Why tomatoes are awesome!

Tomatoes feature in a lot of the dishes I regularly cook for myself, from being the base of a sauce to a colourful addition to a simple salad.

Eating lots of tomatoes, any way you can, is a great thing. This fruit that acts like a vegetable and is loaded with healthy properties.

Here just a few reasons why you should have tomatoes in your kitchen:

  1. In particular, tomatoes contain awesome amounts of lycopene,thought to have the highest antioxidant activity of all the carotenoids.
  2. Tomatoes and broccoli have synergy that may help reduce the risk of prostate cancer. One study showed that prostate tumors grew much more slowly in rats that were fed both tomato and broccoli powder than in rats given lycopene as a supplement or fed just the broccoli or tomato powder alone.
  3. A diet rich in tomato-based products may help reduce the risk of pancreatic cancer, according to a study from The University of Montreal. Researchers found that lycopene was linked to a 31% reduction in pancreatic cancer risk between men with the highest and lowest intakes of this carotenoid.
  4. Tomatoes contain all three high-powered anti-oxidants: beta-carotene (which has vitamin A activity in the body), vitamin E, and vitamin C.
  5. Tomatoes are rich in potassium, a mineral that most of us don’t have enough of in our diet.
  6. When tomatoes are eaten along with healthier fats, like avocado or olive oil, the body’s absorption of the carotenoid phytochemicals in tomatoes can increase by two to 15 times.
  7. Tomatoes are a big part of the famously healthy Mediterranean diet. Many Mediterranean dishes and recipes call for tomatoes as a paste or sauce. Some recent studies found that people who most closely follow the Mediterranean diet have lower death rates from heart disease and cancer.
  8. When breastfeeding mothers eat tomato products, it increases the concentration of lycopene in their breast milk. In this case, cooked is best.
  9. Tomato peels contribute a high concentration of the carotenoids found in tomatoes. The tomato skin also holds most of the flavonoids as well. So to maximize the health properties of tomatoes, don’t peel them if you can help it!