Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Fat-Burning Tomatoes

By Leo Galland M.D. and Jonathan Galland

Tomatoes are one of our favorite fat-burning foods. They help reduce inflammation and reverse leptin resistance. Reversing leptin resistance is the key to losing those stubborn extra pounds, as we explain in our book The Fat Resistance Diet.

Tomatoes are excellent sources of potassium and several vitamins:

· folic acid
· vitamin A
· vitamin C
· vitamin E

Tomatoes also contain important anti-inflammatory nutrients called carotenoids and bioflavonoids. Key tomato carotenoids are lycopene, a red pigment, with potential anti-cancer effects and beta-carotene, an orange pigment, an important antioxidant that protects against damage from sunlight.

Bioflavonoids, which are concentrated in the tomato skin, counteract inflammation and allergic reactions. The main compounds are quercetin and kaempferol.Studies indicate that tomato consumption may be associated with a reduced risk of:

cardiovascular disease
asthma and chronic lung disease

The absorption of carotenoids and flavonoids from tomatoes is greater from cooked tomatoes than fresh tomatoes, since cooking breaks down the tomato cell matrix and makes the carotenoids more available. The addition of olive oil to diced tomatoes during cooking greatly increases the absorption of lycopene. Oil is essential for absorbing carotenoids from tomatoes in salads or salsa. There is almost no absorption of these vital nutrients from salad eaten with a non-fat dressing. The recipes and meal plans in our book give you a variety of delicious ways to prepare tomatoes. From our frittatas and omelets at breakfast, salads, sandwiches and pasta at lunch to appetizers, entrées and salads for dinner. We show you wonderful ways to get tomatoes into your day.

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