I'm passing along to you this great email I received from Dr. Fuhrman about the benefits of tomatoes. If you are interested in receiving these emails yourself you can sign up here: Dr. Fuhrman's Email and Newsletter Signup.
I can't say enough good things about Dr. Fuhrman's approach to health and nutrition. I often turn to him when I have health questions and I've read several of his books and follow his nutritarian food pyramid.
Add more tomatoes to your diet by doing trying these few simple things and read why they are so important, according to Dr. Fuhrman, below. Oh, and tomatoes are good for your skin, too.
- Drink organic tomatoes juice - have 1/2-1 cup per day. Good with any meal.
- Eat organic tomato paste and have up to 4 Tbl. per day - right out of the can, why not? (also recommended by Dr. Oz).
- Add jarred organic, tomato pasta sauce to veggies and serve over pasta.
- Make one of the many recipes on this site that include tomatoes: see the recipe index: Avocado Papaya Gazpacho, Sun-dried Tomato Basil Hummus, Tomato Yam Soup to name a few...
Tomatoes protect against heart attack and stroke
Carotenoids are a family of over six hundred phytochemicals (including alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein and zeaxanthin) that help to defend the body’s tissues against oxidative damage, which is a natural byproduct of our metabolic processes. Oxidative damage from free radicals contributes to chronic diseases and aging.1
Lycopene is an extremely potent antioxidant. Health benefits of lycopene include:
- Lycopene is found circulating in the blood and also concentrates in the male reproductive system and has protective effects against prostate cancer.2
- In the skin, lycopene helps to prevent UV damage from the sun, protecting against skin cancer.3
- A 2004 analysis from the Physicians' Health Study data found a 39% decrease in stroke risk in men with the highest blood levels of lycopene.4
- A study in men found that low serum lycopene was associated with increased plaque in the carotid artery and triple the risk of cardiovascular events compared to higher levels.5-7
- In a separate study, women were split into four groups (quartiles) according to their blood lycopene levels; women in the top three quartiles were 50% less likely to have cardiovascular disease compared to the lowest quartile.8
- Lower total carotenoids, alpha-carotene, and lycopene in the blood were all linked to increased risk of death from all causes; of all the carotenoids, very low blood lycopene was the strongest predictor of mortality.9
Lycopene is the signature carotenoid of the tomato. 85 percent of the lycopene in the American diet is derived from tomatoes.