On Pounds and Kilos

It’s one of the things that connects us as humans all over the world, and makes an excellent small talk topic during dinner parties: We’ve all experienced and/or are likely to experience weight issues at some point of our lives.

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Having been there myself, I managed to form my own understanding of the subject, and learned a whole lot through trial and error. Although I wasn’t trying to shed a huge amount of weight, there’s has been a period of my life where I was always on some sort of a diet: Crash diet, healthy diet, heart surgery diet, you name it. I’ve tried everything from vinegar and water to the notorious cabbage soup, which I wouldn’t recommend. I spent a significant amount of time googling calories in foods and understanding how our bodies work, what makes us puff up or shrink in size, what a healthy BMI is and how much calories we need on daily basis. I walked, jogged, swam and even tried weight loss yoga. I monitored my weight with gym trainers, until I arrived at the conviction that it’s your size on clothes that tells you what you need to know, not the scales.

So, you see, I’m a little bit obsessed when it comes to this, or let’s say cautious. Hence, it’s something that’s on my mind constantly and I can’t help but make observations relating to it wherever I go. So, here are some of my thoughts which I hope that nobody would find insensitive or not quite politically correct.

– It’s a universally acknowledged facts that a fat kid is a cute kid, it’s a given, you just want to eat them. However, when I see a child who’s over 5 years old and overweight, I feel like I want to grab his parents and shout at them. I want to ask them: Do you realize that your child’s eating habits now could set him in his ways for life? More gravely, do you realize that you could be partly responsible for your teenage child’s weight and possible self-esteem issues? Even worse, you could be partly responsible for your adult child’s heart attack. What’s scary is that children’s life today is different than how it used to be for us. Yes, we used to gobble down chips and candy like the end of the world is upon us, but we were active, roaming the streets until dusk, not chained down to our iPads and PlayStations.

– It really bothers me when I see a couple where the woman is slim and the man is overweight. Not because I don’t think they look right, not at all, it’s just that it makes me think that it represents our crooked social standards: The woman must always stay in shape and watch her figure, while the man can do whatever he wants because it doesn’t matter how his wife sees him. But aside from that, it makes me wonder that, if she loves him, how could she take care of herself and her body and let him get carried away like that? Because anyone who’s overweight must have gained it gradually over time, so the question that poses itself is: how did you let yourself get there? Why didn’t you stop it in time? So, why didn’t you bring his attention to it? It even makes it easier to hug if I’m not mistaken. Of course it could be the other way around, but that doesn’t bother me much because I know that men usually can’t keep quiet about it, so if you see a slender man with an overweight woman, chances are he’s already made a few comments about how much rice she put on her plate or suggested nicely that she could take some time for herself to hit the gym.

– Newsflash: Confidence has nothing to do with your weight. Of course everyone should be confident and love themselves no matter how overweight and underweight they are, this is how it should be, because you’re essentially the same person inside underneath that skin and flesh. However, being confident and feeling beautiful doesn’t make it okay to be overweight. You might say “I’m happy like this”, well, of course you are, but you know who’s not so happy? Your spinal column. So, yes, you’re beautiful and confident and happy, why not be healthy too?

– After all these years of yo-yo dieting and calorie-counting, I discovered one thing that could be the key to staying in shape: Awareness. Make a conscious effort to be aware of everything you put into your body, don’t just sit at the dinner pilot and switch to auto-pilot mode. Make healthy, smart choices every day. Order the grilled chicken breast instead of the breaded fried scallop, no matter how tempting it might be. I remember at some point I became so conscious of this that when I was in the supermarket I would grab things from the shelves and put them back, because when I look at chocolate cake I no longer saw delicious, mouthwatering spongy goodness, I saw glucose syrup and saturated fat – That’s not to say that I don’t have chocolate cake anymore, but moderation is key, and the key to moderation is awareness.

