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Superfood of the Week: Health Benefits of Tomatoes

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TomatoesSummer is around the corner and that means: tomatoes! Tomatoes go well on so many things: sandwiches, salads, pasta, chicken, Mexican food­—you name it! They are tasty and satisfying, and with its many uses it is one of the most multipurpose fruits out there. I enjoy my tomatoes raw, stewed, steamed, sautéed and any other way possible.

Not only are tomatoes delicious and versatile, but they have amazing health benefits, too. Tomatoes contain a very important antioxidant known as lycopene, which has been found to fight against cancer as well as heart disease. Lycopene fights off free radicals, in your body, which can cause many diseases.

Nutritional Benefits of Tomatoes

  • 40 percent of your Vitamin C
  • 15 percent of your Vitamin A
  • eight percent of your potassium
  • seven to 10 percent of your iron (men and women, respectively)

Utilizing & Eating Tomatoes

To choose the best tomatoes of the bunch, look for ones that are bright red—this means they have the most lycopene. Also, keep in mind that tomatoes are great raw, but when they’re cooked, your body can absorb the lycopene more effectively. To get cooked tomatoes think catsup, canned tomatoes, sundried tomatoes, or tomato sauce. 

Tomatoes can be cooked and used in many ways including the following:

  • canned tomatoes in pasta
  • fresh tomatoes on salads and sandwiches
  • sautéed for omelets, quesadillas and vegetable or chicken dishes
  • tomato sauce for pizza and pasta
  • tomato soup, stew, and chili

To incorporate tomatoes in your favorite dishes, try these satisfying meals:

Enjoy a juice, ripe, red tomato today! 

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Tags: Antioxidants , Healthy Eating , Superfood of the Week

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About the Author


MS, RD, CSSD, LD/N

Tara Gidus is a nationally recognized expert and spokesperson on nutrition and fitness.

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