Some say tomatoes are nature’s greatest fruit. They can be eaten in sandwiches and salads, cooked in pasta sauces, roasted, fried – or just eaten fresh out of the pack. It’s difficult to imagine life before tomatoes, but surprisingly the Italians never so much as embraced a single one until the 1500s.

Tomatoes contain vitamins A, C and E as well as lycopene, an antioxidant that is known to lower blood pressure by helping to prevent cholesterol sticking to blood vessel walls. Tomatoes are also a good source of calcium and potassium, a trace element that’s been linked to lower blood pressure.
Tomatoes come in many shapes and sizes from cherry tomatoes to giant beefsteaks. They are best stored at room temperature out of direct sunlight – never keep them in the fridge.

Ingredients

    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 2 onions
    • 4 cloves chopped garlic
    • 2 carrots
    • ½ green pepper, chopped
    • ½ yellow pepper, chopped
    • ½ red pepper, chopped
    • 1 stick celery chopped
    • Handful mushrooms
    • 1 tin plum tomatoes
    • Carton of Passata
    • 1 apple, peeled and chopped
    • Dried basil and oregano
    • Pinch salt and freshly ground black pepper

 

Preparation

In a large pan, gently fry onions and garlic in the olive oil until translucent and soft. Add the chopped carrots, peppers, mushrooms and celery and fry for a few minutes. Add the tinned tomatoes, passata and apple and bring to the boil, simmering gently for an hour. 10 minutes before the end of cooking add the basil, oregano, salt and pepper then blend to a smooth sauce with a hand blender. Serve and enjoy over pasta.

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