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What's so super about Tomatos?
Tomatoes are one of the richest sources of lycopene, the potent age-defying antioxidant that gives fruit and vegetables their red colour. Lycopene has well-documented disease-fighting properties and is excellent at boosting the immune system. A diet high in lycopene can reduce the risk of prostate cancer by up to 35 per cent.
Tomatoes have been shown to guard against cardiovascular disease. In one study, men who consumed the highest amounts of lycopene were half as likely to suffer a heart attack as those with the lowest intake.Key ingredients?
Lycopene is one of 600 or so plant-derived carotenoids. It protects against cancer and diseases related to ageing by countering the damaging effects of free radicals in tissues. Population studies reveal that people who eat large amounts of food with lycopene, such as cooked tomatoes, have a reduced risk of lung and colon cancer. It has also been shown to shrink tumours. In addition, tomatoes contain folic acid, which counters depression, fatigue and stress.Do they boost brainpower?
Yes. Research suggests that lycopene helps to preserve mental function among older people and can delay dementia and other degenerative ageing diseases.Will eating tomatoes make me look gorgeous?
Yes. Lycopene repairs DNA damage that can lead to wrinkles and protects skin from premature ageing and sun damage.How many calories?
Very few. A medium tomato contains around 15 calories [63kJ].How much do I need to eat?
One serving of cooked tomatoes a day, and several servings of fresh tomatoes a week. You should ideally eat 22 mg of lycopene a day; there are 27 mgs in two tablespoons of tomato pure. On a gram-for-gram basis, cherry tomatoes contain more lycopene than large tomatoes.How should I eat them?
Here, canned is better than fresh. Lycopene is better absorbed when it is consumed in processed products, such as baked beans and tinned tomatoes, rather than as whole tomatoes. Choose tomato-based pasta sauces rather than creamy ones. Organic tomato ketchup is particularly good, and tomatoes are a fine excuse for a Bloody Mary.
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