This is an index of the health notes included in recipes. These short tidbits of information can help answer questions on everything from Omega-3 Fats in fish to whether to cook chicken with the skin on or not. Want to know about garlic and cholesterol? Is it okay to eat eggs or not? It's all here.
Lycopene is the antioxidant chemical that is the major red pigment in fruits and vegetables. In a recent study of over 45,000 men, researchers at Harvard University found that eating foods containing high amounts of lycopene reduced the risk of prostate cancer by about 35%. There are also studies that show lycopenes have a beneficial effect on LDL (bad cholesterol) but none that prove a correlation between eating foods high in lycopenes and a lowered risk of heart disease.
Tomatoes are one of the best sources of lycopenes and cooking them helps release the antioxidant. A medium tomato has about 3.5 mg of lycopene while tomato sauce almost 20 mg in a half a cup and tomato soup about 25 mg in a cup. Other fruits and vegetables that have red pigment like watermelon and grapefruit are good sources of lycopene as well.
There is so much discussion about antioxidants and here's another one that may have some benefit. The bottom line is that eating good food is good for you. Read More "The Health of It All..." Articles
What are Antioxidants?
When the cells in your body use oxygen, the interaction with other molecules results in their oxidation. The by-product of that oxidation is free radicals -- molecules or atoms that lose one or more electrons. Free radicals are unstable, and in a sense, are looking to replace or give up their unbalanced number of electrons. In scavenging for electrons, they cause damage to cells in the body.
Tomatoes, Olive Oil, and Heart Disease
The Mediterranean Diet has been shown to protect against heart disease, but just why it does so isn't quite clear. Its effects have been credited to a variety of foods in the typical Mediterranean Diet, including components of the fruits and vegetables and the red wine. The effects have also been credited to tomatoes and tomato products, which are an important source of lycopenes. Similarly, olive oil's monounsaturated fats have often been credited with heart-protective qualities.