If you love tomato sauce in all its variations – pasta, pizza, or simply a dip for a fresh wholegrain bread – then there is good news. Because tomato sauce seems to be exceptionally healthy not only for the prostate, but also for the gut. Spanish researchers announced in April 2018 that tomato sauce promotes the activity of probiotic intestinal bacteria and thus is wonderfully suited for the care of the intestinal flora. They were also able to clarify the question of whether the tomatoes had to be boiled or raw.
Tomato sauce for the intestine
Tomato sauce is a bit of a fast food – and, as it is often served with white flour pasta, burgers or salami pizza, does not necessarily have a good reputation. The tomato sauce, however, can not do anything for all the unhealthy other ingredients. Because she herself has enormous health benefits, eg. For the prostate, at least if you eat them (or other tomato products) daily. Spanish researchers showed in April 2018 that tomatoes can also promote intestinal health.
The antioxidant lycopene
Responsible for the protective effect on the prostate gland should be in particular the tomato’s own phytochemical lycopene, the u. a. has antioxidant properties. Lycopene belongs to the group of carotenoids and gives the tomato its red color.
The substance has an antioxidant effect because it can protect the cells from damage caused by oxidative stress (free radicals), for example as a result of UV radiation, so that regular tomato consumption is also considered a natural sun protection measure.
Likewise, tomatoes are one of those foods that can positively affect the respiratory tract and improve lung function.
The prebiotic Oligofructose
Researchers at the Université Politècnica de València in Spain now examined how antioxidants in the gut interact with the intestinal flora located there. In the focus of the investigations again lycopene, but also other substances of the tomato.
The oligofructose contained in tomatoes, for example, had already proved to be a prebiotic in earlier studies. Prebiotics are substances that serve the intestinal bacteria as food and therefore can promote the well-being of the intestinal flora and thus long-term intestinal health.
The probiotic Lactobacillus reuteri
Research leader Ana Belén Heredia has now examined in her latest study how Lactobacillus reuteri – a probiotic strain of gut bacteria – responds to the tomato sauce’s antioxidants, and how the cooking process would alter that response.
L. reuteri has long been known for its beneficial effects on human health. If it is in the relevant amount in the intestine of the human, it has a protective effect on the gum health, helps to regulate the level of cholesterol, relieves colic in babies and prevents skin allergies. A special sub-strain of L. reuteri also protects against infection with Helicobacter pylori, the stomach germ that is often blamed for gastritis and stomach cancer.
Pear tomatoes are particularly lycopene-rich
They chose the so-called pear tomatoes, as they have a higher lycopene content. Pear tomatoes are easily recognizable by their pear-shaped appearance.
“We investigated the activity of intestinal bacteria in the presence of lycopene from tomato sauce, but also the effects of gut bacteria on the bioavailability of lycopene,” Heredia explained, and the research team wanted to find out whether they were cooking for the positive effect of tomatoes on the intestinal flora or should eat raw tomatoes.