Tomatoes are technically “fruit”, but many of us (myself included) group tomatoes into the vegetable category. Tomatoes are rich red in color, lycopene an antioxidant is responsible for this gorgeous color and a myriad of health benefits. There are several varieties of tomatoes including red, heirloom, green, yellow, cherry, plum, beefsteak, campari, and grape.
How to use | use fresh in salads, juices, sauces, salad dressings, or cook with skillet meals, roasting, marinara sauces, and much more!
Nutrient breakdown of TOMATOES | *per 100g, 1 small tomato
Vitamin A | 17% DV
Vitamin C | 21% DV
Vitamin K | 10% DV
Vitamin E | 3% DV
Potassium | 7% DV
Manganese | 6% DV
B Vitamins | folate, B6, niacin, B5
Antioxidants | flavonones, flavonols, carotenoids including lycopene, lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta-carotene.
Tomatoes have been studied in great detail with their relation to cancer protection due to theantioxidant content. Specific antioxidants in tomatoes protect the bones, liver, kidneys, bloodstream, and may also work to reduce the damage to fat in cell membranes or within the bloodstream (a.k.a. lipid peroxidation). Tomatoes provide overall cardiovascular support and decreases the risk of heart disease,lowers cholesterol, supports bone health, and the minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants are great for general health.
Where to purchase | health food stores, grocery stores, farmers markets, or online retailers. Purchase organic as much as possible, tomatoes are one of several foods on the “dirty dozen” list from the EWG- meaning foods that contain the most pesticide residue (which isn’t a good thing!).
Tips and tricks | if purchasing canned tomatoes, opt for BPA-free cans as the acid in the tomatoes help leach BPA from the plastic lining (we don’t want that). Also, the nutritional content (mainly lycopene content) actually increases/becomes more available when cooking!