How would meals be without tomatoes? Used for everything from stews to salads, tomatoes may just be the most consumed fruit/vegetable anywhere. Whether you love sliced tomatoes in your sandwich, drizzled with olive oil or tomato sauce on your pasta – eating tomatoes regularly is good for your heath, as well as your palate. This glossy red fruits (which actually come in all kinds of colors, including yellow and deep purple) are packed full of vitamins – including vitamins A, C and E. #BenefitsOfEatingTomatoes.
Tomatoes are native to South America, but they have been grown and enjoyed in different parts of the world for hundreds of years. Just one serving a day of tomato-based foods can have an incredibly beneficial effect on your health. Not only can they reduce heart disease, but they could potentially prevent and reverse dozens of diseases if eaten daily. This is one fruit you don’t want to leave out of your diet.
In fact, they are incredibly versatile and can be prepared in a seemingly endless number of dishes (sauces, salads, juices, soups e.t.c.) as well as being great to eat alone. They contain lycopene; a carotenoid and phytonutrient responsible for giving vegetables their red color, lycopene offers many positive health benefits. Preliminary research suggest that people who have diets rich in tomatoes, which contain lycopene, appear in some studies to have a lower risk of certain types of cancer. They also contain flavonoids (natural anti-inflammatories), potassium and other mineral salts. Tomatoes are naturally low in sodium, saturated fat, cholesterol, and calories. Ripe, red tomatoes are likely to contain more lycopene than paler, watery ones. This is because it’s the lycopene that gives them their color.
Now you know that tomatoes are full of vitamins and minerals and make a healthy, low-calorie addition to meals and snacks, but what exactly are they offering your body? Relax and let’s delve into that.
Tomatoes Improve Bone Health
When thinking of bone and preservation, tomatoes aren’t the first thing that come to mind right? Well, tomatoes contain a considerable amount of calcium and Vitamin K. Both of these nutrients are essential in strengthening and performing minor repairs on the bones as well as the bone tissue. Many people do not consider bone a living tissue, but while you are alive, so is bone. Also, the importance of lycopene in tomatoes was confirmed in postmenopausal women, who experienced accelerated bone loss when tomato consumption was discontinued.
Provides Healthy Hair and Skin
Drinking tomato juice constantly improves the appearance and texture of hair and since it is rich in vitamin k, it helps to strengthen the tuffs of hair and increase its luster as well as the revitalization of growth. As mentioned earlier, tomatoes contain lycopene, which is a substance that is used in some of the more pricey facial cleansers that are available for purchase over-the-counter. The lycopene also makes skin less sensitive to UV light damage, a leading cause of fine lines and wrinkles. If you want to try tomatoes for skin care, you need to start with about eight to twelve tomatoes. Peel the tomatoes and place the skin on your face with inside of the tomato touching your skin. Leave the tomatoes on your face for a minimum of ten minutes, then wash. Your face will feel clean and shiny. Some redness may occur, but should fade with time.
It Improves Eye Health
Tomatoes have 1/4 of the daily recommended value of vitamin A. Eyes are particularly vulnerable to free radical damage but the vitamin A in tomatoes has the ability to counteract free radicals which keeps the eye healthy and fights night blindness. If that was not enough, the antioxidants in tomatoes not only lycopene but also lutein and beta-carotene can preserve your eyesight by protecting against the development of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.
It Offers Excellent Weight Loss Support
Can tomatoes help you lose weight? Yes. If you are on a sensible diet and exercise plan, build lots of tomatoes into your everyday eating. Being a fruit, tomatoes are a healthy alternative to greasy, fatty snacks. Tomatoes have low caloric value and are filled with water and fiber to make you feel fuller longer. Tomatoes can be eaten raw, or cooked. If prepared with a healthy oil like olive oil, you get that much more health benefit. In addition, tomatoes boost energy for working out and detoxify the bad things out of your body to make room for the good stuff in turns, aiding in weight loss. They’re also the perfect ingredient to use with your salads, casseroles, sandwiches, and other meals.
It Reduces The Risk of Cancer
There is a growing body of evidence to support the fact that increasing your consumption of tomatoes is associated with a reduced risk of cancer, especially those of the prostate, colon and breast. These effects are heavily attributed to the presence of Lycopene in the fruit. The lycopene works effectively to slow the growth of cancerous cells. Cooked tomatoes produce even more lycopene, so go ahead and cook up a batch of your favorite tomato soup or stew.
It Reduces The Risk of Birth Defects
During pregnancy, It is recommended to increase one’s intake of vitamins. This prevents the risk of both birth complications and defects. Folic acid is a B vitamin that is used to supplement pregnancy for protection against neural tube defects.
It is Good For The Heart
Regular consumption of tomatoes has numerous beneficial effects on the heart, owing largely to the presence of beta carotene and the rare anti-oxidant Lycopene. The lycopene when eaten regularly, can significantly reduce the risk of heart disease. Fresh tomatoes and tomato extracts have been shown in research to lower total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. They have also been shown to prevent clumping in the blood (known as platelet aggregation) which is a risk factor for atherosclerosis.
It Boosts The Immune System
Daily consumption of tomatoes increase the proportion of anti-oxidant vitamins such as C and E in the blood, which helps keep your immune system strong against infections.
It Helps Repair Damage Caused by Smoking.