– Another thing I learned it to keep as far away as you can from crash diets. Really, they suck. They just make you crave food even more. Opt for a healthy diet even if it means you will lose weight slowly, because from my personal experience I can say that they weight you put off slowly is what really makes the difference and gives dramatic results.

– Don’t give in for excuses, there’s usually a way around any excuse you come up with. Don’t have time? Go for interval workouts, do it at home if you don’t want to go to the gym, , 30 seconds of high intensity workout, 30 seconds slow workouts, alternately for 24 minutes, 6 minutes of stretching, and boom, you’re done in half an hour. Personally, I found that this is the best way to go and it really makes a difference. But it’s not only how many times a week you exercise, it’s your whole lifestyle that should be more active. Try to do more errands on foot and make it a habit to do more things while walking or moving, like reading, surfing the web on your phone, etc.

– Know yourself and your needs. How much calories you need? (which you can easily find out by using a calorie calculator, which you can easily find online). Don’t give into emotional eating, think of the consequences, find other ways to relieve the stress like walking or jogging, you can call it emotional workout, and the good news it actually relives the stress by increasing the production of the feel-good neurotransmitters in the brain called Dopamine, unlike emotional eating which only gives the illusion of relieving stress.

– Finally, make peace with the fact that there is no magic wand to lose weight. Don’t believe all these sensational ads about magic pills slimming gels. I made it a rule that anything promising fast results must have something essentially wrong with it, and that’s not just when it comes to diet, but life in general, because life just doesn’t work that way. It takes work, constant work and the bottom line is: you can’t have your cake and eat it. You just cannot eat whatever you want and be inactive while losing weight and being healthy. As hard it might be to swallow one should accept the fact that it all comes down to inputs and outputs: How much energy you put into your body, and how much of it you expend. Perhaps applying that into practice could make losing those last 5 kilos not so hard as it might seem, and it could dawn on you that going down from 90 Kilos to 70 kilos might be just one a matter of one less daily meal, or one healthy choice away.

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So, What Makes You Fat?

It’s a subject of way too many commercials, hence a lot of exaggeration and confusion and you really don’t know what to believe anymore. “Don’t eat this, don’t do that, buy our products”. So perhaps it’s time to set the record straight, a little bit.

As you know there are lots of misconceptions surrounding the issue of fitness, food, working out and what not, and I for one have had enough. You know, it gets on my nerves when someone sees me eating chocolate and they say: “Be careful, that makes you fat!” Well, let me break it to you: Chocolate doesn’t make you fat, in fact all food doesn’t make you fat. You know what makes you fat? Gluttony and laziness, that’s what stacks up the kilos.

I’m not an expert but I got to learn a couple of things through experience or self-evident facts that we rarely pay attention to. So I’m sharing this as a rant as well as some ideas for any person, especially woman, who wants to be/stay fit, get in shape, lose weight or all of the above, but not for those who are trying to be super-duper models because that may include a lot of cabbage soup, anorexia and depression. Let’s see how this can be summed up:

 

1- You don’t need to work out to burn every single calorie you consume

From time to time, someone somewhere in the world laments the idea that “It’s so easy to consume calories, so hard to burn them”. Well, there’s some truth to that but it’s not as bad as you might think. In fact, we do burn lots of calories without even realizing it, because your body needs a certain amount of calories to function, your heart needs calories to beat, your brain needs calories to think, your liver needs calories to… do that very important thing that it does. Of course that amount differs according to gender, size, activity among other factors but the point is: You don’t necessarily need to hop on a treadmill or go for a jog to burn all the calories you consume. However , you might need that extra work if you’re trying to lose weight or if you’re trying to burn excess calories to stay in shape, and that shouldn’t be very difficult unless, excuse me, you eat like a cow. That said, working out to burn calories is also not as hard and agonizing as some people make it look. You don’t have to work out for 3 hours a day 7 days a week. 90 minutes sessions 3 times a week could be more than enough. Think of it this way and you’d find that you can actually eat and sit around more than you work out and still actually lose weight and feel good about yourself.

