Antioxidants in tomatoes protect the bones, liver, kidneys, and bloodstream.
Tomatoes are technically considered to be a fruit, but many of us (myself included) group tomatoes into the vegetable category. Tomatoes are rich red in color, due in part to the antioxidant lycopene. There are several varieties of tomatoes available including red, heirloom, green, yellow, cherry, plum, beefsteak, Campari and grape.
Health Benefits of Tomatoes:
Tomatoes have been studied in great detail for their relation to cancer protection due to their antioxidant content. Specific antioxidants in tomatoes protect the bones, liver, kidneys and bloodstream. These antioxidants may also work to reduce the damage done to fat in cell membranes or within the bloodstream (a.k.a. lipid peroxidation). Consumption of tomatoes provides overall cardiovascular support and decreases the risk of heart disease. It can also lower cholesterol and support bone health. Surprisingly enough the nutritional content (mainly lycopene content) actually increases and becomes more available when cooking!
Nutrient Breakdown of Tomatoes:
*Per 1 small tomato, 100g
- 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 | flavanones, flavonols, carotenoids including lycopene, lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta-carotene.
How To Use:
Tomatoes are great when used fresh in salads, juices, sandwiches or wraps. They’re also great when cooked in a savory dish, soup or sauce!
When purchasing canned tomatoes, opt for BPA-free cans. Unfortunately the acid in the tomatoes causes the BPA to leach from the plastic lining (we don’t want that!).