Tomato juice contains a lot of lycopene; a substance contained in red fruits, it is an effective agent for lowering bad cholesterol (LDL). Thus was the conclusion of research by the University of Adelaide, Australia, which was published in the journal Maturity (2011; 68: 299-310). According to the study which was involving 700 people, the lycopene in tomatoes was effective as cholesterol-lowering drugs, without any muscle pain or weakness which is a side effect of chemical drugs.
Tomato juice is the best option other than taking drugs. For those of you who look for natural remedies for cholesterol, this is good news! Moreover, in addition to lowering cholesterol, lycopene in tomato juice also helps you reduce blood pressure, protect against cancer, and prevent cataracts and macular degeneration, and other diseases.
Drinking 300 ml of tomato juice every day means you are taking high doses of lycopene. The researchers found that high-dose lycopene (25 mg or more per day) reduces bad cholesterol and lower systolic blood pressure. Consumption of 25 mg of lycopene per day can lower bad cholesterol about 10%. This result is equivalent to low doses of statins (drugs commonly taken to lower blood cholesterol). Lycopene in that amount can be obtained from 50 grams of tomato sauce, 100 grams of fresh tomato or 300 ml tomato juice.
Lycopene in tomatoes are in two forms, called cis and trans. Raw tomato is rich in trans lycopene. However, this form is poorly absorbed by the body. Cooking tomatoes convert it to cis form. Hence, processed tomato in form of pasta or sauce provides more lycopene than raw tomatoes. Consuming tomato with fat and other carotenoids (such as beta-carotene, found in carrots) increases lycopene absorption in the intestine. So, eating pizza or tomato juice mixed with carrot is more effective to provide lycopene compared to eat tomatoes only. Read more why it is recommended to mix tomatoes and carrot a glass of juice.
Tomato juice should not be your enemy. If this happens then you get a big loss. Use tricks that make you like tomato juice, especially for those who have high cholesterol, please apply this finding. However, if you feel bored because have to drink too much tomato juice every day, you can intersperse with other foods that contain lycopene. Lycopene is part of the family of carotenoids, an antioxidant pigment that gives yellow-orange color on fruits and vegetables. In addition to tomatoes, red watermelon, orange, papaya, and guava are also rich in lycopene. When eating fruits makes bored, do not worry, there are many other foods that can lower cholesterol. Have you made your own tomato juice?