 

2- Be unconsciously conscious of what goes down your yap hole

The rule is: not everything your eyes can see or your hands can reach has to end in your stomach. This doesn’t mean to obsess over your daily diet, just set some rules for yourself -not that kind of rules that make you want to break them, because we’re humans, we go crazy if we don’t break any rules- but rather rules to have in the back in your mind and to follow unconsciously, like not to eat after a certain hour, not to have too much sweets. With time these become par for the course, a lifestyle, and you might even reach a point where you find it hard for example to have lunch and dinner on the same day, things like that. Of course it’s perfectly okay to break rules from time to time, but all in all you should try to strike a general balance. And remember, the keyword here is moderation. You don’t have to eat peas and celery all day or use artificial sweeteners, don’t deprive yourself of the good things in life.

 

3- Weights won’t turn you into the great hulk

There’s an idea that seems to be quite widespread among girls and it’s actually funny. They think that weight exercises will cause them to have man-like muscles. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: If it was that easy we would have a bunch of Van Dammes running around. The other important thing to point out is that weight exercises are great on several levels, to mention a few: increasing bone density and losing weight, because even after you finish working out your body continues to burn calories for hours to help your muscles recover. And if you’re worried about having pumping up your muscles start with light weights (5 or 10 kilos). Actually for muscle toning it’s recommended to use light weights while repeating the work out many times. Anyway, it’s better to consult a trainer.

 

4- Emotional eating is so 2001

It’s not only unfair to your body it’s also unfair to the food. I mean, food is something beautiful, it should be had when you’re in a good mood so that you can truly enjoy and appreciate it. And of course, as every emotional eater will agree, it’s nothing more than a quick fix that will make you feel worse after you feel worse afterwards. Be that as it may, you might want to try a more effective method of venting: emotional working out. Feel bad? Go for a walk, with somebody or alone to give yourself some time to think. Or you can enroll in a body combat/ kick boxing class and beat the crap out of that punching bag, in a way you’d be beating a whole lot of crap out of yourself too. Whatever floats your boat. Moreover, while emotional eating doesn’t work, emotional working out is scientifically proven to enhance your mood, as endorphins go on a festive frenzy when you work out. Sometimes I actually think: “Oh, I don’t want to feel better just yet, I still want to indulge in drama” but you just can’t help it, those neurotransmitters mean business.

 

5- You can’t go wrong with water

I’m not going to go into all the benefits of drinking water as any 5 year-old can google that, but it’s enough to say it’s a natural appetite suppressor. You don’t need to know much more than that. And oh, sometimes you think you’re hungry but you’re actually thirsty and your body  is giving you mixed signals. Try drinking a glass of water before you dig into that pizza.

 

All said and done, it’s all about trying to be healthy while still enjoying a nice cup of mochaccino from time to time. It’s also about changing the way we look at things,  acquiring some healthy habits and not only knowing what’s good for us, but also doing it.

The Greatest Machine on Earth

50 years ago, studies showed that humans use 50% of their mind’s ability. 10 years later, they said it was only 40%, then the number kept spiraling down until it reached 10%, which was huge compared to what latest studies show, which is that we only use 0,01% of our mind’s ability.

But here’s the good news, it’s not because we’re getting stupid by the hour, but rather because scientists keep discovering year after year that the mind’s ability is bigger than we know or have known before. And really, it’s not very hard to believe, I mean look around you! How could someone invent something as complicated as a micro-chip through which you can talk to anyone anywhere in the world? It’s all about exploring your mind and pushing yourself to the limit.

I think we all can relate to a situation where we had to push our limits because of fear or competition. Actually it happened to me the other day. As some of you may know, I work as a subtitler, and among the shows we translate is Martha Stewart’s show. For some reason, that show takes us ages to finish and nobody seems to know why. So the other day my friend and I decided to compete, whoever finishes 5 minutes first gets to carry out a certain stipulation which was to go to the other office and beg for money. I started working as if my life depended on it! Suddenly I was no longer focused on the show itself but on not begging for money. Long story short, I lost and I did go beg for money, but the thing is: we worked so fast just like we’d work if it was any other easy program. So, we could do it, we just didn’t want to.

