When Mom told you to eat your fruits and veggies, I’m sure she said eat tomatoes, too (yes, it’s a fruit!) weren’t the first thing that came to mind. It was the ‘green stuff’ that just seemed to multiply on your plate and never go down. What you may not know is that tomatoes pack a powerful punch that can compete with the best of the leafy greens. They are rich in Lycopene, an anti-oxidant that fights against many deadly diseases. In fact, tomatoes have the highest concentration of lycopene of any fruit or vegetable as evidenced by their deep red color.
Why care about lycopene? Well, the health benefits are numerous:
* Cancer prevention (prostate, ovarian, digestive-tract)
* Heart disease prevention
* Lowers blood pressure and high cholesterol
* Prevents growth of existing cancer cells
* Helps keep blood sugar under control
Tidbit #1 – Cooked tomatoes have even more lycopene than raw tomatoes.
Tidbit #2 – Adding olive oil to tomatoes while cooking them increases the absorption of lycopene.
Tidbit #3 – Tomatoes are great for skin care. Try peeling a few raw tomatoes and laying them on your skin (inner side down) for about 10 min. Your skin will thank you!
One of my favorite summer treats this year has been heirloom tomatoes. Not only are they beautiful in shape and color, they are juicier, more flavorful, and less acidic than their plain ‘ole tomato counterparts. Heirloom tomatoes are wonderful in salad, BLTs, in a recipe, or even by themselves. I like to slice and pepper them for an easy, healthy snack.
These little suckers are expensive in the grocery store, but you can usually find them in local farmers markets or better yet, grow your own! My husband and I planted heirlooms in our garden this year and they were to die for. Next year, we will work on how to reduce and better organize the tomato plants as they have completely taken over the planter, but they are worth every stray stalk. For tips on planting, see The Tasteful Garden.
Tomatoes are one of the best things you can feed your body. Give them a try and work them into your daily munching! Please comment and share with me your tomato recipes, garden, or anything to show why you love tomatoes below!
Before you go, be sure to sign up for the FREE Living 5×5 manifesto to get the inside scoop on how I started making changes about living my life loud and clear. And tomatoes are one of the main ingredients!
Please note: I’m not a health and wellness expert by trade but as a beauty product and health and wellness junky of 10+ years, I have much information to share on these topics!