No, eating tomatoes is not the most recent fad to help you quit smoking. However, tomatoes can reduce the amount of damaged done to your body by smoking cigarettes. Tomato contains coumaric acid and chlorogenic acid. These acids fight against the main carcinogens, nitrosamines, in cigarettes. Vitamin A is also known to reduce the effects of carcinogens and also protect against lung cancer.
Note: Smoking is generally harmful to your health.
It Prevents Kidney Stones and Gallstones
Kidney stones and gallstones are common health problems that may be prevented by eating tomatoes. They’re said to reduce the risk of these problems arising, especially if they are eaten without the seeds.
Tips For Buying
If you don’t have a bountiful tomato plant in your backyard. choose tomatoes from the store that are sourced locally whenever possible. Better still, visit your local farm stand. Local tomatoes are often are even less expensive than the mass produced variety.
Choose tomatoes that have firm and shiny skin. The color should be deep and uniform with no tears or bruises on the skin.
Once home, show off your harvest by keeping tomatoes at room temperature. Avoid keeping tomatoes in the refrigerator, as the cold temperature breaks down the cell walls of the vegetable faster, making them become softer and more quickly lose their texture and flavor.
Cook Your Tomatoes To Boost The Healthy Effect
Cooked or heat processed tomatoes contain more lycopene, because cooking helps to release lycopene from the tomato cells. Lycopene is fat soluble, so it helps to cook it in oil, such as olive oil.
Eating tomato ketchup and pizza topping counts towards lycopene intake, says Sian Porter. Of course that has to be weighed against additives, such as sugar and salt – and it might be better to consume tomato purée, she says.
Since cooking reduces vitamin C, however, the British Tomato Growers’ Association suggest eating a range of fresh and cooked tomatoes. Tomato based sauces can be eaten as a soup, added to pasta, stews, bolognese, tomato-based curries, used as a pizza topping or made into a spicy sauce to top meatballs. Fresh tomatoes can be added to salads, sandwiches or as garnishes to a main meal.
Easy Ways To Eat More Tomatoes
1.Add slices of tomatoes to your sandwiches, whether they have meat, fish, or are vegetarian
2.Use marinara or tomato sauces (canned, cooked, or homemade) on pasta; this can be big calorie savings when you swap out creamy sauces for tomato-based sauces.
3.Eat them raw as a mid-afternoon snack.
4.Drink tomato juice or make tomato smoothies
5.Chop tomatoes in a salad (leave them at room temperature, if possible.)
6.Add chopped tomatoes to your morning scrambled eggs or omelets.
7.Make a tomato sandwich—this is a sandwich that stars the tomato. The classic dressing for this sandwich is mayonnaise but some people who like tomatoes and mustard.
8.Make your own salsa with lots of fresh tomato to serve with fish, meats, and even salads . Salsa is a great replacement for high-fat salad dressings.
9.Serve stewed tomatoes over a baked potato (also great on mashed potatoes.)
10.Add canned or stewed tomatoes to soups and stews, like vegetable soup or beef stew.Add slices of tomatoes to your sandwiches, whether they have meat, fish, or are vegetarian.
Here Are Some Few Tomato Recipes You Can Try
Tomato salsa is so easy to make, and you can customize it according to your tastes. If you want to add more garlic, you can do that. Use a sweet onion, or a red onion, or you could even try green onions. If you want it to be spicy, add some jalapeno pepper. If you have yellow or orange cherry tomatoes, you can use those, too!
You really can’t mess this salsa up – the ingredients are simple, and it makes a colorful, fresh salsa.
1 small onion
1 jalapeño pepper, stemmed
½ cup (125 mL) loosely packed fresh cilantro
2 tbsp (30 mL) fresh lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, peeled
½ tsp (2 mL) salt
2 cups (500 mL) tomatoes, divided
1.Place the onion and garlic in the food processor and pulse until finely chopped.
2.Place all the other ingredients in the food processor.
3.Pulse until the salsa is the desired texture.
Can you preserve this tomato salsa?
This is a fresh salsa, meaning there is no cooking or canning involved. You make this up, eat it, and refrigerate the leftovers.
How long can I store this salsa in the refrigerator?
This salsa can be stored for up to three days in the refrigerator. It’s really best when served right after you make it, though!
Oven Roasted Tomatoes
Tomatoes are a great compliment to most anything, but they are also great all on their own. You can eat the grape tomatoes like grapes or eat a regular tomato like an apple.
1 Cup grape or cherry tomatoes (either whole or halved)
Salt and pepper
1/2 Garlic clove, minced
1.Preheat oven to 400 degrees
2.Line cookie sheet with tin foil
3.Spread tomatoes out
4.Drizzle with olive oil
5.Add salt and pepper and garlic
6.Using hands mix all ingredients to coat
7.Put in oven for 10 minutes, checking at 8 minutes
Alternative options include drizzling with balsamic, topping with parmesan, rosemary or basil.
Can be served with chicken, fish, beef, over a fresh green salad or just on their own.
Tomatoes are truly a superfood, whereas the word has been thrown around loosely for hundreds of fruits and vegetables- tomatoes stand tall. Their easy of consumption (whether raw or lightly cooked) makes them extremely versatile and easy to be incorporated into a variety of meals, or even as salads. They offer up important benefits for your health, making their place in diets of all types irreplaceable. What are you waiting for- pick up a juicy red tomato and bite right in!
…healthy foods, healthy lives.