I believe you can set your mind to do whatever you want. For example, I’ve recently come to the conclusion that writer’s block is a huge myth. There’s no such a thing. You either want to write or you don’t. I used to think that I have a writer’s block (Although I still can’t officially call myself a writer) but when I forced myself to write and tried to squeeze my mind the thoughts flowed in.

Here’s another interesting piece of info: From age 0 to 2, a child’s has 100% of his creativity, between 2 & 7 however, that percentage plummets down to a mere 2%. Why? Well, just try watching a mother or a father walking around with their child. “Don’t touch this” “leave that alone” “Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!”. Tip: stoop to the child’s level, engage them in whatever you’re doing, try to understand why they do whatever they do.

Another thing to keep in mind is that a healthy body and a healthy mind go hand by hand. Skipping breakfast, smoking, consuming too much sugar and processed food, lack of sleep, etc. All that could be damaging to your body and mind. Another important thing is exercising your brain. There’s a great brain exercise which is to count from 100 to 0 backwards in multiples of 2, 4, 6, etc. Doing crosswords, Sudoku or any kind of games that require picking your mind is a great exercise too.

It’s truly the greatest, most ingenious machine in the world, one of God’s greatest gifts.  The human mind is probably the one thing whose value increases with usage, so go ahead! Consume it, don’t just keep it for the worms…

**Inspired by a lecture by Dr. Ibrahim Al-Feqi

7 Reasons You’re still hungry

I like MSN Health articles, very informative and surprising at times. Here’s one I recently read ad thought it was particularly enlightening

7 Reasons You’re Still Hungry

 

Do you sometimes feel ravenous, even though you just polished off a tasty lunch, a full dinner, or a midnight snack? Some food ingredients can trick our bodies into not recognizing when we’re full, causing “rebound hunger” that can add inches to our waistlines. But these simple tweaks from the authors of The New American Diet can help quiet your cravings.
Craving culprit: You drink too much soda.

Sodas, iced teas, and other sweetened beverages are our biggest source of high-fructose corn syrup—accounting for about two-thirds of our annual intake. New research from the University of California at San Francisco indicates that fructose can trick our brains into craving more food, even when we’re full. It works by impeding the body’s ability to use leptin, the “satiation hormone” that tells us when we’ve had enough to eat.
To prevent your waistline from expanding when you sip, avoid the 20 worst drinks in America.
Order your copy of The New American Diet and lose up to 15 pounds in 6 weeks!

Craving culprit: Your dinner came out of a can

Many canned foods are high in the chemical bisphenol-A, or BPA, which the Food and Drug Administration recently stated was a chemical “of some concern.” Exposure to BPA can cause abnormal surges in leptin that, according to Harvard University researchers, leads to food cravings and obesity.
Learn four more simple solutions to fight fat and live healthier.
Craving culprit: Your breakfast wasn’t big enough

After following 6,764 healthy people for almost four years, researchers found that those who ate just 300 calories for breakfast gained almost twice as much weight as those who ate 500 calories or more for breakfast. The reason: Eating a big breakfast makes for smaller rises in blood sugar and insulin throughout the day, meaning fewer sudden food cravings.
The one time bigger isn’t better: If you start your day with any of the 20 worst breakfasts in America.
Craving culprit: You skipped the salad

Most Americans don’t eat enough leafy greens, which are rich in the essential B-vitamin folate and help protect against depression, fatigue, and weight gain. In one study, dieters with the highest levels of folate in their bodies lost 8.5 times as much weight as those with the lowest levels. Leafy greens are also high in vitamin K, another insulin-regulating nutrient that helps quash cravings. Best sources: Romaine lettuce, spinach, collard greens, radicchio.
Also include these 15 new superfoods in your meals for delicious ways to flatten your belly.
Craving culprit: You don’t stop for tea time

