Tomatoes protect against heart attack and stroke
Carotenoids are a family of over six hundred phytochemicals, including alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein and zeaxanthin. Carotenoids are abundant in green and yellow-orange vegetables and fruits and help to defend the body’s tissues against oxidative damage; oxidative damage from free radicals contributes to chronic diseases and aging.
The levels of carotenoids in your skin and in your blood are a good indicator of your overall health because the levels parallel the levels of plant-derived phytochemicals in general. In fact, I use a carotenoid skin testing method to non-invasively track my patients’ progress as they adopt a nutritarian diet. Low blood levels of total carotenoids, alpha-carotene, and lycopene have been linked to premature death; of all the carotenoids, very low blood lycopene was the strongest predictor of mortality.
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