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Tomatoes Are Sexy?…..

PROSTRATE-CANCER-SURGERY1Well, Yes! Tomatoes are sexy in a way….they help your sex life. One of the ways is to avoid the Doctor over here on the left…he’s doing “Prostrate Surgery”. For males the benefits of Tomatoes and their high concentrations of Lycopene are enormous. In fact they are so big that there is now a massive research effort underway in a multitude of locations in an attempt to isolate definitively the total benefits of “Lycopene”. Females also benefit from the Lycopene in helping to prevent ‘Breast Cancer”. The research in this field is just now getting underway.
Let’s take a look at what makes all of this happen with a few definitions and their relationships with Tomatoes. When we talk about Tomatoes and health we always hear terms thrown around like “Carotenoid” and “Lycopene”. So, what is a “Carotenoid”? It’s the pigment color made as a byproduct of Photosynthesis. We humans don’t make carotenoids so we have to get them from our diet. And what plants make carotenoids….red carotenoids? Well of course, our favorite, the Tomato. So, what is “Lycopene”? Lycopene is a type of carotenoid pigment, usually red. However, there is lycopene in orange and yellow Tomatoes too. So let’s just say that all of these terms apply to a colored pigment with health benefits…..mainly antioxidants.
Antioxidants defeat the actions of “Free Radicals” by donating an electron. OK, here we go again, so what’s a “Free Radical”? Let’s just say a “Free Radical” are molecules with unpaired electrons. In their search to find an electron to steal so their molecules finally get “paired up” they steal an electron from the first set of molecules they find that matches their needs and a lot of cellular damage is done in the exchange. Antioxidants prevent the exchange of these electrons from healthy cells by “Donating” an electron. This prevents harm to our cells which would have been severely damaged or even destroyed.
antioxidant_free_radicalWow this fun! I’m starting to feel like Mr. Wizard from the old TV show…remember him? Well, he had a show where he would…..never mind….where were we? Oh yea, free radicals….anyway the little illustration over on the left shows how antioxidants donate an electron and everyone is happy! ☺

So there you go, a precursor to the world of nutrition as it relates to the carotenoids and lycopene in our favorite fruit/vegetable the Tomato, complete with definitions and illustrations. The long and short of it is that the Tomato is a VERY good source of antioxidants…..and now you know how the antioxidants work!

 

Posted Saturday, August 2nd, 2014 by by admin, under Tomato Nutrition, Tomato Science.

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