NPR July 27, 2009
Dr. Mercola's Comments:
But there are at least a couple of caveats that you need to be aware of.
Olive oil, especially extra-virgin olive oil, is an excellent choice for this purpose and obviously has been used for many centuries in Mediterranean cultures. I grew up in an Italian home and olive oil was a common staple in my diet.
Other studies have shown that extra-virgin olive oil can reduce some cancers, reduce LDL cholesterol levels, and improve rheumatoid arthritis; the same or similar benefits touted by the
It’s interesting to note that the lycopene in cooked tomatoes has been found to be more bioavailable than raw tomatoes, which is in partial conflict with the principle that raw foods are better.
But tomatoes are not the only food containing beneficial lycopene. Below is a table listing the
- Apricot, dried - 0.86
- Grapefruit, raw pink - 3.36
- Guava, fresh - 5.40
- Guava juice - 3.34
- Papaya, fresh - 2.00-5.30
- Tomatoes, fresh - 0.88-4.20
- Tomatoes, cooked - 3.70
- Tomato sauce - 6.20
- Tomato paste - 5.40-150.00
- Tomato soup, condensed - 7.99
- Tomato powder, drum or spray dried - 112.63-126.49
- Tomato juice - 5.00-11.60
- Sun-dried tomato in oil - 46.50
- Watermelon, fresh - 2.30-7.20
Source: Clinton, -S.K.1998. Lycopene: Chemistry, Biology, and Implications for human health and disease, Nutrition Review,56(2)P35-51
Carotenoids, such as lycopene, are the pigments responsible for red, yellow, and orange colored fruits and vegetables. They’re also found in some dark green vegetables such as spinach.
Other Ways to Maximize Absorption of Nutrients
In addition to adding a little fat to your tomatoes or other carotenoid-containing veggies, there are other ways to help maximize the absorption of its nutrients.
As explained in the article above, the finer the particle size, the better the absorption of beta-carotene.
This is one of the reasons why juicing is so beneficial.
And it’s not just beta-carotene that becomes more absorbable through juicing, but ALL nutrients are more easily extracted this way.
Juicing according to your nutritional type is strongly recommended for optimal health, especially if you are a carb type, since many people find it difficult to consume large amounts of vegetables.
If you’re a protein type, you’ll need to be more cautious in your juicing. The only vegetables recommended for protein types are your prime protein-type vegetables, which are celery, spinach, asparagus, string beans, and cauliflower. (Spinach, as already mentioned, contains carotenoids, just like tomatoes.)
You already know it is difficult to get enough whole, raw vegetables in your diet. Realizing that you also need healthy fats to get the most out of your diet can make an enormous difference in your health.Remember the KEY is to select the right fats and avoid the toxic fats. This is one of the most important nutritional principles to remember. I really believe that the consumption of toxic fats for many is one of their worst health habits , and can contribute to premature death and needless pain and suffering.