Imagine the delicious taste of fresh tomato in salads, cooked dishes or as tomato based sauces in your pasta dishes. It is an essential ingredient in your menu!
In addition to its luscious taste and shining, appealing color, the redder and riper the tomato, the more beneficial it is for your body. Why? Simply because the darker the colour, the richer it is in a natural anti-oxidant called lycopene.
What is lycopene?
Lycopene is the pigment that gives tomatoes their redness. Being a powerful antioxidant, it helps protect body cells from harmful environmental factors such as smoking, pollution and harmful sunrays, in addition it could contribute to:
- Reducing the risk of cancer especially of the prostate and of the digestive system
- Decreasing the risk of heart diseases
- Delaying aging and its related diseases
Tomatoes are also rich in vitamins and minerals!
Eating one medium tomato a day can give you 25% of your body’s needs of vitamin C, 20% of your vitamin A requirements and 1 to 2 grams of fiber for a healthy digestive system. Additionally, it is a good source of potassium.
Here are a few simple tips to enjoying all the benefits of tomatoes:
- Add fresh tomato and tomato sauce generously to your pizza and pasta dishes
- You can also use tomato paste while preparing stews such as bean or peas stew, since it is concentrated which makes the absorption of lycopene faster
- Make fresh tomatoes part of your daily salads and sandwich fillings
- When you are thinking about having soup, choose tomato-basil soup
- Why not take a break from your occasional fresh fruit juices and try out tomato juice instead? It’s delicious and lower in calories!
Remember that lycopene absorption in the body increases when the tomatoes are cooked, so don’t hesitate to add fresh tomatoes in your cooking. Bon appetite!