Can tomatoes protect us against DNA damage and aging?

Can tomatoes protect us against DNA damage and aging?

With all the oxidative stressors present in the environment, it can be easy to worry about our health. Did you know that tomatoes contain properties which protect us against DNA damage and aging? Read more to find out how!

Your body is constantly exposed to oxidative stress. Anything from smoking, drinking alcohol, excessively exercising, or spending time in the sun can produce reactive oxygen species (ROS) which lead to oxidative stress in our bodies [1]. Throughout a normal day, your body can be exposed to many oxidative stressors, which can cause damage to your DNA and speed up the aging process. Things as common as spending time in UV rays or exercising excessively can harm your body on a cellular level. However, there is no need to panic, as eating a healthy diet can protect against the damage caused by these stressors. Foods such as fruits and vegetables contain compounds called antioxidants that can repair the damage caused by oxidative stressors. One of the foods that is the best at doing this job are tomatoes!

So, how can tomatoes protect us against DNA damage and aging? In this study, 10 healthy people drank tomato juice every day for 3 weeks in order to test its effects on reducing oxidative stress. The study found that regular consumption of tomato juice lowered the levels of two markers of oxidative stress in the body [1]. The reason for this is because of the lycopene and beta-carotene in the tomato juice.

The results of this study look promising, but does this mean that you must drink tomato juice every day in order to protect yourself? The good news is that you can take advantage of the health benefits of tomatoes no matter what form they are in! So, enjoy your daily serving of tomatoes in the form of juice, sauce, salsa, or whatever your heart desires to protect against DNA damage and aging!

1.Nakamura, A., Itaki, C., Saito, A., Yonezawa, T., Aizawa, K., Hirai, A., Suganuma, H., Miura, T., Mariya, Y., & Haghdoost, S. (2017). Possible benefits of tomato juice consumption: A pilot study on irradiated human lymphocytes from healthy donors. Nutrition Journal16(1). 

Can Sofrito Reduce Inflammation?

Can Sofrito Reduce Inflammation?

Did you know that the key to reducing inflammation could be in your sofrito? Sofrito, a tomato-based dish, contains all the necessary carotenoids to lower inflammation levels in the body. Learn more about how sofrito can reduce inflammation.

Have you ever wondered why so many cultures utilize tomatoes as the base of their dishes? Of course, tomatoes are tasty, but they are enormously nutritious and can also protect against disease. Countries such as Italy, Greece, and Spain, use tomatoes as an integral part of their cuisine, and other cultures throughout the world have also adopted this culinary flavor. One example of this is the popular dish among Hispanic cultures called sofrito. Made from tomatoes, olive oil, onion and garlic, sofrito is a sauce which can be used to flavor dishes, or even be eaten as a dip. (Here’s a Fun Sofrito Recipe)

However, sofrito has much more to offer than just its delicious flavor. Tomatoes are packed with nutrients called carotenoids which act as anti-inflammatories and antioxidants. As such, a tomato based sofrito contains the carotenoids lycopene and beta-carotene, which have been shown to reduce inflammation levels in the body. In this study, healthy men were given sofrito to eat, and then had their inflammatory biomarkers measured [1]. Even after just one serving of sofrito, the inflammatory biomarkers C-reactive protein (CRP) and Tumor Necrosis Factor alpha (TNF-α) were greatly improved [1]. In other studies, improvements in inflammation have been seen with the consumption of other tomato products, which is mainly caused by the lycopene content of the tomatoes. However, sofrito also contains extra virgin olive oil and onions, which provide additional beta-carotene. Beta-carotene offers an additional reduction in inflammation levels, as seen by the results of this study [1].

While tomatoes on their own are a nutritional powerhouse with the ability to improve inflammation levels, their benefits are further enhanced when combined with additional ingredients. This is great news as many tomato dishes often contain ingredients such as onions and olive oil. So, the next time you whip up a batch of sofrito, know that you are doing wonders for both your taste buds and inflammation levels. 

More reading on an Anti-Inflammatory Diet 101

1. Hurtado-Barroso, S., Martínez-Huélamo, M., Rinaldi de Alvarenga, J. F., Quifer-Rada, P., Vallverdú-Queralt, A., Pérez-Fernández, S., & Lamuela-Raventós, R. M. (2019). Acute effect of a single dose of tomato sofrito on plasmatic inflammatory biomarkers in healthy men.Nutrients,11(4), 851.    

Christy Wilson: August RD of the Month

Christy Wilson: August RD of the Month

by Christy Wilson, RD 

I’ve always been a strong advocate of nutrient-dense foods, whether they are fresh, frozen, dried or canned. Fresh-to-canned foods like tomatoes, are a convenient, budget-friendly, flexible and delicious way to expand the variety of foods we eat in our diet. Going on the Tomato Harvest tour a few years ago really opened up my eyes as to just how quickly (about 4 hours) and efficiently tomatoes go from the farm into the can and that is what locks in that fresh taste and nutrition. You get tomatoes that are picked at their most fresh state and they are ready to use all year long! Canned tomatoes have always been a pantry staple of mine and I always recommend them as a healthy addition to any and all meals. 


And our favorite, the BLOODY MAEVE!