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tomatoes which kindle the heart

A tomato a day keeps the heart surgeon at bay.

The chemical lypocene, which gives the skin its red colour, was proved in tests at Cambridge University to break down fatty deposits in arteries and potentially prevent heart attacks and strokes.

The required consumption is considerably more than one tomato a day. Those not partial to the fruit may be happy to know the pill called Ateronon, which underwent the clinical trials, packs the equivalent lypocene of 6lbs of tomatoes into one capsule.

I will not be taking the tomato tablet. I just eat a lot of the real thing since it is among my favourite fruits, even when I thought it was a vegetable. Ian Bruce, former war correspondent of The Herald and now a philosopher and wit on Facebook, put me right when he posted: "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad."

You're probably wondering what my favourite tomato recipe is, what with me being an expert on the Mediterranean diet. Take a big chunky but juicy tomato you bought in a stall at a Barcelona market. Cut into thick slices, sprinkle on a bit of salt and a lot of black pepper. Eat.

That's all I've got to say about tomatoes. Except, by happy coincidence, an e-book I have unleashed on Kindle may be relevant.

It's a collection of my favourite columns which occupied this space over the past few years. I was going to call it Some Stuff You Probably Read Before. Or maybe Abridged Too Far, a reference to enforced brevity. These, and Kindle Leave the Stage, were rejected by the publisher (me).

The words fifty and shades work well in an e-book title. So how about Fifty Shades of Shields? Or Fifty Shields of Grey.

Then I chose for the cover a lovely photograph by Leslie Black of Solana, the Roman goddess of the tomato holding a splendid specimen of the fruit. So, Fifty Shades of Tom?

Finally, I opted for 57 Varieties of Tomato, mainly in the hope of publicity from being sued by Heinz. See self-publishing? See self-indulgence?

l Tomato fanciers should note the book contains no references to the noble fruit. But it is amazing value at £1.53, even more so if Amazon had let me sell it for 99p.

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