25 November 2004


You have probably tried orange juice, grape juice and apple juice. But have you tried drinking tomato juice?

If you visit supermarkets, you'll see shelves filled with different brands and preparations of tomato juices, but no one seems to buy them. There was never a time when I saw people hanging around the tomato juice section.

The good news about tomatoes is lycopene. Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant and it gives the tomatoes its red color. Antioxidants, for the uninitiated, neutralize free radicals which often damage the body's cells.

Lycopene has been a byword and I was surprised to find a website solely dedicated to it. Check it out here.

Before you devour raw tomatoes to get your lycopene supply, be advised that raw tomatoes contain the lowest amount of lycopene, and that they have to be processed in order get high amounts of lycopene. Remember, that of all the antioxidant sources, tomatoes need to be processed in order maximize its lycopene benefits.

You can get your processed tomatoes in the form of tomato juice, tomato paste, tomato soup, ketchup, or spaghetti sauce. These are all available in the supermarkets.

Yesterday, there was this study from JAMA that found that people with diabetes still have twice the risk of cardiovascular disease compared to people without diabetes. This study documents what most physicians have long suspected in their practice. People with diabetes have very fragile hearts.

The good news is that yesterday also, researchers from the University of Newcastle in Australia have found that drinking tomato juice on a daily can reduce the risk of heart disease in people with Type 2 diabetes:

Twenty people with Type 2 diabetes were randomly given either 250ml of tomato juice or a placebo every day for three weeks. At the end of this period blood samples of the group who had been drinking the tomato juice showed significantly less signs of blood clotting than those who drank the placebo.

Penny Williams, Care Advisor at Diabetes UK said: "Tomato juice can provide one of the five daily portions of fruit and vegetable that help to reduce the risk of heart disease."

[Medical News Today, Nov 24 2004]

Now, if you are one of those people who think tomato juice tastes yucky, I suggest you check out these lycopene recipes. Who knows, these recipes might even complement your Thanksgiving Dinner.

As they say, there are more ways of skinning the cat...errr, tomato, I mean, in order to bleed out that lycopene.

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