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The Hidden Health Benefits of Tomatoes

Tomatoes & Tomato Sauce

Tomatoes are in season all summer long, especially in New Jersey where an abundance of ripe, juicy tomatoes can be found. They’re not just encouraged to add to our diets because they happen to be plentiful this time of year; tomatoes are loaded with health benefits. They can also be prepared in many different ways, allowing for countless recipes to be made.

Tomatoes contain high levels of a substance called lycopene which may be linked to reducing the risk of cancer, heart disease, and age-related eye disorders. Lycopene is a natural chemical and antioxidant that gives certain fruits and vegetables its color. Lycopene is thought to help improve skin care, and is even an ingredient in some upscale facial cleansers.

Top Health Benefits from Eating Tomatoes

Tomatoes help maintain strong bones. They contain beneficial amounts of calcium and Vitamin K, both of which are pivotal in strengthening and performing minor repairs on bones and bone tissue.

Tomatoes help repair damage caused by smoking. The coumaric acid and chlorogenic acid inside tomatoes work to protect the body from carcinogens formed from cigarette smoke.

Tomatoes contain nearly half of your daily recommended intake of Vitamin C.

Tomatoes are good for your heart. The vitamin B and potassium in tomatoes can help reduce cholesterol levels and thus, lower blood pressure.

Tomatoes can help improve your hair and eyes. Vitamin A helps maintain shiny, strong hair, as well as prevent blindness.

A Few Ways to Consume Tomatoes (of the very many)

  1. Eat tomato sauce, tomato paste, or tomato soup – all of which offer heated sources of lycopene.
  2. Drizzle olive oil over fresh tomatoes. The olive oil is a healthy fat that will help absorb the nutrients in the tomatoes.
  3. Combine tomatoes with other antioxidant-rich vegetables to get the most of out your meal, like in a fresh salad or salsa.

Be sure to contact your medical or nutrition professional to find out if incorporating tomatoes in your diet is right for you, or to find out if you have a possible food allergy.

*Courtesy of floridatomatoes.org