You Say Tomato, I say Super food - The Borneo Post - Sunday, 17 February, 2002

Vitamin C Content
The tomato also supplies vitamin C, another important antioxidant. This is mostly concentrated in the jelly-like liquid surrounding the seeds. Vitamin C helps to fight infections and boosts the immune system. The tomato is also a good source of potassium, which helps to regulate blood pressure and reduce the risk of stroke. Tomatoes also increase the alkalinity of the blood and help the body to expel toxins such as uric acid.

Fighting Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer in men. It is also the second leading killer of men. Studies show that men with prostate cancer have lower levels of lycopene in their blood and more oxidised lipids and proteins. Many studies strongly support a diet rich in lycopene in preventing prostate cancer. An optimal dose is considered to be 10 servings a week; you can also purchase antioxidant tablets which contain lycopene, and take them daily, according to the manufacturer's instructions. Other important tips include:

  • Avoid beer, as it contains hops that are oestrogenic.
  • Chew pumpkin seeds daily. A good source of the antioxidant nutrients are zinc, selenium and vitamin E, pumpkin seeds contain a plant hormone shown to inhibit the conversion of testosterone to another compound implicated in prostate problems.
  • Drink cranberry juice daily. Cranberries are excellent for all manner of urinary and prostate disorders.
  • Take supplements: Evening primrose oil, the OPCs, zinc, vitamin E and the amino acids L-glycine and L-alanine all help regulate hormonal imbalances, reduce feelings of urgency to urinate and reduce the size of an enlarged prostate.

Lowering Cholesterol
Lycopene may offer protection against at least one factor in the development of heart disease - high cholesterol. In a study published in the journal Lipids, Toronto researchers report that lycopene helps to inhibit the oxidation of low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and lowers the risk of arteriosclerosis and coronary heart disease. An Israeli study confirms that
carotenoids - especially lycopene help prevent LDL oxidation, and has also found that they actually suppress cholesterol synthesis. Other important tips include:

  • Following a low-fat diet - less than 25 percent of total calories should come from fat.
  • Avoid coffee and alcohol, which increase cholesterol levels, and restrict saturated fats, in particular butter, cream, ice-cream, full-cream milk, lard, beef, Iamb, bacon, organ meats, eggs, pork, deli meats and yellow cheese. Olive oil and cold-pressed vegetable oils and fish are OK.
  • Eat at least four servings of fish a week, including shellfish, which have been found to increase HDL - the 'good' cholesterol.
  • Boost your soluble fibre intake - oat, rice and barley bran, vegetables, fruit, legumes, pectin and psyllium. Soluble fibre reduces cholesterol by preventing it from being absorbed or re-absorbed. Other foods, which absorb or lower `bad' cholesterol, include artichokes, seaweed, ginger, grapefruit, eggplant and shiitake mushrooms.
  • Take an antioxidant formula containing lycopene.

Other supplements which help the liver deal with excess cholesterol include: St. Mary's thistle, dandelion root, globe artichoke, and chelidonium. Take a liver tonic or tablet containing at least several of these herbs, or drink dandelion tea daily.

Accent on Enjoyment
Want to add colour, flavour and bloom to your sauces, salads and stir-fries? Add tomatoes! For instance:

  • Create a salad of chopped red and yellow tomatoes. Toss with minced spring onions, snipped dill, and lemon vinaigrette.
  • Layer thick slices of tomato in a baking dish. Sprinkle on some basil, oregano, and olive oil, then bake in medium oven until soft and fragrant, about 20 minutes. Serve hot as a side dish.
  • Combine chopped tomato, minced onion, minced black olives, and minced red capsicum with a splash each of olive oil and robust vinegar. Let stand for about 30 minutes, and then serve as a sauce with tortillas, omelettes, or pasta.