The Health Benefits of Tomatoes, 
Summer's Shining Star

The health benefits of tomatoes are incredibly numerous, which is great since they taste so good. Not only are tomatoes fantastically delicious, but also they are packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

Tomatoes are one of my favorite parts of the summer, and luckily they're packed with health benefits.

Lycopene is one of the tomato’s greatest health benefits; it’s anantioxidant that helps flush free radicals out of the body and can even fight against the formation of cancer calls and heart disease. While some vegetables lose some of their health benefits when cooked, tomatoes actually develop more lycopene when cooked, and even more when cooked with a fat (such as olive oil).

The health benefits of tomatoes include being packed full with vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin K, molybdenum, potassium, manganese, dietary fiber, and tons of other healthful nutrients.

Among the claims for the healthfulness of eating tomatoes are that they can help keep blood sugar under control, lower your blood pressure, improve your vision, reduce the damage that cigarette smoking will do to your lungs, strengthen your bones, and reduce the risk of gallstones and kidney stones. You can even use them to improve the texture of your skin by applying a mask of pureed tomatoes. 

A few hints on buying tomatoes…

  • Choose organic whenever possible as tomatoes absorb tons of pesticides.
  • Buy from local farmers. I’m always amazed to learn how many children are turned off to tomatoes at a young age, but I've decided it must be because they try the mealy, flavorless versions that many big grocery stores provide. The delicate but intense flavor of a fresh, ripe tomato straight from the farmers’ market is hard to deny, so do everyone a favor and buy local tomatoes in season (as they are right now).
  • Look for firm tomatoes with no bruises.
  • Don't be turned off by "ugly" tomatoes. Some of the best tasting ones are heirlooms, whose seeds have been passed down the generations for hundreds of years. Before gene mixing to make perfectly round and red hybrid tomatoes, there were thousands of types of red, pink, yellow, orange, green, purple, and even black tomatoes with intense and varying flavors. Try them all to find your favorites!
  • When you get them home, remember never to store your tomatoes in the fridge. When cooled, tomatoes develop a mealy texture and tend to lose a lot of their flavor. Keep them on the counter out of direct sunlight so they retain their nutrition content and flavor.

How to Enjoy Tomatoes

You can make an amazing tomato juice by simply blending leftover tomatoes into a fine pulp. The seeds and skin provide health benefits as well, so I prefer an actual blender like a Vitamix for this task, rather than a juicer.

I also love slicing fresh tomatoes and topping them with salt and pepper and fresh basil. Nothing makes me feel like summer more than a plate full of gorgeous ripe and fragrant tomato salad.

Recipes Using Fresh Summer Tomatoes

› Health Benefits of Tomatoes

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by Cathleen Woods   |   © Copyright 2008-2016   |

Disclaimer: Everything in this website is based upon information collected by Cathleen Woods, from a variety of sources. It is my opinion and is not intended as medical advice.
It is recommended that you consult with a qualified health care professional before making a diet change.