Aug 14, 2008

Health - Tomatoes

Tomato a day can keep many problems at bay.

You know that rhyme every kid learns how to finish: "An apple a day ..." Make that "A tomato a day" — it may be even better at keeping problems away.

Tomatoes are stellar sources of vitamins A and C, folate, potassium, fibre, and all kinds of protective antioxidants.

And organic tomatoes are even better — when they’re grown without chemicals, tomatoes contain much higher amounts of flavonoids, which have antioxidant, anti-viral , and anti-inflammatory properties.

Lower your blood pressure: Try snacking on cherry tomatoes. These fruits (yes, tomatoes are fruits, not veggies) may keep your blood pressure in check.

In just eight weeks, people with mild hypertension who got a daily "dose" of tomatoes saw their systolic blood pressures (the top number ) drop a whopping 10 points on average, and their diastolic blood pressures (the bottom number) drop by four points.

Avoid colds and flu: When men who are deficient in carotenoids drink tomato juice regularly , they bump up their ability to fend off bacteria and viruses.

However, the immunity-boosting effects take a while to kick in. So if you start upping your Tjuice intake today, you may stay a step ahead of sore throats and colds.

Save your skin: Who knew this thin-skinned fruit would make a natural sunscreen?

But people who include lycopene-rich tomato paste in their diets for at least 10 weeks get much less intense sunburns.

Control cholestero:l A tomato a day may keep artery and heart problems at bay. Four weeks of daily tomato munching can increase good HDL cholesterol by 15 per cent.

Fight aging: Tomatoes are rich in two spectacular antiaging free-radical squelchers: lycopene and beta carotene. In some cells, these antioxidants reduce free-radical damage to DNA by 42 per cent.

Both youth-protecting nutrients are enhanced when tomatoes are heated or eaten with a little fat.

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