This Spring we have been given an enormous harvest of tomatoes. We have five varieties of tomato, including the Tommy toe, red Roma, San Marzano, yellow Roma, & golden sunrise. These are our hot season varieies, & although they are small in size, they are large in flavour. They’re sweet, juicy, & delicious. But, does everyone know why tomatoes are a healthy food? They have vitamin C? They’re low in calories? They’re fatfree? Yes, yes, & yes, but that’s not all! Let’s look at what makes the tomato an excellent healthy choice. Tomatoes are a good source of Vitamins A, C, K, folate & potassium. Toma toes are naturally low in so dium, saturated fat, cholesterol, & calories. Tomatoes also provide thiamine, niacin, vitamin B6, magnesium, phosphorus & copper, all of which are necessary for good health. On top of that, one cup of tomatoes gives you 2 grams of fibre, which is 7% of the daily recommended amount. One tomato packs one powerful punch of nutrition, but there’s much more! Tomatoes make your skin look great. Betacarotene, also found in carrots & sweet potatoes, helps protect skin against sun damage. Tomatoes’ lycopene also makes skin less sensitive to UV light damage, a leading cause of fine lines & wrinkles. Tomatoes build strong bones. The vitamin K & calcium in tomatoes are both very good for strengthening & repairing bones. Lycopene also has been shown to improve bone mass, which is a great way to fight osteoporosis. Tomatoes are a natural cancer fighter. Lycopene (again!) can reduce the risk of several can cers, including prostate, cervical, mouth, pharynx, throat, oesophagus, stomach, colon, rectal, prostate & ovarian cancer. Tomatoes’ antioxidants (vitamins A & C) fight the free radicals which can cause cell damage. Tomatoes can keep your blood sugar in balance. Tomatoes are a very good source of chromium, which helps to regulate blood sugar. Tomatoes can improve your vision. The vitamin A that tomatoes provide can improve vision & help prevent night blindness. Recent research shows that consuming tomatoes may help reduce the risk of macular degeneration, a serious & irreversible eye condition.
Tomatoes will even make your hair look better. The vitamin A found in tomatoes works to make hair strong & shiny. Tomatoes can reduce chronic pain. If you are one of the millions of people who deal with mild to moderate chronic pain (such as from arthritis or back pain), tomatoes may be a painbuster. Tomatoes are high in bioflavonoids & carotenoids, which are known anti inflammatory agents.
Easy ways to eat more tomatoes
Add sliced tomatoes to sandwiches from tuna to chicken; Chop tomatoes in salad (leave them at room temperature, if possible); Use marinara or to- mato sauces (canned, cooked, or homemade) on pasta; this can be big calorie savings when you swap out creamy sauces for tomato-based sauces; Drink tomato juice or vegetable juice with tomatoes; Tomatoes for breakfast? Top scrambled eggs with coarsely chopped toma- toes; Eat tomatoes as a mid- afternoon snack – small toma- toes can be eaten like cherries; Make a tomato sandwich—this is a sandwich that stars the tomato; Add tomatoes to soups & stews, like vegetable soup or beef stew; Serve stewed toma- toes over a baked potato (also great on mashed potatoes); Make your own salsa with lots of fresh to