Good Food Good Health

September 26th, 2020 by admin Leave a reply »

It’s nice to know that something I am going to be doing to save money is also going to benefit my health.

Recently scientists discovered that cancer risk could be reduced even more by tomatoes being reheated, as in spaghetti bolognaise a favourite in our household.

This is great news for people like ourselves who love tomatoes.

Our daughters are off to university – an expensive time for all parents – so we decided we would try to reduce some of our costs and the weekly food bill was voted easiest to cut back.

Even so ‘good food good health’ is as always at the forefront of our minds, as it is crucial we eat a varied nutritional diet to keep our body working proficiently enabling good health of body and mind alike.

Generally buying goods in bulk is always cheapest, so we have decided to purchase the same foods as when the girls were home, and to cook and freeze the extra meals.

Tomatoes contain a powerful antioxidant called lycopene and this is the main reason they are linked with the prevention of cancer. This is found in tomatoes and tomato products equally, but processing into sauces and purees increases the benefits.

This study showed that by reheating tomato based sauce dramatically changed the shape of the lycopene increasing the ability of absorption by the body.

Lycopene that is found circulating in the blood stream generally has a ‘bent’ shape although in the average tomato lycopene usually is straight or linear shape, and this is thought to hinder its ability to pass into the blood through the intestinal walls.

Dr Steven Schwartz from Ohio State University in Columbus, the study leader said ‘we can take the red tomato molecular form of lycopene and by processing it and heating in combination with added oil, we can change the shape of the molecule so it is configured in this bent form’

He said it should be possible to produce healthy ‘bent’ lycopene in the kitchen easy enough.

Many people, especially in Mediterranean countries already cook their tomato sauce for prolonged periods over several days as they say the flavour is greatly enhanced – maybe this is another reason that the Mediterranean diet is known to be one of the healthiest.

In the study they found that the volunteers that had eaten the reheated sauces blood samples and lycopene blood levels were 55 per cent higher than those with the basic sauce. These samples were taken and analysed over a nine and a half hour period.

The added oil or fat from meat being used in the sauce starts to induce cis-isomers of lycopene when cooking times continue. So spaghetti Bolognese is a good example where this can work and benefit your health.

With winter approaching I love nothing more that a warming soup and dumplings. Generally I usually make far too much and end up having it again another day, well this is going to be looked at in a different light now and will be made in plenty for the purpose of reheating and adding more ingredients plus the oil to receive the added health benefits.

Tomatoes are a firm friend in our kitchen and especially as there is an abundance of them in the greenhouse just now, they get added to most meals.

You do not have to make your soup and dumplings or stews from fresh tomatoes as using tinned soup and purees are generally higher in lycopene content, and what more is that they have already been heated during manufacture so maybe there are benefits there already.

Always check when buying tinned tomato soups and other products that the salt content is kept to a minimum, that is my only bug bear, at least if you have the time to make it yourself the use of salt can be eliminated.

If you want to use fresh tomatoes a good time to buy them cheaply is at the end of the day at market stalls when everything is reduced down to clear.

So do not forget even if you are just making soup, you still need to add a dessertspoon of virgin oil to make this work.

So yet again, the not so humble tomato really is a super good health food. By eating a varied diet of good food for good health you are giving your body all the vitamins and nutrients needed for your good health and wellbeing, and this can only be improved with the adding of tomatoes regularly into your diet.

You only have to look to the Italians who have been eating healthily with many tomato based foods for centuries and the added benefits it has to their health and lifestyle.


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