- Fashion and Beauty
A Superfood That Out-Performs Anti-Aging Cream!
If I told you there was a food you could eat that would help your skin look younger, protect you from the sun, keep your bones healthy, protect against osteoporosis (brittle bones) in old age, reduce occurrence of breast cancer, help keep your liver, kidneys and bloodstream in good shape, stop you developing heart disease and reduce the amount of harm done to your body by smoking, I’m guessing you might be interested, right?
I mean, who wouldn’t want to have better looking skin that stayed younger longer, help towards you not developing a life threatening heart condition, stave off the chance of developing cancers, help keep you flexible and mobile well into old age and keep your vital organs functioning optimally?
What is this wonderful food object that will deliver me so many health and glamour benefits, I’m sure you’re asking?
Well, before we reveal our magical elixir of life, let’s have a look at some of the research that has been carried out on its health and other benefits.
Professor Mark Birch-Machin from Newcastle University, UK, carried out a study to see if a diet rich in this food would increase skin protection as seen by a reduction in skin redness and less DNA damage from ultraviolet (UV) exposure.
The professor presented the results of his research to the Royal Society of Medicine in London. The study was carried out by comparing the skin of twenty women who were all extremely sensitive to the sun on their skin and burnt easily when in direct sunlight. Of the twenty women who took part in the study, half of them were given 55mg per day (5 tablespoons) of the food in a paste form, along with 10mg of olive oil, every day for twelve weeks. The other group were just given 10mg of olive oil everyday over the same period.
The women, who were all aged between twenty one and forty seven, were all exposed to the ultra-violet rays that are found in sunlight both at the beginning and the end of the study so a comparison could be gained of the effectiveness of the food in helping the skin fight these potentially harmful rays from the sun.
So, what were the results?
Astoundingly, after just twelve weeks, those who had consumed the daily 55mg of paste showed a 33% improvement in their ability to tolerate direct sunlight, as observed by less redness. The researchers calculated that this was equivalent to the participants using a sunscreen with a protection factor of 1.3. Obviously, for most people, that is not going to mean you can get rid of the sunscreen if you are going to the beach or sunbathing in the garden, but it is a significant improvement and anything which helps the skin protect itself against the harm that the sun can do should certainly be integrated into our daily diet regime.
Professor Mark Birch-Machin went further in his theory and pointed out that his results from skin samples taken from the study participants before and after the trial showed an increase in procollagen, whose job it is to give the skin its structure. Loss of procollagen leads to aging.
So there you have it, the professor is suggesting that incorporating this food into your diet regularly will increase the production of a compound that is extremely important to keep the skin looking youthful. He also found that there was less damage to mitochondrial DNA in the skin from the UV rays, which he also says is good news for keeping the aging process at bay and allowing you to dispose of your expensive anti-aging skincare products today!
The professor said,
“The protective effect of eating tomatoes on our mitochondria is important as they are the energy producers in all our body cells including skin.
“Therefore being kind to our mitochondria is likely to contribute to improved skin health, which in turn may have an anti-ageing effect.”
Many of the amazing health giving benefits of this food are bestowed by just one very powerful antioxidant which we will talk more about shortly, including how to obtain it in a simple and effective supplement form.
So what other positive experiences have people had with this food and what other studies have been done on it's wonderful benefits and what were the results?
Let’s have a brief look before we arrive at the big reveal!
Heart Disease – My story
The reason I became interested in this food in particular, is that some years ago I was diagnosed with high cholesterol. As my family has a history of heart disease on my father’s side (my father had his first heart attack when he was forty years old) this was extremely worrying. I made all sorts of changes to my lifestyle to try to get the problem under control. I changed jobs to something less stressful and started eating a much healthier diet. I started exercising much more regularly and overall felt a lot better.
However, I had only limited success in reducing my cholesterol level, until one day my father dropped off some fruit he had grown in his garden and mentioned that they were good for you. On a whim I googled the health benefits of this fruit and was amazed at what I read. I was even more amazed I didn’t know about it before and that in general, the benefits weren’t more widely known and understood.
Within a year of regular consumption, my cholesterol had dropped from an initial reading of 8.5 down to 4. Any reading below 5 is good. My doctor also noted that my reading of ‘good’ cholesterol was extremely high, which is also thought to be a benefit attributed to a diet rich in this food.
What all this means is that I had greatly reduced my chances of developing heart disease, (known as atherosclerosis,) which is basically ‘furring’ of the arteries in the heart which can lead to heart attacks. Fantastic!
Tomatoes contain a number of acids, studies have found two acids in particular, called coumaric and chlorogenic, work to protect the body from the cancer causing carcinogens that are produced by cigarette smoke.
Research published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute found that increasing consumption of carotenoids many of which are found in this food may reduce the risk of breast cancer developing. In men who consume this fruit regularly, a nutrient within can actually help actively fight cancerous cells that develop with prostate cancer. Similar results were found in tests for individuals suffering with lung cancer.
Studies have shown that a diet high in the magical compound that resides within this fruit and some others can have a dramatic effect on bone health. One particular trial involved removing all sources of this compound from the diet of a number of post-menopausal women for four weeks. At the end of this experiment the women had started to show increased signs of oxidative stress in their bones and unwanted changes in their bone tissue.
The conclusion was that a diet rich in this compound will promote bone health and help protect from the onset of brittle bones known as osteoporosis in old age.
There are a host of other benefits that can be obtained from this food and it’s magical nutrients and antioxidants but I think you have enough information to be getting on with and you’re probably itching to find out what this exotic food can possibly be.
The Big Reveal!
Well, here it is ladies and gentlemen, it’s time to put you out of your misery and reveal the name of this superfood and it is…….
……the humble tomato!
Yup, that’s right, eating a diet rich in the humble tomato can bestow all these benefits on you and save you money on all those expensive anti-aging products you’ve been buying for years.
But what if you don’t like tomatoes?
Well, as we mentioned earlier, many of the health bringing properties in tomatoes are down to one powerful anti-oxidant called lycopene. You can find lycopene in other foods such as watermelon, but if you want a quick fix, or just a quick easy and convenient form of getting lycopene into your diet more, you can try a supplement tablet or powder. The supplement included with the link in this article is one I myself have tried and I can confirm it had just the same benefits for me as my tomato rich diet.
In my next article, I will explain the best way of getting the most nutrients out of a tomato rich diet through correct preparation but for now, I hope you get started on a new tomato rich diet regime which will help you to feel healthier, happier and keep you looking younger and more gorgeous for longer!
- If you want to reduce your cholesterol without statins or going to the gym, read this immediately!
How to lower your cholesterol and avoid heart disease by eating a diet rich in tomatoes
An in-depth look at the many health benefits that can be gained from a diet rich in tomatoes