Generally speaking, the less cooked a vegetable (or in this case, a berry), the better. Raw is almost always preferable to cooked for retaining nutritional value. When it comes to the tomato, however, the cholesterol-fighting antioxidant lycopene, is more readily absorbed by the body after the heating process.
Statins are a class of drug (e.g., Lipitor) that is prescribed to manage LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol. They work by blocking the enzyme HMG-CoA reductase—which is produced by the liver—thereby preventing the natural creation of this type of cholesterol. LDL has been labelled “bad” because it is known to contribute to heart disease.
The thing about this is: why would the body normally create something that will kill us, necessitating the creation of a manufactured chemical to prevent it? It’s all about balance.
A healthful lifestyle that includes eating organic fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats and strictly limited (or no) processed foods combined with regular exercise and positive social interaction keeps everything working right—without pharmaceuticals.
Works Just As Well as Pharmaceutical Drugs
That being said, a new study shows that lycopene in tomatoes works as well (and since it is sourced from a whole food, better!) than statins in regulating LDL, resulting in lower risk of stroke.
Other studies show lycopene reduces the risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease, inflammation, eye disease, and male infertility as well—clear arteries allow proper blood flow to all parts of the body.
Lycopene is a carotenoid—the pigment that makes a food yellow, red, or orange—and can be found in other fruits and vegetables like watermelon, papaya, guava, and pink grapefruit.
The body doesn’t convert lycopene to vitamin A as it does with other carotenoids like beta-caroteine. While lycopene is recommended for everyone—and especially for people at risk for stroke and heart disease—a supplement isn’t the best source, says researcher and Professor of Nutrition and Epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health Dr. Edward Giovannucci:
“Supplements may give you a purified form of lycopene, but you’re not sure you’re getting what you get from food. You may be getting the wrong form of lycopene in a supplement. There are also a lot of compounds in food that aren’t lycopene but that are similar, and some of those molecules may be part of what makes lycopene so beneficial.”
In addition to its effects on cholesterol, lycopene has qualities that protect your skin from ultraviolet rays from the sun.
Another Great Source of Lycopene.
Watermelon is also a great source of lycopene—yet another reason to love this summer fruit.
A source of vitamins A, B6, C, and thiamine, and fat-free, you can get the same bioavailable lycopene from this scrumptious raw fruit as you do from cooked tomatoes.
If you buy cooked tomatoes, make sure they come in a glass jar rather than a metal can; the acid in the tomatoes can cause the metal to leach. Keep in mind that processed foods, even the organic ones, will have other ingredients like salt and sugar.
Top lycopene-containing foods
|Food||Micrograms of Lycopene|
|½ cup canned tomato puree||27,192|
|1 cup canned tomato juice||21,960|
|1 wedge of raw watermelon||12,962|
|½ cup ready-to-serve marinara sauce||6,686|
|1 tablespoon canned tomato paste||3,140|
|1 tablespoon catsup||2,506|
|½ pink or red grapefruit||1,745|
|1 tablespoon salsa||1,682|
|One sun-dried tomato||918|
|One slice of raw tomato||515|
|One cherry tomato||437|
- Too Much Protein: Are We Eating Too Much Meat? (INFOGRAPHIC)
It’s been well established that the North American diet is too carbohydrate-heavy. Sugar overload and diet imbalance has wreaked health …
- 5 Important Nutrients You Could Be Lacking
In today’s Western society there really shouldn’t be any reason for vitamin deficiencies but due to poor dietary habits we …
- Oregano And Rosemary Work Just Like Prescription Drugs To Lower Blood Sugar Levels
8% of Americans suffer from type 2 diabetes (1). This number is currently on the rise. In fact, the number of …
- 5 Surprising Reasons Why Coconut Flour Might Just Be Better For You
Coconut flour is a flour made from coconut solids that have been ground into a very fine powder. It has …
- How To Preserve Avocados For a Year by Freezing Them (It’s Quick And Easy To Do!)
Avocados are a delicious food, recently gaining newfound popularity as a “superfood” after years of being largely ignored due to …
- Moist and Chocolatey Zucchini Loaf Recipe with Apple Cider Vinegar and Maple Syrup
Eating baked goods satisfies a craving that no other food does: something sweet to accompany your coffee or provide the …
- The Truth About Diet Sodas and Why They Don’t Work
Conventional wisdom may tell you that the best way to get started on the path to fat loss is to …
- Jaw-Dropping Study Shows Garlic Kills Brain Cancer Cells Without Any Dangerous Side Effects
Garlic has a long history of medicinal and therapeutic uses, from treating the common cold to lowering blood pressure. …
- Eat Your Greens, or Your Gut Gets It
Vegetables and fruits provide more nutritious content than just easily-identifiable vitamins and minerals. As with any living thing, they are …
- The Scoop on Blueberries
Blueberries are a commonly talked about source of antioxidants, but do you know which antioxidants are packed into these berries? …
- New Food Pyramid Shows Rise In Toxicity With Food Processing
A food processing pyramid designed by Udo Erasmus perfectly illustrates how processed foods rise in toxicity and potential health dangers …
- Top 10 Homemade Seasoning Blends to Supercharge Your Health
Are you still buying all of your seasoning mixes at the store? It is so simple and cost effective to make …
- He Pours Vinegar On Toast…What Happens Next Is Something Nobody Knows About
Vinegar isn’t just for cooking and natural remedies. It can also be used as an efficient and powerful household item. Vinegar is …
- Processed Foods Linked To Autoimmune Disease
The modern diet of processed foods, takeaways and microwave meals could be to blame for a sharp increase in autoimmune …
- How To Make a Hydrating Watermelon Slushie
Tired of eating ice cream to keep cold? You probably never thought you could get sick of such a delicious …