Well, despite having lived in the U.S. for 26ish years, and having adopted many new words and pronunciations along the way…. I still say tom(ah)to! But no matter how you say it, we can all agree they’re good for you!
Tomatoes contain a high concentration of lycopene, a carotenoid antioxidant that is extremely effective in reducing free radicals in the body and has been shown to be effective in fighting several different types of cancer, including breast cancer. Research has shown that lycopene is more powerful than other carotenoids e.g. even beta-carotene in reducing breast cancer risk. Other sources of lycopene are watermelon, papaya, pink grapefruit and carrots.
Tomatoes are also a good source of melatonin, a hormone related to our circadian rhythms (our body clock). Melatonin has been shown to have cancer-fighting properties, particularly in breast cancer. Low levels of melatonin, from excessive light exposure, have been associated with an increased breast cancer risk. This is why it’s so important to sleep in a dark room, or wear an eye mask.
Cherry tomatoes seem to have the highest level of lycopene, (probably because of their high ratio of skin to flesh) which makes me happy, as they’re so darn cute and easy to eat! Lycopene is actually easier to absorb from cooked tomatoes, tomato sauces and tomato paste.
A note of caution when it comes to canned tomatoes. The lining of many cans contain BPA (bisphenol A) a potent estrogen mimicking, hormone disrupting chemical. Please make sure the label on the can says BPA free or better yet, use fresh tomatoes or buy your tomatoes, sauces and pastes in glass jars.
Tomatoes are also an excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin C and biotin. They are also a very good source of copper, potassium, manganese, dietary fiber, vitamin B6 and folate.
The high levels of vitamin A in tomatoes, helps to improve vision and macular degeneration. Their rich supply of antioxidants are also good for bone health. Regular consumption of tomatoes has been proven to decrease cholesterol and be protective to the heart.
Lastly, they’re great for your teeth, hair and skin!
Who doesn’t love a little mystery in their life?
Secret Ingredient Tomato Basil Soup from nutritionist, Marzia at Little Spice Jar www.littlespicejar.com
A particularly tasty version of everyone’s favorite!
Best Ever Roasted Salsa by Jen from Yummy Healthy Easy www.yummyhealthyeasy.com
Have you canned tomatoes? I’d love to give it a try, but haven’t yet! Share your tips for canning below.