According to a study in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, people who drank one cup of black tea after eating high-carb foods decreased their blood-sugar levels by 10 percent for 2.5 hours after the meal, which means they stayed full longer and had fewer food cravings. Researchers credit the polyphenolic compounds in black tea for suppressing rebound hunger.
Find out which bottled and bagged teas earned a spot on the Men’s Health list of the 125 best foods in your supermarket.
Craving culprit: You’re not staying fluid

Dehydration often mimics the feeling of hunger. If you’ve just eaten and still feel hungry, drink a glass of water before eating more, and see if your desires don’t diminish.
If you’re sick of H2O, but need to replenish fluids, reach for one of these 10 surprising water alternatives.
 
 
Craving culprit: You’re bored

Researchers at Flinders University in Australia found that visual distractions can help curb cravings. To test yourself, envision a huge, sizzling steak. If you’re truly hungry, the steak will seem appealing. But if that doesn’t seem tempting, chances are you’re in need of a distraction, not another meal.
Find more about The New American Diet and what’s hiding in your foods that is making you fat.

This conversation actually took place

I never saw someone with as strong a will to live as that girl”. One girl said. “They discovered that she had ovarian cancer, and they told her it was treatable but she might not be able to have children since her ovary will be fried by the radiation/chemo. And what did she do? She told them to take her ovary out and freeze it until she’s cured. And she was cured, her ovary we re-planted and she got married and she now has 3 children. He was in love with her before she got cancer and he married her although his family didn’t approve, but stood up for them”

 

“That’s amazing” another lady said. “But you know, if it was my brother and he wanted to marry her I wouldn’t let her, would you?”

 

“I wouldn’t it” a third lady weighed in.

 

My take:

1- Everyone may get cancer. They may either die or become cancer survivors. In the latter case, they have the right to live a normal life just like everyone else.

 

2- Who your brother wants to marry is his choice, not yours.

 

3- Let’s all try to put ourselves in other people’s shoes more often.

 

I don’t know why I didn’t say all that at the time. Perhaps the topic changed or I was just speechless…

Epedimic at a Funeral

Epedimic at a Funeral

Friday, October 30, 2009

Although he had lung cancer, his death came as a surprise to everybody. Few months ago they said the cancer has taken a tight grip over his lungs and he was a goner. A while after that the good news came that he was doing amazingly well, he even went on a few months later to open a new Medical complex, after all he was a doctor and his job was to save lives. Everything seemed to be working out well, until a patient came in and sneezed.

It didn’t take the H1N1 much time to claim his life. His immune system was fried with all the chemo, and within few days his family received a phone call just before dawn, telling them that their beloved father and husband has passed away.

He was a good man, and he had such a great family that we all loved, so it was only natural that people would pour in to pay their condolences. As soon as we saw the mother and the children we hugged them and cried with them, despite the warnings of not making too much contact out of fear that the swine flu might still be hovering over his loved ones.

His wife spoke about how he used to spend Ramadan nights praying and reading Qur’an, how he used to do the prayers even when he was in the ICU, and how sometimes he couldn’t finish because he’d passed out. She’d alternate between crying out of sorrow and smiling at the good memories she had of him.

Just before we left the wake a certain piece of news spread like wildfire. His daughter also had, or maybe still has the swine flu. Well, what can you do other that hope that you didn’t catch any of it…

As we left the wake we began exchanging stories about the people who attended. Some people had anti-bacterials that they used all the time. Someone came in with a mask dangling on his chest, which he clearly got rid of when he saw that no one else is using one. Someone arrived at the house but decided that he’s not getting in and took of.

So at last we all concluded that we might have been exposed to H1N1, but what can you do? You just pray that it doesn’t hit you, but even if it did, it might not be the worst thing in the world. According to my uncle’s wife, people who get the swine flu this year should consider themselves lucky, for the virus is relatively mild now, while next year it could be more developed and more powerful.

