Tomato an antioxidant

Tomato Medley cherry 300gTomato an antioxidant

The humble tomato is a member of the nightshade family and is composed of more than 93 percent water. Lycopene is the pigment responsible for the red color of tomatoes and has demonstrated ‘antioxidant’ activity associated with a lowered risk of cancer. Did we use a buzz word?

Antioxidant – what does it mean?

What does antioxidant really mean? In brief: The process is triggered by factors such as bad food choices; bad habits, such as smoking and excessive alcohol; pollution; stress; and lack of exercise.

What happens?

A molecule in the body loses its electron and it becomes a ‘free radical’ which grow uncontrollably and affects the DNA of cells ‘oxidative stress’ and contributes to the onset of cardiovascular disease and premature aging. The body can cope with some free radicals and needs them to function effectively. However, an overload of free radicals has been linked to certain diseases, including heart disease, liver disease and some cancers. Antioxidants scavenge the free radicals from the body cells, and prevent or reduce the damage caused by oxidation.

How to get antioxidants?

Eat a variety of richly coloured fruits and vegetables — the most colourful ones tend to pack the greatest antioxidant punch. Carotenoids: phytochemicals are the fat-soluble pigments abundant in yellow, orange, red and green fruits and vegetables.

Prostate Cancer

Blokes – eat tomatoes which have the antioxidant lycopene, as research has shown it helps diminish development of prostate cancer. Lutein, found in spinach and corn, has been linked to a lower incidence of eye lens degeneration and associated blindness in the elderly.

Flavonoids, such as the tea catechins found in green tea, are believed to contribute to the low rates of heart disease in Japan. Red grapes and their products contain an additional antioxidant, anthocyanin, that gives them their intense red-purple color. The onion family–garlic, onions, shallots and leeks contain flavonoids, vitamin C, selenium and sulfur-containing substances. Vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli and brussels sprouts have antioxidant capabilities because of their high vitamin C and flavonoid content.

Cucumbers are members of the pumpkin, zucchini, watermelon and squash family, water based and a powerful antioxidant.

Why eat a variety?

So, taking advantage of a healthy lifestyle means putting some variety into your eating and literally the ‘spices’ in your life have been found to have the highest antioxidant content of all foods – clove, allspice, cumin, cinnamon and ginger (January 2010 edition of the Nutrition Journal) and the aromatic herbs sage, marjoram, rosemary, peppermint, oregano and thyme.


All things Red

 Red Chard All things Red

If you’re looking for lycopene (LIKE-oh-peen), an antioxidant phytonutrient, and flavonoids called anthocyanins then you can’t go past Red Chard and Red

Now stop for a minute if you went ‘Yuk’. These two can be really delicious and we have provided some recipes for you to try. See below. For more on anthocyanins worth a read.

Prostate Cancer Prevention

They also have amazing health benefits being ‘power packed food’ and because they were picked less than 48 hours ago they hold they are very fresh.Research shows that the red in the chard help protect against prostate cancer which accounts for 30% of all new cancers in Australian men.1 in 5 men before they are 85 will most likely be diagnosed with prostate cancer. So gentlemen do eat foods rich in lycopene such as strawberries, raspberries, Watermelons, pink grapefruits,tomatoes and beetroots.


The Red Chard is grown by Michallef in Windsor. Throughout winter and spring, he’ll have least 2 crops, and 3 if it’s a mild winter. We just hope he’ll have enough over the next week to fill our orders, as we don’t any farmers who grow red chard. (Grima brothers grow rainbow chard in 5 colours, but randomly sown so the patch looks like a wildly psychedelic Persian carpet…)


The red cabbage is grown by Steve and Sam Grima in Horsley Park. The outer leaves are a beautiful green and red hue, and if we left them whole, you’d get the outer leaves as well. But they weigh around 3kg each – probably more cabbage than most of us can handle. So we clean off the leaves and cut them in halves and quarters for your convenience.

The purple colouring in red cabbage provides a powerful source of Anthocyanins, and group of Flavonoids (or Antioxidants) that help fight cancer, maintains a healthy heart and reduces weight gain. Use red cabbage to make coleslaw, or bake it with Bonza apples, cinnamon and a splash of red wine.

Recipes – Red Chard

  • Red Chard Stuffed with Ham & Cheese
  • Chickpeas with Red Chard
  • Braised Red Chard – Acelgas Guisadas  
  • Red Chard & button mushroom filo with tomato salsa

Recipes for – Red Cabbage

  • Cabbage Rolls
  • Red Cabbage with Mushrooms and Mandarins

  • Wilted Red cabbage salad