larger colors tomatoes-1556061_640.jpg

Tomato (Solanum Lycopersicum)

Another fruit classified as a vegetable because that's how we use and market it. 

The tomato originates in South America and is part of the nightshade family.

The family tree includes eggplant and red pepper. This is why some uninformed groups were afraid to eat tomatoes until sometime in the 1900’s.  

WOW! the USDA estimates there are approximately 25,000 varieties of tomatoes.

Tomatoes can be found in shades of red, green, orange, yellow, pink, purple, almost black, with stripes, with streaks and new colors are popping up all of the time.

In my garden, I grow the yellow cherry tomatoes because they are less acidic than the red and, they have a really sweet flavor.

My sweet little granddaughter loves to pick them and pop them right into her mouth, yummy!

No matter what color or variety your favorite tomato is, any one of them provides you with a plethora of health benefits via phytonutrients, flavonoids, acids, fiber and more.

Here’s why including tomatoes in your daily eating, is a great habit any day of the year.  

Carotenoids


Lycopene – a strong antioxidant that’s better absorbed once heated and when eaten with a little healthy fat.

Lycopene

Lowers the risk of stroke

Lowers the risk of osteoporosis

Promotes heart health by lowering the oxidation rate of fats in the cells and blood, decreasing LDL cholesterol and triglycerides.

Lowers risk for prostate, non-small cell lung, pancreatic, and breast cancers.


Beta-carotene - a strong phytonutrient-antioxidant that converts into vitamin A

Beta-carotene

Keeps the eye’s retina and cornea healthy

Maintains healthy skin

Supports the reproductive system

Facilitates growth


Lutein and Zeaxanthin - antioxidants within the eye

Lutein and Zeaxanthin

Protect the eyes by fighting off cataracts and macular degeneration.


to get the most lycopene and beta-carotene As possible, Always eat the skins!

Flavonoids

Naringenin – shown to decrease oxidative stress within the body thereby offering protection from heart disease, diabetes, some cancers, inflammation, high cholesterol, and memory loss.

Chalconaringenin, Rutin, Kaempferol, and Quercetin – all promote heart health by providing protection from disease and antioxidant activity

striped tomatoes-1778540_640.jpg
yellow 1239196_640.jpg

Hydroxycinnamic Acids

Caffeic, Ferulic, & Coumaric – protect against inflammation, protect DNA from being damaged, and act as antioxidants.

Glycosides

Esculeoside A – shown to lower LDL-cholesterol and triglyceride levels


Fatty Acid Derivative

9-Oxo-Octadecadienoic Acid – found to enhance the way the liver metabolizes fats, which can help the body maintain a healthier cholesterol panel.


canned.jpg

Excellent Source Of:

Vitamin C – 33% DRI

Biotin – 24% DRI

Molybdenum – 20% DRI (involved in amino acid breakdown)

Vitamin K – 16% DRI

 

Good Source Of:

Copper, potassium, manganese, dietary fiber, vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene), vitamin B6, folate, niacin, vitamin E, phosphorus, chromium, pantothenic acid, protein, choline, zinc and iron


Assorted Tomato Juices - Fancy

Assorted Tomato Juices - Fancy

Focaccia Bread

Focaccia Bread

Gratin Tomatoes

Gratin Tomatoes

Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Sun-Dried Tomatoes

As you can see from the pictures above and the resources below, tomatoes can be eaten fresh, cooked, frozen, candied, canned, fried, stewed, broiled, dried, pickled and more.

We find them in preserves, jam, juice, casseroles, sauce, salsa, and so much more. 

I challenge you to try a new recipe or even canning some this season. No matter how you slice it, you can't go wrong with a tomato. Enjoy!

 

Resources:

Chicago Botanic Garden – Tomatoes: https://www.chicagobotanic.org/plantinfo/smart_gardener/tomato_different_color

Food Network – Herb Stuffed Tomatoes: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/herb-stuffed-tomatoes-recipe-1916800

Food and Nutrition Magazine -  French Bread Pizza with Herbed Ricotta, Spinach and Tomatoes: http://www.foodandnutrition.org/Blog/The-Cutting-Board/June-2015/French-Bread-Pizza-with-Herbed-Ricotta-Spinach-Tomatoes/  andWatermelon-Tomato Gazpacho: http://www.foodandnutrition.org/Stone-Soup/July-2015/Watermelon-Tomato-Gazpacho/  and Tomato Poached Swordfish: http://www.foodandnutrition.org/Stone-Soup/May-2017/Stone-Soup-Vlog-Tomato-Poached-Swordfish/

Green City Market – Gazpacho: http://www.greencitymarket.org/recipes/recipeDetail.asp?id=46

Healthy Delicious – Summer Tomato Jam: http://www.healthy-delicious.com/summer-tomato-jam/

National Center for Home Food Preservation – How Do I? Can Tomatoes: http://nchfp.uga.edu/how/can3_tomato.html

Serious Eats – Roasted-Tomato Salsa: http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2012/05/roasted-tomato-salsa.html

Super Healthy Kids – Tomato-Avocado Cup Snacks: http://www.superhealthykids.com/tomato-avocado-cup-snack-recipe/

What’s Cooking? USDA Mixing Bowl: Spaghetti Squash with Tomatoes, Basil, and Parmesan: https://whatscooking.fns.usda.gov/recipes/supplemental-nutrition-assistance-program-snap/spaghetti-squash-tomatoes-basil-and-parmesan  and Tomato N’ Cheese Pasta: https://whatscooking.fns.usda.gov/recipes/supplemental-nutrition-assistance-program-snap/tomato-n-cheese-pasta

USDA – SNAP-Ed Connection – Tomato Resources and Information: https://snaped.fns.usda.gov/seasonal-produce-guide/tomatoes

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comment