The bottom line is that  it’s just another flu, you just need to take the right antibiotic for it, which is the Tamiflu. If you get the symptoms, don’t just take any kind of antibiotic because antibiotics could be dangerous if taken wrong. So there’s really no reason to panic, they even are not keeping people at hospitals anymore, if you go to a hospital complaining about swine flu symptoms they just give you the Tamiflu and tell you to stay home for a week.

On the bright side, I woke up this morning to find that my mother had prepared two jugs of fresh citrus juice. Well, we can use some vitamin C you know!

May Allah rest the doctor’s soul in peace, and give us whatever is better to have, flu or no flu!

سم الهاري

سم الهاري

Monday, April 06, 2009

I’m fed up with people pumping their system with diet soda assuming that it’s the one thing they can enjoy and control their hunger with without worrying about those extra calories. Well, if you’re one of those people who hold this misconception then you might want to stop and think again.

Well, the good news is that I’m not going to tell you that the artificial sweeteners in diet drinks cause cancer, because it was proven that they are not related to cancer. That’s for the good news, brace yourself for the cascade of bad news…

1- Diet soda has been linked to heart disease and something called “Metabolic syndrome”, which, according to Wikipidia, a combination of medical disorders that increase the risk of developing cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

2- Drinking diet soda causes you to crave food more, especially sweets. So if you’re trying to lose weight drinking diet soda: BUMMER!

3- It’s loaded with sodium, which is not very good for anybody

4- Soda in general has been linked to osteoporosis and bone loss, so you might want to be careful with that, especially women. A broken pelvis is not a pretty thing, really!

I’m not saying that you should run to the kitchen and make yourself a jug of green tea, but a healthy change in lifestyle wouldn’t kill anyone, just think of this the next time you’re picking up a drink to go with your lunch! It could be worth it 5- diet sodas actually makes you fat. The acidity it contains is so great that your body actually increases its production of fat cells to surround and thus protect vital organs.

To hell with the Environment

I was rambling in my thoughts yesterday about Blog Action Day and what can I write about. Many issues popped up to my mind, ranging from posting some pictures I took for litter at Aqaba beach, to a much more articulate allegory about mother earth. But, at the end I was like: why bother?
Now, if you come to think about it, we as human beings have better things to worry about than a little more CO2 in the air or some dead fish in the sea.
First, we have to worry about those contagious diseases our brothers in humanity are suffering from. Say, cholera. Yes, cholera! Do you know how many people suffer from cholera every year? Just this year the UN announced a new outbreak of Cholera in Iraq. For those who don’t know what Cholera is, it’sa severe diarrheal disease caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. Transmission to humans is by ingesting contaminated water or food
Another major concern is cancer. I wonder why it’s increasing day by day. Let’s take lung cancer for example, which researches show it’s linked to air pollution, and skin cancer that is linked to Ozon depletion. I still wonder why is the number of people inflicted with cancer is increasing…
How about the some 14,000 deaths in developing countries? Caused by the contamination of drinking water by untreated sewage.
Let’s also not forget about hearing loss, high blood pressure, stress, and sleep disturbance. You might wonder if these disorders have anything in common. Well, I know they are all caused by noise pollution, that much I know, but who cares for the reason anyway…
Away from plagues and diseases, let’s focus on another important issue, human heritage. I’ve just read that Venice, the beautiful city that many of us dream of visiting one day, might not be open for tourists very soon. The city is sinking. word has it that Sea level rise due to global warming has increased the water level in Venice by 23 cm in the past 100 years, and a further rise of about 50 cm is projected to occur over the next century. This is according to The American Association for the Advancement of Science. But what do they know anyway! Especially that the government of the USA has rejected the Kyoto Treaty to stop global warming several times. I guess that means it’s not really an important matter, the world won’t end over few less ruins
But, in any case, before worrying about Venice that is drowning, or the Aztec and Mayan ruins that are being washed away by acid rain, we should first worry about the human race facing the threat of extinction.
In 1992, E. Carlsen et al. reported that sperm counts have dropped by half in the last 50 years while semen volume is 20 per cent less (BMJ, 1992, volume 305). The book of “Our Stolen Future” states that the reason behind this reproductive damage is Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and endocrine-disrupting chemicals from normal, everyday plastics. So, you see the environmentalists say we might leave this world a junk yard for our children and the generations to come, but the joke is on them, because we might not have any children at all, or those generations might not survive long enough to suffer the ugly consequences. You do the math.
After all this reflection, I couldn’t help finding myself staring this final conclusion square in the face. We can’t waste our time protecting the environment. What we really need to protect is ourselves, our history and our future. No more, no less.
Originally Posted on Sunday, October 14, 2007 on http://oeliwat.jeeran.com/archive/2007/10/350621.html

