Tomatoes- A Super Food
Tomato is an important ingredient in Indian cooking and food preparation. Any curry without tomato is incomplete. This fruit-vegetable has many benefits to fight against different health conditions. It contains Lycopene which fights against diseases. This product is more acceptable for versatile options to process or cook around. Tomato is not a vegetable but a fruit.
Lycopene is a potent antioxidant that fights against free radical activity. Antioxidant prevent changes caused at cellular level due to free radicals. So it lowers risk for cardiovascular disease, cancer, plaque formation, aging etc. Lycopene is not produced in the body, so needs to be provided by the diet or supplements. Some other fruits and vegetables do contain Lycopene but tomatoes are the richest source. Rich redness of tomato is due to presence of Lycopene. In today’s life exposure to free radical is difficult to control. Lycopene binds with free radical and excretes it from the body.
A review article of ‘The American journal of lifestyle medicine’ says eating more tomatoes and tomato products can make people healthier and decrease the of conditions such as cancer, osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease. Researcher found that Lycopene is powerful anti oxidant, unlike all other nutrients available in fruits and vegetables. Its bio availability is high after cooking and processing. Tomatoes are abundantly available throughout the year and are accepted by young kid to elders in the home. Recently they are recommended by USFAD in dietary guidelines for American 2010. It is moved to ‘red and orange’ category with suggestion to increase the consumption
Tomato is frequently studied by the researchers suggest it is not only beneficial in preventing cancer, heart diseases but also helps in managing cholesterol levels. Cancers such as prostate cancer, cervical cancer, colon, rectum, stomach, mouth, pharynx and esophagus have proven to be staved off from increased consumption of Lycopene. Studies suggest that introduction of Lycopene in pre existing cancer cell can prevent the growth. It takes only 540 ml liquid tomato juice to provide benefits of Lycopene. It means daily one glass of tomato juice or tomato soup will help you to fight against diseases.
Many studies and researches are done on health effect of tomato, but still some findings are working on its effect on lipid oxidation and macular degeneration. There are many products available in the market which contains tomato. It is not difficult to fulfill your daily requirement for this food.
Research indicates that Lycopene from tomatoes gets more easily assimilated in the body when available in cooked form. Hence, ketchup is considered as a most bio available form of digesting Lycopene as it is processed and in combination with oil.
Ketchup is high on salt and sugar so it may not advised in excess for individuals watching weight or having high B.P. But, you smoke and want to boost you antioxidant capacity than consider a teaspoon of ketchup with a healthy snack. Cut down on your salt and calorie in the next meal. Include plenty of tomato soup and juice in the day.