Why You Should Eat Tomatoes
Health Benefits of Tomatoes
Tomatoes, a fruit, that we more often considered a vegetable, has amazing health benefits.
But there are some key aspects of tomatoes you must know in order to reap those benefits.
What can tomatoes do to keep you healthy?
Tomatoes are rich in carotenoids, a bioactive that is a strong phytonutrient and antioxidant.
Lycopene (like-o-peen) is a specific carotenoid, very rich within the tomato that gives it its red color.
Foods with vivid colors like red, purple, yellow, and green, are rich in bioactive. This is why we encourage our patients to eat in rainbows.
Lycopene inhibits angiogenesis, or the development of blood vessels that can feed tumor cells, allowing them to grow and spread into dangerous cancer.
While healthy blood vessels should be actively repaired and robust, the blood supply to cancer should be cut off. Lycopene in tomatoes knows how to inhibit the blood supply to cancer cells while not inhibiting the blood supply to the healthy parts of your body.
Isn’t it amazing how intelligent food is? Drugs, on the other hand, can’t make that type of distinction.
Large studies have been done on men with prostate cancer and found lycopene ingestion to reduce the aggressiveness of cancer, slowed its growth, and in those with no diagnosis, it substantially reduced their risk of developing the disease. Tomato sauce was used in this study of 45,000 men.
Lycopene also protects your DNA. Consider drinking some tomato juice or eating some before going out in the sun. The lycopene will protect your DNA from the radiation damage of the sun.
It would also be a good idea before getting on a plane where radiation is unavoidable. A dentist visit that includes Xrays would also be a good time for some pre-emptive lycopene.
The research looked at the bacteria, H. pylori, known to damage the cellular DNA of your stomach. A dose of lycopene lessened the damage to the DNA by 40%.
The benefits only occur if the lycopene is ingested before exposure. In other words, grabbing some tomatoes after being out in the sun has no benefit.
Meaning, lycopene is protective but not reparative. Don’t worry, there are other foods that are good for repair, including carrots and kiwifruit.
Best tomatoes to buy and eat
Fresh – San Marzano, cherry tomatoes, red black-skin tomatoes, and Tangerine tomatoes.
Canned tomatoes – San Marzano is best.
Tomato paste – sold in a can or tube. The best versions are made with San Marzano tomatoes.
Raw or cooked?
Lycopene is fat-soluble, meaning you want to ensure you eat it with some fat in order to absorb all its beneficial attributes. If you cook the tomatoes in water, you’ll flush all the lycopene from your system with no absorption, such a waste.
Tomatoes should be cooked so that you can absorb the most lycopene. Simmering your tomatoes for just 30 minutes makes the lycopene 250 times more available, so well worth the effort to cook your tomatoes.
Do you dislike tomatoes?
Don’t worry, watermelon and papaya are also great sources of lycopene.
Take control of your health
Some simple diet and lifestyle changes can make all the difference in protecting your health.
So much of what you choose to eat can make tremendous changes in protecting you from the disease.
We’ll be talking about more great foods to include in your diet in the coming weeks.
How’s your health?
Do you want to eat healthier but aren’t sure where to start?
Are you not feeling your best but just not getting the answers you need from your doctor?
We can help.
Contact us for a Free Consultation – Call (408) 733-0400.
If you are not local to us you can still receive help; our Destination Clinic treats patients from across the country and internationally.
We help the world’s busiest people regain, retain, and reclaim their health, energy, and resilience.
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