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The Healthy Goodness of Tomatoes in the Mediterranean Diet

The Healthy Goodness of Tomatoes in the Mediterranean Diet 1

ripe tomatoes

Did you know using tomatoes in your Mediterranean dishes can bring you many health benefits? Not only does it help prevent cardiovascular disease – it can also help prevent osteoporosis and some forms of cancer! Do you want to know more about all the healthy goodness you can get from this small but mighty fruit? If you do, then read on!

Tomatoes and Your Cardiovascular Health

According to the results of numerous research, including a more recent one from the Harvard School of Public Health, the consumption of tomato-based products such as tomato and pizza sauce can be very beneficial in keeping your heart healthy. These experts came to this conclusion after following the condition of about 39,000 women for about seven (7) years.

Moreover, a research conducted in Australia found evidence that eating a high-lycopene, olive oil rich diet can significantly improve a person’s HDL and triglycerides levels. In this crossover study, two groups of people were subjected to two different kinds of diets. One group was assigned to a high olive oil, high-lycopene diet while the other was given a low olive oil, high-lycopene diet for a period of ten days followed by a 16-day washout period where participants were allowed to return to their old eating habits. After the washout period, the participants were instructed to switch meal plans.

After comparing the results of the blood test from each participant before and after the test, researchers found that those on a high-lycopene, olive oil rich diet have shown marked improvements in their HDL to total cholesterol ratio and triglyceride levels. This verifies this diet type can help keep your heart healthy and reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases. This particular study was published in the March 2006 issue of the journal Nutrition.

Additionally, experts are continuously uncovering more and more evidence that eating tomatoes and tomato products can help reduce the risk of heart disease. According to Julie Talbot, MS, RD at the Illinois Institute of Technology, eating tomato products can significantly reduce inflammation and oxidative stress brought about a high-fat meal.

Tomatoes and Osteoporosis

According to a research conducted by Leticia and Venket Rao, PhDs at the University of Toronto, Canada, consuming about 40 mg of lycopene per day can be enough to reduce oxidative stress – a factor that increases a person’s risk of bone loss and osteoporosis.

After subjecting their preliminary conclusion to the test, these experts were able to establish that supplementing a person’s diet (especially those of post-menopausal women between the ages 50 and 60) with two glasses of tomato juice (each containing about 15 mg of lycopene) or lycopene-based capsules will result in the reduction of the bone resorption and oxidative stress markers. This report was published in the 2010 issue of the journal Osteoporosis International.

Well, this is considerably a welcome news to more than 10 million people in the US who are currently suffering from this condition and to the other 34 million people who are at risk of developing this disease in the very near future.

Tomatoes and Cancer

While earlier studies discounted the role of lycopene in arresting the growth of cancer cells, recent studies are pointing toward a different and more promising direction. According to a research conducted at the School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences of the University of Portsmouth, it was observed that lycopene has the ability to intercept cancer cells from attaching themselves to a healthy blood supply. This particular research is published in the British Journal of Nutrition. Now that the stage is set, the experts are preparing to test whether the same reaction occurs inside the human body.

Considering all of these recent findings, you should seriously consider adding more tomatoes, preferably in cooked form, into your diet. The rewards seem to be well worth it!

Start eating more tomatoes today for better health and keep well,
Ray Baker
PS. Hope you read all of this Nisey 🙂