Food for Mood & Top Tips for Health
Updated: Jul 15
Food Focus: Tomatoes
The following information is from the BBC Good Food website.
Tomatoes are mainly a carbohydrate with some fibre, but they are best known for their vitamin content which includes beta-carotene (which becomes vitamin A when consumed), vitamins C and E, some B vitamins and vitamin K. They also contribute some minerals including calcium and magnesium.
Are tomatoes good for heart health? A hundred grams of tomatoes would provide about 6% of the Nutrient Reference Values (NRV) of potassium for adults. There is evidence that higher dietary potassium intake is associated with lower rates of stroke and may be associated with lower rates of heart disease.
Tomatoes contain a compound called lycopene, which gives them their red colour, and there is growing research into its properties and potential for reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Are tomatoes good for your eyes? Tomatoes contain a group of phytochemicals called carotenoids, including lycopene, lutein and beta-carotene. These compounds are important to maintain eye health and may protect against age-related macular degeneration and other eye diseases.
Are tomatoes good for your skin? The carotenoids found in plants, including tomatoes, may help prevent UV damage in humans. A 2006 study found that after a 10-12 week study there did appear to be a decrease in sensitivity as a result of increasing dietary carotenoids. However, this is not to say that you won't burn if you eat lots of tomatoes – it's still important to follow guidelines and be careful in the sun to avoid UV damage. Read the NHS's sun safety tips for more information.
Can tomatoes help with blood clotting and wound healing? Tomatoes are a good source of vitamin K which is necessary for blood clotting and wound healing, with 100g of tomatoes containing 6 mcg of vitamin K. There is also increasing evidence that vitamin K may be of benefit in bone and cardiovascular health too.
The NHS recommends 1 mcg of vitamin K per kg of body weight and you should be able to easily achieve this through eating a varied and balanced diet.
Can tomatoes help reduce menopausal symptoms? A 2015 study by the Nutrition Journal found that tomato juice intake did help alleviate some menopausal symptoms such as anxiety, resting energy expenditure and heart rate. This study was carried out on 95 women aged 40-60 years old and they had to consume 200ml of unsalted tomato juice, twice daily, for eight weeks. While this was a small trial, the results are encouraging and warrant further research into this area.
Is it better to cook tomatoes or eat them raw? Research suggests that processing and cooking tomatoes can increase their nutritional value, in particular, their antioxidant activity and lycopene compounds.
5 minute tomato salsa
4-6 medium tomatoes peeled and finely chopped
½ red onion, very finely chopped
1 small garlic clove, chopped
small splash white wine vinegar
½ lime juice only
½ bunch coriander, roughly chopped
Combine the tomatoes, red onion, garlic, white wine vinegar, lime juice and coriander in a bowl.
Stir then refrigerate until ready to be served
Carrot Classic Smoothie – which has 3 of your 5 a day!
Half a red apple 4 strawberries Half a carrot Half a celery stick 100ml water 5 ice cubes
From the book Smoothies by Chris Cheyette & Yello Balolia
Quote of the Week
'Never bend your head. Always hold it high. Helen Keller
Top Tip of the Week
Put some distance between you and your thoughts For exampe, instead of thinking, I feel stressed, try saying, I'm noticing I'm feel stressed. This can stop us from identifying ourselves as someone who is always stressed or always depressed and so on. Things change and stress and depression can lift. Putting a space in out thinking like this can remind us of that.