The ketchup, or better known as ketchup is used to give flavor to the food as pizzas, burgers, French fries, etc., is a product that is made from tomato and it is for this reason that we offer the following benefits thanks to its lycopene.
The tomato is native to Peru, Chile and Ecuador. To Europe came through Mexico, and, although its expansion was slow managed to conquer a place in the european cuisine in the EIGHTEENTH century thanks to the tomato sauce.
Rich and healthy, the tomato also has few calories and numerous nutrients to take care of our health. It is a potent antioxidant, due to its high content in both vitamin E and C and carotenes. Among the latter is the lycopene that gives the red color to this fruit/vegetable.
And what are these antioxidants protecting us from?
They are strong protectors against cardiovascular diseases, prevent premature aging of the body and strengthen our immune system. Vitamin C, for its part, helps the absorption of iron from food and is a great protector against infections.
The tomato also has vitamin A, which is essential for the good maintenance of skin, mucous membranes, bones and eyesight. It also has Group B vitamins, such as niacin, which helps the digestive system and nervous system. In addition, it provides fiber to the body and possesses minerals such as phosphorus and potassium. The first is good for memory, provides energy and, above all, takes care of our bone health and teeth. And potassium, for its part, is fundamental to our muscles and to the balance of water in the cells.
Finally, by eating tomatoes on a regular basis, we take care of our health and feed our palate. Whether we take it raw or cooked, in doing so we will know that we take care of ourselves and pamper everyone around us.
And you, are you tomaters?
Aryan scientific studies have already demonstrated the antioxidant properties of tomatoes and their health benefits. But what most people don’t know is that fried tomato sauce is even more antioxidant than raw tomato. Now, a study led by the Institut Català de Ciències Cardiovasculars (ICCC), in the framework of the project of I+D in food and health Henufood, led by Gallina Blanca Star, aims to go beyond and prove it scientifically.
The project seeks to determine the ingredients of tomato sauce that make this antioxidant function and how much they have to be present to enhance the preventive effects of cardiovascular disease.
Specifically, ICCC researchers focus on the antioxidant effects of lycopene, present in tomato, when cooked and combined with other antioxidant ingredients that contain tomato sauce, such as olive oil. As explained by Dr. Lina Badimon, director of the ICCC and in charge of the investigation, “lycopene from a food prepared as a sauce of tomato fried with olive oil is more bioavailable, as the interaction between the cooked food makes it easier for our body to assimilate the antioxidants they contain”.
At the same time, one of the main objectives of the research, which will end in 2013, is to be able to establish what is the recommended daily amount of tomato sauce to exert an optimal antioxidant effect capable of limiting endothelial damage and facilitating a better response of vascular function, in the event of a possible cardiovascular accident.
Currently, ICCC research is in a preclinical phase, although clinical phases of the trial are expected to commence in the coming year, with conclusive results to be obtained in 2013.
– The role of antioxidants in preventing heart disease
Food is the result of a mixture of different nutrients. In the case of Tomato we find lycopene (plant pigment that gives the characteristic red colour to tomato) and vitamin C, both with a protective function of our organism, and in particular in the Prevention of heart disease.
For this reason, the research focuses on knowing the concentrations in which these components have a healthy effect, not only individually but in the context of the whole food. It is therefore a question of establishing the synergies that occur between the different components and that condition their effectiveness for health.
In most of the chronic diseases, associated with cardiovascular risk such as obesity, hypertension, dyslipidemia, diabetes or the metabolic syndrome, occurs an increase of the degeneration and cellular aging. Antioxidants such as lycopene help protect cells from external attacks that cause premature aging and therefore have a preventive action against cardiovascular diseases.