Tomatoes are a great addition to any dish and there are over 100 varieties of them grown across the globe. Not only are they flavorsome and packed with nutrients, but they’re also great for the waistline as they’re actually 95% water.
Though they are known to be higher in sugar, which is why some people may choose to avoid tomato sauces, sugar levels are known to be higher in fruits and it doesn’t mean people should be avoiding them. What people should be avoiding are the processed packaged sauces. However, if sauces are made from scratch using freshly picked tomatoes there’s nothing to worry about.
Here are some of the health benefits of tomatoes and a few ideas on how to introduce them into your diet on a more regular basis.
They Have a Great Vitamin Content
Tomatoes are rich in vitamins C, K1, B9, and Potassium meaning that they’re great for controlling blood pressure, promoting healthy bones, and ensuring healthy tissue growth. As a source of folate, they’re particularly beneficial to pregnant women.
They Can Provide Protection For The Skin
Tomatoes are also reported to help protect people from the sun’s harmful UV rays (though using sunscreen on the daily is still recommended). However, according to a study conducted by Stahl et al., when a mix of tomato paste and olive oil was consumed over a 10 week period, test subjects were more resistant to sunburn.
Tomatoes Can Promote the Longevity of a Person’s Sight
Tomatoes are known to contain a number of biologically active compounds in them including beta-carotene and lycopene which have both been associated with reducing AMD (Age-related Macular Degeneration), which causes elderly people to begin losing their sight.
How To Introduce More Tomatoes Into Your Diet
“Tomatoes are part of a rich Mediterranean diet and are grown in abundance here in Spain,” says Valeria Hurtado of reviewbox.es. “Spanish people use them for salsas, soups (especially gazpacho), tomato sauces and even tapas” she continues.
This Gazpacho recipe from Cookie and Kate creates the perfect opportunity to increase an individual’s tomato intake. For those who don’t like cold soups, there are also an abundance of hot tomato soup recipes out there that can be made from a variety of different tomatoes. Fall and winter are the perfect seasons for making warm, home-cooked soups.
Salsa is also another great way to get some fresh tomatoes into a diet. Many people find that once they’ve made their own salsa for the first time, they rarely go back to the premade and heavily processed salsa that can be found in jars at supermarkets. It’s best practice to keep a salsa recipe simple and easy; diced grape tomatoes, pink salt, olive oil, a bit of cilantro and a big squeeze of lime. It’ll pack heaps of flavors and antioxidants, despite being made from just a handful of ingredients and goes well in wraps, burrito bowls, or even on burgers.