Cutting cancer to boosting fertility – 5 surprising benefits of tomato ketchup as Ed Sheeran bottles sell for £1,500August 16, 2019
A LIMITED edition bottle of Heinz tomato ketchup became the priciest ever last night – after it sold for a huge £1,500.
The bottle, designed by Ed Sheeran, 28, was auctioned off in aid of the East Anglia's Children's Hospices and Rise Against Hunger at Christie's in London.
Only 150 of the limited-edition bottles have been created, and they all feature a copy of Ed's specially-designed inkings.
And while for most people ketchup is just something to dip your chips in or dollop on a hot dog – it turns out the tasty condiment is much more than that and it can have some surprising health benefits.
Here we look at the five key ways Britain's favourite sauce is actually a sauce of wellbeing…
1. Increases sperm count
A recent study revealed that Lycopene, which gives tomatoes their red colour, could boost male fertility.
Researchers found that the antioxidant could increase sperm count by up to 70 per cent – as well as increase the swimming speed and reduce the number of abnormal sperm.
2. Improves eyesight
As well as being high in vitamin C and low in fat, ketchup contains vitamin A, which is key for a healthy immune system and, perhaps crucially, good vision.
3. Cuts cholesterol
A daily dollop of tomato ketchup can slash cholesterol levels, research shows.
Eating the sauce every day was shown to attack 'bad' cholesterol in the blood, known as low-density lipoprotein, which is linked to heart disease and strokes.
Volunteers who ate 30g daily or drank a few glasses of tomato juice saw levels drop by 13 per cent in three weeks.
Researchers at Finland's University of Oulo urged patients with high cholesterol around seven in ten over-45s to consume ketchup or tomato juice daily.
In a report on the findings, published in the British Journal of Nutrition, they said: ''The changes we saw can be regarded as significant, considering that the time period was only three weeks and all the volunteers had normal cholesterol levels to start with."
4. Reduces risk of prostate cancer
Eating tomato sauce twice a week can actually reduce a man's risk of prostate cancer by 20 per cent.
American experts, who carried out one of the biggest studies into the benefits of a tomato-rich diet involving almost 50,000 men, urged men to eat more tomato-based products.
The study tracked the health of more than 47,000 men between 1986 and 1998 and it found that during that time, nearly 2,500 had developed prostate cancer.
The results, published in the latest Journal of the National Cancer Institute, showed that those who ate at least two servings of ketchup a week were up to 36 per cent less likely to get the disease than those who had one serving or less a month.
There were 437 cases of cancer in those who rarely ate ketchup compared with only 295 in those who had at least a couple of servings a week.
Dr Tim Key, of Cancer Research UK, said the study gave weight to the possibility that lycopene in ketchup may be important in the cancer battle.
5. Makes healthy food more bearable to eat
Ketchup quite frankly can mask the taste of anything – so it could help people struggling to eat their vegetables.
However, despite all the health benefits above – ketchup is also packed full of sugar and salt so may not be the best thing for a serious health kick.
And tomato growers have also argued that people would need to eat a whole 200ml bottle of the sauce a day to see many of these benefits.
They instead claim that eating six fresh tomatoes would be much more beneficial and provide the optimum 30mg of lycopene, with the added benefits of vitamins C and E.
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