- Diet & Weight Loss
Tomato Nutrition: Healing Properties of Tomatoe Juice
In recent years the tomato has been studied and found to be valuable source of nutrition. Tomato healing properties have been under investigation and it has been found that the active ingredient lycopene is responsible for many of the fruits health benefits. It is a carotenoid that gives tomato its deep red color. Tomatoes are the most common and richest source lycopene available. It is considered to be one of the most powerful disease fighting substance known to science. Studies reveal that it has antioxidant and cancer prevention properties and may be the more powerful than other carotenoids.
As an antioxidant, it has the ability to protect cells, preserve memory, keep skin youthful, protect eyesight, lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation and prevent heart disease. Numerous human studies have revealed that lycopene protects against a growing number of cancers which include breast, prostate, mouth, throat, colon, lung, pancreatic, intestinal, endometrial and colorectal cancers. It is believed that it has the ability to activate powerful detoxification enzymes in the body.
While lycopene gets the attention for the health benefits of eating the fruit tomato, research has found that it works synergistically with other nutrients within the tomato in order to yield impressive health benefits. Lycopene is best absorbed into the body when consumed with healthy fat foods such as nuts, avocado and olive oil because it is fat soluble which means it absorbs into the body effectively when accompanied by fat. Tomatoes contains several other nutrients which include magnesium, manganese, folic acid, copper, niacin, riboflavin, vitamin B1, E, A, C, chromium, potassium and fiber.
Recent research reveals that lycopene has the ability to increase the concentration and ability of sperm to reach the egg, in infertile men. The study involved thirty men. The result was six pregnancies after the trial had concluded. Another study conducted with elderly people with low immune function, found an increase in cells that destroy invaders attacking the body by twenty eight percent. Researchers in Italy found that one glass of tomato juice daily can significantly lower inflammation in under one month.
Most nutrients are reduced or destroyed in the process during processing, cooking and heating. This is not the case with lycopene. For example, the lycopene in tomato paste absorbs better than from fresh tomatoes. Other tomato products that show increased bioavailability over fresh tomatoes include soups, sauces and ketchup. Although consuming large amounts of ketchup isn’t recommended because of its high sugar content. Organic ketchup offers three times more lycopene than non-organic brands. Always choose the deepest red tomato products in order to receive the maximum amount of lycopene.
If you do not eat tomatoes on a daily basis you may want to consider a lycopene supplement. In order to receive the same benefits received from lycopene in tomatoes it is necessary to obtain a lycopene supplement combination containing the synergistic nutrients that work together with lycopene. There are no known side effects or drug interactions from taking lycopene supplements.