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 . Even after just one serving of sofrito, the inflammatory biomarkers C-reactive protein (CRP) and Tumor Necrosis Factor alpha (TNF-α) were greatly improved . 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 .
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. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11040851