If you love tomatoes, you probably know how great they are for you. But are you preparing them the right way to maximize their benefits? A new study shows you how to get the most out of these tasty treats.
For this study, the researchers recruited a lucky 40 participants for an open, prospective, randomized, cross-over, controlled feeding trial. For four days, the participants received 7 g of raw tomatoes, 3.5 g of tomato sauce, 3.5 g of tomato sauce with refined olive oil, or .25 g of sugar water. The researchers wanted to find out if cooking the tomatoes and/or cooking them with olive oil would have a greater effect on inflammation biomarkers and adhesion molecules than eating the tomatoes raw.
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At the beginning of the trial and again after six hours, the researchers measured the participants' biochemical parameters and cellular and circulating inflammatory biomarkers. They found that eating tomatoes in any form lowered plasma total cholesterol, triglycerides, and cellular and plasma inflammatory biomarkers as well as boosted HDL cholesterol. However, the best results were seen in the participants who consumed the tomato sauce cooked with olive oil, as they also experienced positive changes in their adhesion molecules.
This study confirms that eating tomatoes in any form can reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease. But if you want to experience the greatest benefits, add some olive oil as you cook your sauce. If possible, cook the tomato sauce at a low heat from scratch yourself. Jarred versions are often surprisingly high in sugar, which you certainly want to avoid if you're trying to protect your heart. If you are somebody who doesn't really enjoy tomatoes or vegetables in general you also may get tomato and an array of other carotenoids in Advanced Greens Formula, which is remarkable for boosting your overall health.