|Heirloom tomato on to vine from last year's crop.|
The quote above is an excerpt from Dr. Joel Fuhrman's recent newsletter.
No matter how you pronounce it, these tasty members of the solanaceae family (think eggplant, capsicum, potatoes) are good for you heart and more!! Here's more from the good Doc:
|Previous tomato harvest from the garden. Fingers crossed for a bumper crop this year!!|
Lycopene is an extremely potent antioxidant. Health benefits of lycopene include:
- Lycopene is found circulating in the blood and also concentrates in the male reproductive system and has protective effects against prostate cancer.
- In the skin, lycopene helps to prevent UV damage from the sun, protecting against skin cancer.
- A 2004 analysis from the Physicians' Health Study data found a 39% decrease in stroke risk in men with the highest blood levels of lycopene.
- A study in men found that low serum lycopene was associated with increased plaque in the carotid artery and triple the risk of cardiovascular events compared to higher levels.
- In a separate study, women were split into four groups (quartiles) according to their blood lycopene levels; women in the top three quartiles were 50% less likely to have cardiovascular disease compared to the lowest quartile.
- Lower total carotenoids, alpha-carotene, and lycopene in the blood were all linked to increased risk of death from all causes; of all the carotenoids, very low blood lycopene was the strongest predictor of mortality.
But beware!! The salt and sugar contained in commercially prepared tomato products render them little more than junk food. In fact, over one-quarter of a typical bottle of ketchup is actually corn syrup or sugar."
Which is why Dr. Fuhrman developed and added a "Ketchup" product to his lineup of "ready-to-eat".
|Dr. Fuhrman's Ketchup|
Anyway, the doc's email prompted me to share not only his words about the health benefits of tomato products my recipe for homemade ketchup to boot! Give it a try or order some ketchup for your veggie burgers from drfuhrman.com. If you do order, don't forget to try the vinegar!! My favorite is the spicy pecan, but they are all delicious!
· 6 oz. tomato paste (no salt added)
· ¼ cup water
· 1/3 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
· 5 Dates
· 1 tsp. Garlic powder
· 1 tsp. Onion powder
· 1/8 tsp. Allspice
· 1/8 tsp. Cloves
· 1/8 tsp. Cinnamon
Blend all ingredients together in a high-speed blender until smooth. Ketchup will last for 5 – 7 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator.