Tomatoes – are they latest “anti-cancer ” fad ?

Beware claims of ‘eat this to conquer cancer’

Every day, yet another health guru comes out with a statement that eating XXXX will conquer cancer – usually there is a PR campaign behind the claim, and it’s made by a paid-for firm promoting whatever fruit or vegetable they

publicise. This is big business – no-one would have ever heard of various unknown berries, if the growers hadn’t been promoted via an expensive PR campaign; but the end result was massively-increased sales. So whenever I read about some miracle food, I would reach for a huge pinch of salt – what it’s useful for!

Hence I have been sceptical over the latest claim – this time for tomatoes. Having eaten tons of them from childhood on, and nevertheless got cancer, they didn’t protect me. However, evidence now comes from Harvard that, whilst not preventing cancer, MedicalResearch.com in an interview with Edward Giovannucci, MD, ScD Department of Nutrition Harvard School of Public Health Boston, MA says “Tomato products may reduce risks”.

Let the dust settle

Whilst we wait to see if this is a one-off flash in the pan, or has some credibility, if you like tomatoes – keep it up! More and more research is coming in, from reputable centres, saying they are good for overall health. Incidentally, they are one of the easiest fruits to grow at home, and now is the time when their price comes down in the shops. Another good thing is, as a fruit, they contain less sugar than most.

If, like me, you find some are actually tasteless, now is the time to look out for those grown outdoors. Whilst tons come from growing under glass, there is no doubt that those grown outdoors taste better – and “vine” tomatoes even better (probably because they are more expensive).

Even better news – it seems that you apparently get the benefits if you eat your tomato fix with sauce, or even as a pizza topping. Although I have my doubts with some commercial toppings, which seem to have a higher water content, therefore less taste, than old-fashioned pizzas. But if you make your own, you know how much tomato goes into the topping content.

Calories

Even better news comes in various calorie content list, such as the nutracheck one:

Calories in Fruit Juice

Drinking juice can make achieving your 5-a-day a lot easier. However, beware! Although generally low in fat, juice is generally high in sugar.

  • Calories in Apple and Mango Juice x 200ml 104 0.1
  • Calories in Innocent Pure Fruit Smoothie x 200ml 146 2.4
  • Calories in Innocent Smoothie Strawberries & Bananas x 250ml 143 0.
  • (pity – I like this company’s ethos)
  • Calories in Orange Juice Freshly Squeezed x 250ml 133 0.1
  • Calories in Pineapple Juice x 250ml 125 0
  • Calories in Prune Juice 250ml 180 0.3
  • Calories in Tomato Juice x 200ml Serving 28

Easy recipe

SO, to make Tomato juice even healthier, when I can be energetic, I make the following:

1/2 carton commercial tomato juice

1/2 kilo tomatoes (any sort you have in fridge – doesn’t matter how old (but not watery) cut up into quarters

large handful parsley (English or French)

if available – large handful watercress

juice 2 – 3 lemons

2 teaspoons celery salt

1/2 teaspoon sugar

salt and lashings of black pepper

If you can tolerate: spice up with tabasco, peppers, onions, chives, spring onions

Wizz up in blender – cover and store in fridge, then drink half-and-half with tomato juice to taste.
This is one of what I call “put in everything left over in fridge” recipes – and so tastes different every time I make it!

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