Did you ever stop to think what makes tomatoes turn red? It’s the powerful bone-building antioxidant lycopene, also present in watermelons, pink grapefruits, apricots, papayas, and other fruits.
What makes tomatoes even more special is that they’re in season year-round so it’s an easy and delicious way to benefit from lycopene’s powerful antioxidant properties.
Antioxidants protect cells from the damaging effects of free-radicals, and studies show that lycopene in particular protects and stimulates osteoblasts, which are important bone-building cells that synthesize and deposit bone matrix (Kim, Rao, Journal of Medicinal Food, “Lycopene II – Effect on osteoblasts”. 2003).
Harness the power of cooked tomatoes
According to researchers, the bioavailability or absorption of lycopene is greatest when tomatoes are cooked with olive oil (Fielding JM et al., Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition. “Increases in plasma lycopene concentration after consumption of tomatoes cooked with olive oil.” 2005).
You see, when tomatoes are cooked, the lycopene in the raw tomato is converted into trans-lycopene, which is more readily absorbed.
Amazingly, this study showed an even greater increase in plasma lycopene concentrations in subjects who consumed tomatoes cooked in olive oil.
In light of this, I’ve found a simple and sumptuous way to incorporate the bone building power of cooked tomatoes into my diet, and I’d like to invite you to…
Try my easy tomato recipe
I love both raw and cooked tomatoes, and always make sure I include them in at least one meal each day. But I also don’t want to be constantly bothered cooking them on a daily basis. Thankfully, I found this recipe that only takes five minutes to prepare.
4 pounds ripe tomatoes, cut in half
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
5 cloves garlic, cut in half lengthwise
4 sprigs fresh thyme, torn (optional)
¼ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit
2. Line shallow pans with parchment paper
3. Combine tomatoes, olive oil, salt and pepper in large bowl
4. Arrange cut sides up on pans
5. Scatter thyme pieces and garlic over tomatoes
6. Bake for four and a half hours or until tomatoes brown and begin to collapse
7. Let cool on parchment paper over wire rack
8. Refrigerate in a container or bag for up to one week
I use these delicious tomatoes in sandwiches, stews, salads, and pasta.
And one more thing: tomatoes taste best when they are stored at room temperature, away from direct sun, because refrigeration diminishes one of their flavor components, (2)-3-dexenal. And if they begin to overripe, you can either refrigerate or cook them.
Anyone who knows me, knows that I have a “love affair” with vegetables. My children sometimes roll their eyes when I interrupt dinner to speak about how amazing it is that nature provides us with everything we need to stay healthy, and that these wonders literally grow from the earth.
We shouldn’t cease to marvel at the power of nature. By eating lycopene-rich tomatoes and following the Osteoporosis Reversal Program you can harness the awesome bone-building power of nature, and restore your bones to their “normal” state.
Next time you’re about to bite into a tomato, think about this and smile.
Oh, and feel free to share your favorite tomato recipe with our community by leaving a comment below.