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 changing some old habits can benefit you in later life

How's this for a good habit?
How’s this for a good habit?

Breaking old habits of a lifetime is just what the doctor ordered if,for your health’s sake,you take for inspiration that you’re never too old to adopt new healthful habits. The rewards: In the Johns Hopkins-led Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis,which tracked more than 6,000 people ages 44 to 84 for over seven years, those who made good-for-you changes like quitting smoking, following a Mediterranean diet, getting regular exercise and maintaining a healthy weight decreased their risk of death in the time period by 80 percent. The following changes not only keep you healthy, they can help slow down the ageing process, inside and out. Continue reading “Why changing some old habits can benefit you in later life”

Reverse the effects of inflammation in the arteries with the Mediterranean Diet

Italian food ingredients on wooden background (dollarphotoclub)
Italian food ingredients on wooden background (dollarphotoclub)


Enjoy the benefits of the Mediterranean Diet.

You may worry about inflammatory disease such as arthritis or hardening of the arteries which can cause heart problems, many cancers and even Alzheimer’s disease. It’s very important that you discuss with your doctor any treatment that’s right for you. But, the good news is that you can help prevent or reduce the symptoms of these chronic diseases by adhering Continue reading “Reverse the effects of inflammation in the arteries with the Mediterranean Diet”

7 Helpful Tips for getting the best out of the Mediterranean diet


 Generally, medical health experts agree the Mediterranean diet and lifestyle provide the best ways to living a healthy and happy life. As a lifestyle it can keep you healthy from a young age to a ripe old age and help you feel, look and think the best you can be.

For the best results,the Mediterranean diet Continue reading “7 Helpful Tips for getting the best out of the Mediterranean diet”

Mediterranean Diet for Beginners: A Quick Start Guide to Heart Healthy Eating, Super-Charged Weight Loss and Unstoppable Energy Book Review

mediterranean diet for beginners



The title of Gina Crawford’s most recent book says it all. For an introduction to an exciting new lifestyle you need an easy to read quick guide delivering “no fluff,no filler, and going straight to the point” as Mrs Crawford would put it. This book is just that.

Mediterranean Diet for Beginners: A Quick Start Guide to Heart Healthy Eating, Super-Charged Weight Loss and Unstoppable Energy was released in January of 2015, and reveals the “healthiest, most well respected and scientifically documented diet in the world.” Continue reading “Mediterranean Diet for Beginners: A Quick Start Guide to Heart Healthy Eating, Super-Charged Weight Loss and Unstoppable Energy Book Review”

What Food Choices Make up a Mediterranean Diet?

mediterranean diet


When you think about Mediterranean food do you think of pitta, lasagna, plenty of white bread, lamb and pizza? If so, you are missing the point.

The Mediterranean Diet, proved time and again to lead to less disease, a healthier heart, better brain function and a multitude of other health benefits, has been misrepresented in recent years. A true healthy Mediterranean Diet is based on the eating habits of Greece, Crete and Southern Italy of around 1960.

That diet is based on whole foods, plants and vegetables. To these basic essentials small portions of lean, healthy meat can be added, as well as seafood 2 or 3 times a week. The idea is that good fats replace bad ones, and you should always eat a breakfast rich in high-fibre foods, fruits and whole grains.Though allowed,daily products, are used in limited amounts.

Below are a few popular food choices which make up a healthy Mediterranean-style diet.

Whole wheat, whole grains and oats
Good fats like extra-virgin olive oil, sunflower seeds, nuts and avocados
Fish like salmon and sardines, tuna and herring
Shellfish, such as clams, oysters and mussels
Herbs and natural spices
Fruits and vegetables of all kinds
Whole foods (foods that are as close to their natural state as possible)
Foods you should avoid or eat less

An understanding of your eating options also means knowing what foods you should avoid, or simply cut back on. If you limit your intake of the following food items and components, and you will be making smart Mediterranean food choices.

Fast food and fried food
Processed and red meat
Products made with white flour
Refined sugar
Bad fats like hydrogenated oils, saturated fats and trans fats
Butter, margarine and lard
Monosodium glutamate (MSG is found in up to 80% of all processed food)the
Isn’t this rather too strict a diet?

It doesn’t have to be.You can see the above are foods to avoid or eat less of and are not all strictly forbidden. Eating red meat a few times a month is considered alright. And sea salt can be used in limited quantities since it is not processed like table salt. Essentially, it is important to focus on eating more fruits, vegetables, nuts and grains, and less processed and refined food, salt, sugar and unhealthy fats.The wide variety of foods available and good for you means that the diet is not boring.

Gina Crawford has written a comprehensive guide to the real deal Mediterranean Diet with many delicious and easy to produce recipes.

Making smart food choices is the basis of the Mediterranean Diet. Before you prepare your next meal, be honest with yourself. Is your diet primarily whole food, plant and vegetable-based? Does it substitute healthy fats for bad fats? Will it ensure that you eat fish 2 or 3 times each week, and red meat no more than 2 or 3 times a month? If so, you are well on your way to choosing the foods found in a Mediterranean-style diet that lead to fewer diseases and better overall health.


Ease into the Mediterranean diet today

cestino di pane con verdure - dollarphotoclub
cestino di pane con verdure – dollarphotoclub


Media headlines often tell it all:

Sensible diet cuts heart attack risk within weeks (The Times)

Obesity threatens chronic ill health in older age

Dire warning of [adult] obesity as [youngsters] pile on the pounds(The Daily Mail)

but many of us still don’t respond to the headlines, or even read the rest of the article,news item,or report we maybe reading.

Despite the sheer volume of scientific evidence written today about the likely consequences of poor diet Continue reading “Ease into the Mediterranean diet today”

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.