For years doctors, health books and dieticians have told us about the benefits of following a Mediterranean diet.
But what exactly is so great about this diet? The Mediterranean diet, also known as the wonder diet, is filled with tomatoes and tomato pastes, which contains a vitamin called Lycopene.
Lycopene is packed with health benefits such as the ability to fight against some cancers, prevent heart attacks and fight sun damage to the skin.
In a recent study published in the Journal of National Cancer Institute showed that men consuming high levels of tomato and tomato products such as pasta sauce reduced their risk of prostate cancer by 35%.
And this is not the only cancer Lycopene can prevent. It also reduces the risk of lung and stomach cancer and protect against cancers of the breast, cervix, mouth, pancreas, colon, rectum and oesophagus.
The amount of antioxidants in Lycopene can also eliminate the possibility of heart attacks. Animal studies show that when cholesterol becomes ΓÇÿoxidisedΓÇÖ (damaged) by free radical molecules it is likely to clog arteries and increase the risk of heart disease. Lycopene has been shown to protect cholesterol from oxidation, and is therefore very likely to prevent heart attacks in the long run.
But studies also found that if you want these benefits you will have to eat tomatoes mixed or served with oil, because lycopene is ΓÇÿlipid solubleΓÇÖ, meaning it dissolves easier in oil than it does in water.
Thus, eating a lot of fresh tomatoes or drinking tomato juice wonΓÇÖt give you the benefits you want, but tomato pasta and sauce, which is already mixed with oil, will. For a very cheap and easy way to reap the rewards you want, you can eat baked beans in tomato sauce.
News source: Mooivaal Media – Vaalweekblad