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Health Food Of The Week – Tomato

Tomatoes are one of those foods we’re all familiar with and know are good for us, but definitely don’t get the major respect they deserve. They contain Vitamin C, potassium, B vitamins, lutein (healthy eyes), biotin (healthy hair), they’re a source of fibre, low in calories and most importantly they are a rich source of lycopene…

Lycopene – Cancer Fighting Super Antioxidant

Lycopene is a very powerful antioxidant found in high concentrations in tomatoes. It’s a┬ácarotenoid which gives tomatoes their deep red colour. Numerous studies have found daily consumption of lycopene has been shown to reduce the risk of cancers, particularly prostate cancer.

Natural UV Protection

Lycopene has also been shown to offer natural UV protection from the sun and help reduce sunburn from UV rays. While this is yet another reason to eat tomatoes on a daily basis I don’t think you can ditch the SPF just yet, instead think of it as an added bonus and as a way to help keep skin looking young.

It’s important to note that getting lycopene from food is much more effective than isolated in supplement form as it’s the unique cocktail of nutrients found in the whole food that makes it so effective.

Eat Tomatoes With A Little Fat

Lycopene is fat soluble meaning it needs to be combined with some fat to be absorbed. This can easily be achieved by adding a little avocado or olive oil to your meal containing tomato. Another reason to make sure we consume a certain amount of healthy fat in our diet.

Choose Vine Ripened

When using fresh tomatoes go for the vine ripened variety as tomatoes ripened on the vine not only taste better than tomatoes that are picked while still green and artificially ripened, but they also contain more vitamin C. As humans we lack the ability to produce our own vitamin C and must obtain it from our food daily.

Canned & Pureed Tomatoes Are Healthy Too

Tomatoes health benefits are so powerful that they remain even after being processed. In fact tomato puree has even higher concentrations of lycopene than fresh tomatoes. There’s even some benefit in tomato ketchup! Obviously try to get the sugar free kind.

So you can add tomatoes fresh to salads and homemade salsas or canned to soups, stews or marinades, and kids can add a little organic ketchup to their healthy meals!

Now there’s no excuse for not eating tomatoes and reaping the benefits.

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4 Responses to "Health Food Of The Week – Tomato"

  • davidgowing says: