Tomatoes contain anti-inflammatory protection from the antioxidants Vitamin A &C it contains in high amount and this can also stop free radical damage. Now as a reminder free radicals occur daily from our bodies day to day metabolism to consumption of harmful substances that lead to free radicals. Free radical damage within cells has been linked to a range of disorders including cancer, arthritis, heart disease, Alzheimer's disease, and diabetes. Lets talk a little about cancer because that is a huge concern on most peoples mind these days. Lycopene plays a significant role in cancer PREVENTION, yes prevention, think about that. Lets be proactive and prevent a disease before we actually contract it. Tomatoes are also a very good source of Vitamin K and Magnesium, both essential for bone health. A great food to add if you have low energy because it contain energy promoting nutrients such as iron, and the B vitamins B 1, 2 and 5 along with niacin.
Tomatoes are very high in nutrients and low in calories....only 38 calories in 1 cup of raw tomatoes. Think about snacking on cherry tomatoes instead of potato chips!
Fried Green tomatoes pose a couple of problems, first the fried part, and second, the green tomatoes have less nutrients, because until a tomatoes turns red, the full array of nutrients are not developed.
Peak season for tomatoes in the US are between July through October. Thats 4 months of the freshest most nutritious tomatoes of the year.
So when shopping for tomatoes look for ones that are deep dark red they will have the most lycopene, and they will feel heavy for their size. Its best to buy your tomatoes from local growers as you will be assured they werent picked early so they were easier to ship. When shipped from far, they have to be picked before they have been vine ripened then artificially ripened before sold to you.
Choosing organic will assure there is not wax coating and remember that wax coating can trap pesticides on the produce.
Using tomatoes within a day of purchasing is the best way to insure the most nutrients and flavor. The longer they are left on the counter the more they lose their flavor and the more nutrients are lost.
Raw tomatoes are so versatile, add them to salads, sandwiches, wraps, and one of my favorites is chopping tomato chunks, avocado and cucumber and tossing with olive oil and balsamic dressing for a unique side dish. Get a little more creative with some feta cheese or cilantro.
But to really benefit from the health benefits of tomatoes, youll want to cook them. Theres the traditional spaghetti sauces but consider baking tomatoes for a side dish. Simply cut a large beefsteak tomato in half and sprinkle with any seasoning of your choice. Perhaps cayenne and cumin, or basil and oregano, or salt and pepper, then simply broil cut side up for a few minutes. You can add extras like Parmesan cheese or coconut oil near the end of the cooking. Or put them on skewers while your barbecuing this summer.
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