Glorious Summer Tomatoes!

Apr 19, 2018
We are now well into summer, which for me always means that it’s tomato time! One of my biggest summer highlights is eating tomatoes that are now at their sweetest – in fact, I’ve been known to eat them like an apple.
How Good Are They?
In addition to being delicious, tomatoes are absurdly good for you with benefits including improved eye sight, good stomach health, reduced blood pressure, relief from diabetes, skin problems and urinary tract infections. They can also increase digestion, stimulate blood circulation, reduce cholesterol levels, improve fluid balance, protect the kidneys, detoxify the body, prevent premature aging, and reduce inflammation and related conditions.
One serving of red, ripe, raw tomatoes (one cup or 150 grams) is a good source of Vitamins A, C, K, folate and potassium. Tomatoes are naturally low in sodium, saturated fat, cholesterol, and calories. Tomatoes also provide thiamin, niacin, vitamin B6, magnesium, phosphorus and copper, all of which are necessary for good health. And they’re delicious!!
The scientific name of tomatoes is Solanum lycopersicum, and they are believed to be native to Mexico. It was the Spanish colonization of America and Central America that caused tomato cultivation to spread. They are an annual nightshade plant, and grow in clusters of small to moderately sized, round red fruits, categorised this way because they are full of seeds.
Easy Ways to Eat More Tomatoes
  • Add sliced tomatoes to sandwiches—from tuna to turkey 
  • Use marinara or tomato sauces (canned, cooked, or homemade) on pasta; this use 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 tomatoes or add them to a breakfast omelette 
  • Add canned or stewed tomatoes to soups and stews, like vegetable soup or beef stew
  • Make your own salsa with lots of fresh tomato—salsa is a great replacement for creamy salad dressings as well as being tasty on meats, fish, and eggs.
  • Chop tomatoes into a salad (leave them at room temperature, if possible) 
  • The best way to eat tomatoes is in my 3 Colour Tomato and Burrata Salad (see recipe below)!

The Top 7 Reasons to Eat Tomatoes:
1. They Fight Cancer

Tomatoes are natural cancer fighters that contain a large amount of lycopene, an antioxidant that is highly effective in defending against cancer causing free radicals. You can get this benefit not only from raw tomatoes, but also from heat-processed tomato products like ketchup. The lycopene in tomatoes defends against cancer and has been shown to be particularly effective in fighting prostrate cancer, cervical cancer, cancer of the stomach and rectum as well as pharynx and esophageal cancers. It also protects against breast cancer and cancer of the mouth.

In addition, a single tomato can provide about 40% of your daily vitamin C requirement. Vitamin C is a natural antioxidant which prevents against cancer-causing free radicals from damaging the body’s systems.

2. They Make Your Skin Healthy

Tomatoes make your skin look great! Beta-carotene, also found in carrots and 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 and wrinkles. Topical application of tomato juice is even known to cure severe sunburns.
3.They Improve Vision

The vitamin A that tomatoes provide can improve vision and help prevent night blindness. Recent research shows that consuming tomatoes may help reduce the risk of macular degeneration, a serious and irreversible eye condition.
4. They Improve Digestive Health
Tomatoes keep the digestive system healthy by preventing both constipation and diarrhoea. They also prevent jaundice  and effectively remove toxins from the body. One serving of tomatoes gives you 2 grams of fiber, which is 7% of the daily recommended amount. Fiber can bulk up the stool, reduce symptoms of constipation and it can regulate your bowel movements, thereby improving your overall digestive health.
5. They Give You Strong Bones and Hair

Tomatoes build strong bones. The vitamin K and calcium in tomatoes are both very good for strengthening and repairing bones.  Lycopene also has been shown to improve bone mass, which is a great way to fight osteoporosis. 
Tomatoes will even make your hair look good. The vitamin A found in tomatoes works to make hair strong and shiny. (Sorry, tomatoes cannot help much with thinning hair—but they will make the hair you have look better!)

6. They Prevent Urinary Tract Infections

Tomatoes also reduce the risk of urinary tract infections,  as well as bladder cancer. Because tomatoes are high in water content, which can stimulate urination, they are a diuretic in certain ways. They increase the elimination of toxins from the body, as well as excess water, salts, uric acid, and some fat as well. Their relatively high water content also makes them a filling food.
7. They Lower Blood Pressure 

Eating a tomato daily reduces the risk of developing  hypertension, also known as high blood pressure. This is partially due to the impressive levels of potassium found in tomatoes. Potassium reduces the tension in blood vessels and arteries, thereby increasing circulation and lowering the stress on the heart by eliminating hypertension.

Get Even Healthier!

Want help learning how to choose and use nutritious vegetables, fruits and other good-for-you foods? Curious about how health coaching can help you make your own healthy changes? Let’s talk! Schedule a Kickstart Your Mojo Consultation with me today—or pass this offer on to someone you care about!

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