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    #214 Should you eat tomatoes? With Dr Rupy

    enSeptember 20, 2023

    Podcast Summary

    • Exploring Unique Value of Brands: Blue Nile, 1800 Flowers, and The Doctor's KitchenBlue Nile offers identical lab-grown diamonds, 1800 Flowers brings love and smiles with gifts, and The Doctor's Kitchen podcast delves into food, health, and lifestyle.

      Whether you're planning a special moment with a beautiful lab-grown diamond from Blue Nile or celebrating life's occasions with flowers from 1800 Flowers, or even exploring the health benefits of tomatoes on the Doctor's Kitchen podcast, each of these brands offers unique value. Blue Nile provides stunning lab-grown diamonds, 1800 Flowers brings love and smiles through their gifts, and the Doctor's Kitchen podcast delves into the world of food and health, including the benefits and potential issues with tomatoes. Use promo code "listen" at Blue Nile for $50 off, and explore the Doctor's Kitchen app and seasonal Sundays newsletter for more in-depth content. Remember, Blue Nile's lab-grown diamonds are identical to natural diamonds, while 1800 Flowers puts love into every step of their gift-making process, and the Doctor's Kitchen podcast provides valuable information on food, health, and lifestyle.

    • Tomatoes: From Ancient South America to Global StapleTomatoes, first cultivated by the Aztecs, have evolved into a global staple with various nutrients and health benefits through selective breeding

      Tomatoes have a rich history dating back to ancient South and Central America, where they were first cultivated by the Aztecs around 7000 years ago. Over thousands of years, tomatoes underwent significant changes in size, appearance, and nutrient profile, becoming a global staple in various cuisines such as Indian, Mediterranean, Mexican, and Spanish. Initially, tomatoes were mainly cultivated in South and Central America, but it wasn't until the 15th and 16th centuries that they were brought back to Europe. Early Europeans initially considered tomatoes toxic due to their association with the nightshade family, but selective breeding led to the popular red, scarlet, and yellow varieties we know today. Tomatoes are a valuable source of essential nutrients like vitamin C, folate, vitamin A, potassium, and various bioactive compounds such as carotenoids and flavonoids, which have health-supporting effects.

    • The Transformation of Tomatoes: From Soil to PlateTomatoes offer numerous health benefits, but their domestication has led to a reliance on pesticides and fertilizers. Rich in vitamins, minerals, and bioactive compounds, they provide cancer-fighting and neuro-protective benefits. However, some may experience allergies or acidity issues.

      The tomatoes we consume today, while providing numerous health benefits, have undergone significant changes throughout the domestication process. This transformation has led to a reliance on pesticides and fertilizers due to the loss of natural resistance from the tomato's relationship with soil microbes. Tomatoes are a rich source of essential nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin A, folate, and potassium, as well as bioactive compounds such as carotenoids, flavonoids, and phenolic acids. Carotenoids, including lycopene, have been linked to cancer prevention and management, while flavonoids offer neuro- and cardio-protective benefits. However, some individuals may experience issues with tomatoes due to allergies or the acidity, which can be problematic for those with gastroesophageal reflux disease. It's important to consider the potential benefits and challenges when incorporating tomatoes into a healthy diet.

    • Tomatoes can cause issues for some people due to allergies or gastrointestinal diseasesTomatoes contain proteins and acids that can trigger allergic responses or worsen gastrointestinal diseases, but removing them from the diet should be a last resort after considering other lifestyle factors.

      There are several reasons why tomatoes can cause issues for some people, particularly those with gourd (gastroesophageal reflux disease) or allergies. Tomatoes contain proteins, such as glycosylated tomato protein and beta fructofuranisadase, which can trigger allergic responses leading to symptoms like skin flaring, wheezing, and flushing. Tomatoes are also technically classified as an acidic food, with citric and malic acids being the most prominent organic acids. People with severe gastrointestinal diseases like reflux may be advised to reduce their consumption of acidic foods, including tomatoes and tomato products. However, removing tomatoes from the diet should not be the first course of action, as there are other lifestyle factors, such as managing sugar intake and weight, that can also help alleviate symptoms. A 2014 population-based study found no association between tomato products and the severity or frequency of gourd.

    • Tomatoes and Arthritis: A Complex RelationshipIndividuals with arthritis may consider removing tomatoes and other nightshade family plants from their diet to monitor potential symptom triggers. Keep a symptom diary to evaluate any benefits.

