What you need to know about tomatoes and lycopene/feed//feed/

tomato motif
by courtesy of dollarphotoclub


In the Europe of the 1700’s “the golden apple”, so described by the herbalist, Pietro Andrea Matthiola ,about two hundred years before,was still often viewed with suspicion because it was closely related to certain plants like the poisonous nightshade vine.Happily, the much beloved fruit and now essential food survived being stigmatised for ever as the “poison apple”.Today,we know the health secret behind the shiny red skin of the large majority of the over 5,000 varieties of tomato that are grown worldwide.The truth about lycopene is now known.

Gina Crawford the well known and highly respected author of many books on cooking and eating healthily has recently written: 5 Things You Need to Know About Tomatoes and Lycopene.

Have you ever wondered where tomatoes get their lovely red colour?
The answer is lycopene, a powerful, naturally-occurring substance that does wonders for your health. Here’s what you need to know about it:

1. Lycopene is an antioxidant

This means that it fights against harmful free radicals, lowering the risk of chronic diseases like cancer, heart disease, and macular degenerative eye diseases.

2. Your body stores lycopene in its tissues to fight cancer

When you consume enough lycopene, your body stores it in your
liver, lungs, prostate gland, colon, blood, and skin. The higher these levels of lycopene are, the lower your risk of developing cancer in the prostate, digestive tract, upper respiratory tract, and lungs.

3. Cooked tomatoes are best

Unlike many other nutrients found in fruits and veggies, the
availability of lycopene is actually increased when tomatoes
are cooked. Good sources include tomato paste, tomato
sauce, tomato juice, and of course tomatoes that you’ve
cooked yourself.

4. You should aim for 30 mg per day

Eating 30 mg of lycopene per day can lower your risk of heart
disease and stroke. One raw tomato contains only 3 mg of
lycopene, but you can get all you need from half a can of
tomato paste, two glasses of tomato juice, or four tablespoons
of ketchup.One small can of tomato paste provides 62 mg of
lycopene. Two glasses of tomato juice, four tablespoons of
ketchup per day or a bowl of tomato soup provide an ample
amount of antioxidant protection for your body.

5. Lycopene is fat-soluble

Your body will absorb far more lycopene if you consume some
fat at the same time, so add a little extra virgin olive oil to your
tomato sauce!

6. Lycopene lowers ‘bad’ cholesterol levels

In doing so, it prevents the hardening of your arteries and lowers your risk of coronary heart disease, heart attacks, and strokes.

NOTE: The amount of lycopene varies in tomatoes. Tomatoes
allowed to ripen on the vine contain the most lycopene. The more brilliant red a tomato is, the more lycopene it contains.

  • Gina Crawford
Italian food ingredients on wooden background (dollarphotoclub)
Italian food ingredients on wooden background (dollarphotoclub)

There you have it.In summary,unlike other fruits and vegetables, where nutritional content such as vitamin C is diminished upon cooking, processing of tomatoes increases the concentration of bioavailable lycopene. Lycopene in tomato paste is four times more bioavailable than in fresh tomatoes. Thus processed tomato products such as tomato juice, soup, sauce, and ketchup contain the highest concentrations of bioavailable lycopene.

Tomatoes provide an essential ingredient in the Mediterranean Diet..Healthy,easy to grow and delicious, cooked or eaten raw in salads,it is little wonder they are one of the most popular of foods. See Mediterranean Diet for Beginners. for a quick start guide.


Why a tomato pill could cut your risk of heart attack

rich tomato




Following a study by experts from Cambridge University, claims by scientists have been recently reported that a single pill taken daily could quickly and dramatically reduce the risk of a heart attack or stroke.

According to Ian Wilkinson, director of the University’s clinical trials unit ,  “these results [from the study]are good news and potentially very significant .” The “wonder pill”, a natural health remedy is packed full of bio-available lycopene obtained from the skin of tomatoes. Called Ateronon,this pill allows a modified  type of lycopene to be easily absorbed by the body in the blood stream. Normally lycopene from our diet , which is known to be beneficial in softening hardened and damaged arteries and aid blood flow, is not so easily taken into the blood stream.

Ateronon, being hailed by experts as “very exciting indeed” has been around for a while, and was seen primarily as an aid to improving arterial efficiency. Now, it is believed, the benefits of taking a single pill each day extend to significant reduction in the risks of heart attacks and strokes, and may even offer the potential to fight other major illnesses.

Now before we get ahead of ourselves, the exciting study was taken of a small group of people , average age 67 years , in certain at risk categories – some with pre-existing heart disease – and,it is acknowledged by the Cambridge experts that these are preliminary results and need to be backed by much longer and wider clinical trials, to confirm these early findings. Promising,though, and something to keep our eye on as further information from promised future trials comes through. To read further about this health product claimed to have captured the health secret of the Mediterranean diet… Also interesting to note that the health product has caught the attention of the American Heart Association’s Winter conference attended by 17,000 cardiologists and circulatory specialists.