25 May 2006

Tomatoes are Lifesavers

The Daily Mail had an excellent article recently on Tomatoes:
'Tomatoes are lifesavers' by Martyn Halle 16th May 2006

Scientists have found a substance in tomatoes that can help prevent heart attacks and strokes. It works by helping to stop blood becoming sticky and forming clots that can cause blockages in arteries and veins.

The lycopene which gives tomatoes their red colour is known to protect against various cancers. The anti-clotting properties are found in the yellow fluid surrounding the seeds.

In clinical trials published in the journal Platelet, it was found that the stickiness of platelets - the particles in blood that cause clotting - was reduced by 70 per cent when 220 volunteers had a drink containing the tomato extract.

Blood platelets are vital for helping wounds heal after an accident or surgery, but if they become too sticky, then they bind together, which can stop the free flow of blood....Read the full article at the Daily Mail site.

As stated above Tomatoes are rich in Lycopene, one of nature's most powerful antioxidants, which is found almost exclusively in tomatoes. The tomato is also an excellent source of Vitamin C (one medium tomato provides 40% of the RDA) and a good source of Vitamin A (20% of the RDA).

Processed tomatoes (e.g. canned tomatoes, tomato sauce, ketchup) contain even more lycopene because cooking breaks down cell walls, releasing and concentrating carotenoids. Eating tomatoes with a small amount of fat enables lycopene to be better absorbed.

Therefore it is important to add them daily to your diet. Try the Tomato Sauce recipe below on your favorite pasta or couscous.

Vegan Tomato Sauce

10 ripe organic tomatoes (or two tins chopped tomatoes)
4 tablespoons virgin olive oil
1 onion chopped
1 red or yellow bell pepper chopped
1 carrots grated
2 stalks celery chopped
3-4 cloves garlic minced
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1 teaspoon dried oreganum or Italian mixed herbs
1/4 cup red wine (or vegetable stock)
2 tablespoons tomato paste

Peel tomatoes by plunging into boiling water for a couple of minutes to loosen the skins. Remove seeds, chop and puree. In a large pot heat olive oil then add onion, pepper, carrot, celery and garlic until the onion starts to soften. Pour in pureed tomatoes. Add herbs and wine/stock. Bring to a boil then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 1 hour then stir in tomato paste, simmer for another 30 minutes. Serve.



Becky said...

Definitely not a vegan, but I do eat lots of veggies if that counts, *grin*, looking forward to trying this sauce, thanks!

Jackie said...

Thanks for the visit. If you eat meat, buy the Organic kind without the hormones and antibiotics, far healthier. Enjoy your Veggies :-)

Michelle C. said...

I knew there was a reason I love tomatoes!

When I was a little girl, I'd get in trouble because I'd go in the fridge and grab one and eat it like an apple! *lol*

By the way--I posted an article about your site.

Jackie said...

Thanks Michelle.

I still eat tomatoes like that especially when I am surfing the net :-)

Suray said...

Believe it or not, I never stop from eating tomatoes everyday.