The Science of Tomatoes
They say the heart creates enough energy to power a truck through 20 miles, everyday. So that little pitter patter on your chest? Multiply that by a lifetime and that’s enough energy to get you to the moon and back.
Needless to say that heart health is something that everyone should pay attention to. So start by making sure you have enough nutrients to keep your heart healthy.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids
A recently published study in the European Journal of Nutrition showed a link between omega-3 on the antioxidants present in tomatoes in lowering cardiovascular diseases.
Omega-3 fatty acids are usually found in fish especially salmon and sardines. It’s known to decrease inflammation as well as prevent clotting to consistently maintain a healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
If you want to get the benefits of omega-3 to decrease the risk of heart disease, you can adapt the Mediterranean Diet, which uses a lot of tomatoes and fish in its recipes.
Quercetin is a flavonoid that’s present in tomatoes. Among its effects are getting rid of free radicals, stopping the formation of bad cholesterol, and acts as an anti-inflammatory.
But what’s really exciting about the effects of Quercetin is that it’s been cited in various studies to be effective against cancer cells. What it does is, is takes the iron – essential to cancer cell growth – from cancer cells which prevents it from growing, resulting to cell death.
There have also been a few research on the effects of Quercetin on the HIV virus. According to reports, Quercetin may inhibit an enzyme called the protease, which the HIV virus needs to create more virus.
You can get more Quercetin from organically grown tomatoes, which according to the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry have 79% more Quercetin than regular tomatoes.
Lycopene is what gives color to tomatoes and other fruits (apricots, watermelon, guava, etc.) and vegetables. But it’s probably best known as the antioxidant that lowers the risk of cardiovascular diseases and cancer.
In a recent UK study published in the Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention journal, it was found that eating ten portions of tomatoes per week have a significant effect in lowering the risk of developing prostate cancer by as much as 18 percent.
Lycopene-rich tomatoes have also been linked to protect skin from visible signs of aging. It has properties that fights off free-radicals to counter the effects of UV rays for a healthier-looking skin.
Folate, also known as folic acid, is a key nutrient in the body’s ability to regenerate healthy cells. Which is part of the reason why pregnant mothers are advised to get their daily folic acid intake to help in the baby’s development and prevent birth defects.
Drinking a glass of tomato juice a day, provides you with 36 micrograms of folic acid (about 9 percent of the required daily value). You can spice it up with a dash of Tabasco or you can add greens like celery or cucumber.
But folate isn’t just for pregnant women, regularly drinking tomato juice can also help regulate blood levels to lower the potential of heart attacks. It’s also good in creatingmore red and white blood cells, which is good news for people with anemia.
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