TO-MA-TO

 

There’s been a big fuss about raising vegetable prices in Jordan, it’s getting crazy… Anyways, my mother was talking about that man on TV who said: “I’m an engineer, and I can no longer afford gallayet bandora” (a popular meal prepared with tomatoes). Well, don’t panic you engineers out there, I’m pretty much sure that man meant: “I’m an engineer, I make a lot of money, still I can’t afford gallayet bandora anymore” hmm, plausible!
 
Seriously, not tomato! You know it’s the one thing that can be eaten with everything… it’s legendary! I once heard that during some civil war, or one of those many crappy wars that we lost count of, they used to destinguish  Palestinians by holding a piece of tomato and asking them what it was. If you say “banadoora” you’re lebanese/syrian/whatever, if you say “bandora” you’re dead! I wonder, if they were encountered by a morrocan guy, what will they make out of “mateeshah” gbiggrin 
 
So, we can talk about the history of tomato-es till the cows get home, so let’s get sort of scientific… I did soem search on the health benefits of tomatoes, and here’s some of what I found:
 
 
 
Tomatoes are good for the eyes. Lycopene, the most abundant carotenoid in the blood serum, was found to be the key antioxidant that guards against ARMD ( Age-Related Macular Degeneration), a condition that may cause blindness.

Tomatoes are high in Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Calcium and Potassium 

Eating tomatoes, ketchup, tomato sauce and tomato paste-topped pizza more than two times a week can reduce the risk of prostate cancer by 21 to 43 percent according to Dr. Edward Giovannucci of the Harvard University School of Public Health.

“The only nutrient that turned out to have significant preventative value (against prostate cancer) was lycopene,” writes Dr. Giovannucci who also found that lycopene was most efficiently absorbed into the body when accompanied by dietary fats (limpids).

“Cooking tomatoes in oil encourages intestinal absorption and results in a two-to-threefold rise in plasma lycopene concentrations,” said Dr. Giovannucci. “Tomato sauce is one of the best lycopene sources.”

Men who eat two or more servings of tomato products average a 35 percent reduction in prostate cancer risk.

Tomato products are beneficial in aggressive cancers that have also spread to other parts of the body.

The best food sources of lycopene according to the Tomato Research Council in New York City: ( Amount of lycopene in one ounce) Tomato Sauce, Spaghetti Sauce, Ketchup (5 mg); Tomato Soup, Canned Tomatoes, Tomato Juice, Vegetable Juice (3 mg);  Minestrone Soup, Vegetable Soup, Pink Grapefruit (1 mg)

Lycopene helps women guard against cervical intra-epithelial neoplasia, (CIN), tumorous tissue growth in the cervix according to research from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Lycopene is a powerful inhibitor of the growth of breast, endometrium (inner lining of the uterus) and lung cancer cells.

Lypocene is an inhibitor to heart disease.

Originally posted on Wednesday, January 17, 2007  on http://oeliwat.jeeran.com/archive/2007/1/144962.html