The humble red sauce seems to hold the Mediterranean secret to longevity and a strong heart, claims a new Spanish study. Researchers at the University of Barcelona found that red sauce, which is made from tomato, onion, olive oil and garlic, acts as a “shield” against cardiovascular disease. The scientists saw that this particular sauce contains more than 40 antioxidant substances, specifically polyphenols, which are believed to protect the heart from oxidative stress. They even discovered that the miraculous action of the specific substances results from the magical (tasty) “marriage” of the materials in question.
As part of their study, the experts proceeded to analyze different types of ready-made red sauce sold in supermarkets. “Sauces containing extra virgin olive oil have better antioxidant properties, as they are richer in polyphenols, compared to other sauces,” explains Dr. Rosa Lamuela, who participated in the study. Ana Valverts Keralt, also a participant in the study. “Sauces of this kind have more polyphenols than simple tomato or tomato juice, as both the garlic and the oil and the onion it contains are also rich in polyphenols,” she concludes. The interesting findings of the Spanish researchers were presented in the scientific journal “Food Chemistry”.