      The relationship between tomatoes and arthritis is complex and individualized. Tomatoes contain glycoalkaloids like solanine and tomatine, which can be irritants for some people with arthritis. These compounds are also found in other nightshade family plants like eggplant, potatoes, and tobacco. If you suspect that these ingredients may be triggering your arthritis symptoms, consider conducting a personal experiment by removing them from your diet and monitoring symptoms. Keep a symptom diary before and during the intervention to understand your baseline and evaluate any potential benefits. However, it's important to note that nightshades are not proven to be harmful for everyone, and individual tolerances can change based on factors like lifestyle and diet. Focus on what works best for your body and maintain dietary diversity to avoid overexposure to any single ingredient.

    • Tomatoes: Linked to Multiple Health BenefitsTomatoes, rich in lycopene, may reduce risk of all-cause mortality, cardiovascular diseases, cerebrovascular diseases, prostate cancer, and gastric cancer. They may also help with metabolic syndrome and fertility.

      Tomatoes, whether fresh or cooked, have been linked to numerous health benefits based on large-scale epidemiological studies. These benefits include reduced risk of all-cause mortality, cardiovascular diseases, cerebrovascular diseases, prostate cancer, and gastric cancer. Tomatoes contain various nutrients, including lycopene, which has anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and photo-protective properties. Lycopene is particularly beneficial, and studies suggest it may help with metabolic syndrome and fertility. However, it's important to note that the health benefits can vary depending on the tomato variety, ripening, and growing conditions. While tomatoes don't replace sunscreen, they may provide some photo-protective benefits. Always opt for natural sunscreens to minimize potential negative effects from additives. Remember, the studies have their limitations, and more research is needed to fully understand the health benefits of specific tomato varieties.

    • The synergy of various compounds in tomatoes impacts their color, flavor, and health benefitsConsuming a variety of tomatoes and considering food combinations can enhance the absorption of lycopene and other nutrients

      The color and flavor of tomatoes are determined by various compounds, including carotenoids and chlorophyll. Carotenoids, such as lycopene, give tomatoes their red color and contribute to their health benefits. However, it's not just the presence of lycopene that matters, but rather the combination of various compounds, including sugars, volatile organic compounds, and acids. This synergistic effect is why it's important to consume a variety of tomatoes and consider food combinations that enhance the absorption of lycopene and other nutrients. For instance, cooking tomatoes with olive oil, onions, garlic, and Brassica vegetables can improve lycopene absorption. Therefore, focusing on food combinations can significantly impact the nutritional value of our meals.

    • Cooking certain ingredients enhances lycopene absorptionCooking shiitake mushrooms, garlic, onions, brass vegetables, and tomatoes with extra virgin olive oil increases lycopene availability.

      The combination of certain ingredients, such as shiitake mushrooms, garlic, onions, brass vegetables, and extra virgin olive oil, during the cooking process, can make lycopene, a compound found in tomatoes, more bioavailable for our bodies. This is known as thermal zed isomerization and is particularly effective with traditional dishes like sofrito or gazpacho. While there is a difference between fresh and processed tomatoes, not all processed tomato products are unhealthy. Jarred or canned tomatoes, for instance, can be nutritious and convenient options. However, it's essential to be cautious of added sugars, sodium chloride, and other uncommon ingredients in processed foods, which can move them from the processed to the ultra-processed category. Overall, this information highlights the importance of understanding the specifics of food processing methods and the potential benefits of traditional cooking techniques.

    • Understanding Tomatoes' Processing LevelsChoose fresh tomatoes in-season, opt for processed ingredients with minimal additives, and consider imported options for better flavor and sustainability during off-seasons.

      Tomatoes come in various forms, and understanding the processing level can impact their flavor and nutritional value. Ultra-processed tomato products, like takeaway curries with added preservatives and additives, should be limited. Processed culinary ingredients, like jarred tomatoes with a little salt, still offer benefits. When shopping for tomatoes, focus on in-season, fresh ones for the best taste and texture. During off-seasons, opt for canned, jarred, or dried versions. Tomatoes are most flavorful and sweet during the warmer months of spring, summer, and early autumn. While buying local may seem ideal, imported tomatoes from Europe, especially during off-seasons, might offer better flavor and environmental impact. Ultimately, the choice depends on personal preference, seasonality, and availability. Tomatoes are versatile and can provide a range of flavors from sweet and fruity to umami and savory, making them a must-have ingredient in any kitchen.

    • Choosing Organic Tomatoes: European Farms vs. UK ProducersInvesting in organic tomatoes from European farms may be worthwhile due to potential pesticide residue, while UK-grown tomatoes can be fresher and more nutritious. Cost and transparency from smaller producers are also factors to consider.

      When it comes to tomatoes, choosing organic may be worth the investment due to the higher likelihood of pesticide residue in non-organic varieties, particularly in European farms. Tomatoes in the UK, on the other hand, are often vine-ripened or grown in polytunnels, making them fresher and potentially more nutritious. Smaller producers who are transparent about their practices can also provide more information about availability and seasonality. However, cost can be a barrier for some consumers. Additionally, tomatoes with less desirable flavors can be used for cooking, as the nutrients can be more effectively absorbed when cooked with other ingredients. Tomatoes pair well with a variety of ingredients, including basil, cucumber, anchovies, aubergine, and even watermelon.

    • Enjoy a refreshing side salad or gazpacho with watermelon, tomatoes, and feta cheeseCreate a delicious and nutritious side dish using watermelon, tomatoes, feta cheese, olive oil, salt, and optional add-ons. Tomatoes offer health benefits when combined with certain ingredients and good quality fats. Customize dishes based on taste preferences.

      Creating a delicious and nutritious side salad or gazpacho using watermelon, tomatoes, feta cheese, olive oil, salt, and optional add-ons like chili, pickled red onion, and fresh mint, offers a wonderful way to enjoy these ingredients. Tomatoes, despite potential allergic reactions or irritation for some people due to their acids and alkaloids, also have health benefits when combined with certain food ingredients and good quality fats. For those who can tolerate tomatoes, the seleneci family ingredients like eggplant and tomatoes offer various health benefits. Remember, you can customize these dishes by adjusting acidity and salt levels to suit your taste. If you're looking for more information on ingredients, nutrition news, and recipes, sign up for the Doctor's Kitchen newsletter or download the Doctor's Kitchen app for free. This Mother's Day, consider showing appreciation to the special moms in your life with thoughtful gifts from 1-800-Flowers.com, and enjoy the softest sheets that get even softer over time with Boll and Branch's organic cotton sheets.

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    Main Points From Today’s Episode

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    Episode Play-By-Play

    [1:16] Introduction to today’s episode 

    [1:51] Dr. William Li’s career briefing

    [4:03] Listener shout-out

    [5:38] Ready to lose fat fast and keep it off forever? Discover the number one resource for fast and lasting fat loss by visiting jjvirgin.com. 

    [6:42] How Dr. Li became interested in the concept of food as medicine 

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    [20:34] How the regenerative defense system works

    [21:59] The link between certain health issues and imbalances in the gut microbiome 

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    [35:55] Instead of focusing on removing foods from our diet, we can think about the health-promoting foods that we can be adding to our diet. 

    [38:22] How to get Dr. Li’s Eat to Beat Disease guide 

    [40:13] Key takeaways from today’s episode 

     

    Mentioned in this episode:

    Eat to Beat Disease: The New Science of How Your Body Can Heal Itself, by William W. Li, MD

    Dr. William Li’s TED Talk “Can We Eat to Starve Cancer?”

    Find a Practitioner through The Institute for Functional Medicine

    Subscribe to the JJ Virgin Lifestyle Show

    Become part of JJ’s community

    JJ Virgin Official Facebook page

    JJ Virgin on Instagram

    JJ Virgin on YouTube

    Cook Tomatoes

    Cook Tomatoes

    Tomatoes are packed full of goodness & cooked tomatoes are even better for you! In this episode, Michael reveals how cooking your tomatoes - sautéed, or in a sauce or soup - can reduce your blood fat levels, help your body recover from exercise, and even protect your skin from damage. It’s all to do with a beneficial compound called lycopene which is released under heat. Michael speaks to Professor Richard van Breemen from Oregon State University who reveals his studies on lycopene and why cooked tomatoes can help protect against prostate cancer.

    New episodes will be released on Wednesdays, but if you’re in the UK, listen to new episodes, a week early, first on BBC Sounds: bbc.in/3zqa6BB

    Producer: Nija Dalal-Small Science Producer: Catherine Wyler Assistant Producer: Gulnar Mimaroglu Trainee Assistant Producer: Toni Arenyeka Executive Producer: Zoe Heron A BBC Studios production for BBC Sounds / BBC Radio 4.

    Halloween Fun & Food Allergies

    Halloween Fun & Food Allergies

    In this episode, Physician Assistant Rebecca Rosenberger provides us with information on the Teal Pumpkin Project, how to stay safe with food allergies on Halloween, how to be more inclusive, and ways to have Halloween fun if you or someone you know is food allergic.  Also learn how to avoid food allergy peer pressure on Halloween and how to detect food allergy symptoms.

    To see more about the information relevant to this podcast episode and to learn more about the podcast or Noreen, the podcast host, visit: foodsitch.com/podcast.  

     

    Rebecca Rosenberger

    Instagram: @allergyinsider

    Twitter: @AllergyInsider

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