New research has found that a glass of tomato juice a day could keep breast cancer away and previous research has shown a dollop of ketchup a day could increase your skin’s natural SPF
This is because one glass contains the right amount of lycopene, a plant chemical, to make more of the hormone adiponectin, which is thought to help prevent the disease.
Researchers at Rutgers University in New Jersey looked at 70 women ages 55 and over, who were overweight or had a close relative with breast cancer, both factors putting them at high risk of having the disease themselves. They recorded their hormone levels before and after they increased their intake of tomatoes. After ten weeks, they had found that by having a glass of tomato juice a day, their adiponectin levels were raised by nine per cent.
Lycopene is the antioxidant that gives tomatoes their red colour. But it’s not just tomato juice that contains; soups, sauces or even, dare we say it, a dollop of ketchup, are all fine.
It’s not the only health benefit of the humble tomato.
In 2012 molecular biologist Professor Mark Birch Machin and his team at Newcastle University found that eating five tablespoons of processed tomato products could increase the skin’s natural collagen production and it’s own inbuilt protection against sunburn by 33 per cent in just five weeks.
Interestingly, he says the effect was only seen when people ate processed tomato foods such as ketchup, tomato paste or puree. ‘Processing made the lycopene, the active antioxidant ingredient in the tomato, more bioavailable to the body,’ he explains.
Why not try this brilliant Gazpacho recipe from Robin Ellis. Robin is better know for his role as Captain Poldark in the 1970s, but he has turned his hand to the kitchen and will soon be releasing his second cookbook cookbook. Healthy Eating For Life filled with delicious dishes that were taught to him by his mum, who had type 1 diabetes. We know it’s chilly outside, but Gazpacho is always a winner, isn’t it?
It’s a fair bet my mother first tasted this traditional summer soup from Andalusia in 1953 when my parents took my brother and me to the Costa Brava for a fortnight’s holiday. Dad worked for British Railways and got a certain amount of concessionary travel in Europe. There were five hotels at that time in Lloret del Mar (five hundred plus now!). We stayed in one of them with a pretty courtyard, close to the beach.
1 kg / 2 lb ripe tomatoes – chopped roughly, retaining their juice
½ large cucumber – peeled and diced
½ large red pepper – seeded and diced
2 spring onions / scallions – chopped
3 cloves of garlic – pulped in a mortar with 1 tsp salt
Salt and Pepper
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
A few drops Tabasco (optional)
Olive oil to swirl in each bowl
Fresh basil (if you have it)
Put the first five ingredients in a food processor. Pulse them to a not too smooth finish. Empty this already tasty mix into a bowl and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.
Stir in the red wine vinegar and olive oil. Add a few drops of Tabasco (a matter of taste). Chill for a couple of hours or overnight.
A ladle each is enough – with a whirl of olive oil and a pinch of chopped fresh basil, to finish. I sometimes add an ice cube to each bowl.
Right Way Publishing
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