain a wide array of beneficial nutrients and antioxidants, including alpha-lipoic acid, lycopene. The consumption of tomatoes has been credited with beneficial health qualities including the prevention and alleviation of a number of serious health conditions including :
- cancer – (combating free radicals)
- colorectal cancer -(high fibre)
- blood pressure – (low sodium)
- heart health – (fibre,potassium, vitamin c)
- diabetes – (high fibre)
- skin health – (vitamin c)
- constipation – (high fibre)
- depression – (folic acid)
On 29th March 2013 rich tomato.co.uk posted the following:
According to a study published in the Journal Nutrition Research on 17th May 2012 , red tomato sauces may really be good for your health as well as delicious. The researchers from the Athens Medical School found that participants in a study group benefited from consuming tomato paste, particularly when cooked with olive oil. Apparently, the antioxidant lycopene-rich tomato paste may improve the blood vessels’ ability to relax and so aid blood flow.
During the study it was found that this beneficial result of this diet was not achieved instantly, but the improvement was recorded after a number of days. Lycopene has also been linked to bone health and skin health.
Mediterranean cuisine varies by region, but is largely based on vegetables, fruits, olives, beans, whole grains, olive oil and fish, along with a little dairy and wine. Additionally, the Mediterranean lifestyle includes leisurely dining and regular physical activity.
Click here to read an earlier post with details of a Cambridge University study on the benefits of lycopene,and the development and clinical trials of a tomato pill
Lycopene has been linked with prostate cancer prevention in several studies.
Finally,research is ongoing into the effectiveness of Ateronon a one-a-day food supplement,dubbed the tomato pill,developed to reduce the risk of plaque build-up in arteries. Harvard University in America will be releasing their results in due course.