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Surprise! Tomatoes Have even more Health Benefits

11/20/2012Palm Beach Post
Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe” may have spun a healthy yarn about the virtues of stubborn independence, but as far as tomato recipes, that’s not one we’d recommend. But we do love to cook with juicy, rope, red tomatoes.

For a long time, we’ve told you that tomatoes (loaded with lycopene) boost heart health, help protect your vision, may lower the risk of some cancers and offer protection against brittle bones and the harmful effects of the sun. Now we can add a nice surprise to that list: Confirmation that tomatoes and their stores of lycopene lower the risk of all arterial diseases, especially stroke. Seems they reduce bad LDL cholesterol (a half cup serving of tomato sauce every day can lower LDL as much as statins) and slash over all inflammation. So Roma, cherry, beefsteak or grape, canned whole or pureed – tomatoes are a must-have in your shopping cart.

And for a serious value-add, have your tomatoes cooked. That increases the amount of bioavailable lycopene and makes it easier for your body to absorb it. Other food sources of lycopene: papaya, watermelon, pink grapefruit and guava.