Always in demand
Tomatoes are such a versatile and healthy fruit!
They’re one of my favorite foods – healthy, delicious and useful in all sorts of dishes. Read on for tomato facts that you might not know, and some ways to eat more tomatoes every day.
Why You Should Eat Tomatoes
Tomatoes can help to protect your skin against the sun, and reduce wrinkles
Tomatoes contain an antioxidant called lycopene. This has lots of health benefits, one of which is protecting your skin against damage from the sun. A small study carried out by researchers at the universities of Manchester and Newcastle found that people who ate 55g of standard tomato paste daily had 33% more protection against sunburn. Their skin also showed signs of protection against the aging process – which could prevent wrinkles.
Cooked tomatoes are even better for you than raw ones
Sometimes, we think that only fresh fruits and veggies count: in fact, the concentration of lycopene is higher in tomatoes that have been cooked. So the tomato paste in your pasta sauce is just as good for you as a raw tomato salad.
Tomatoes are full of good things for your body
As well as lycopene, tomatoes are packed with other great nutrients:
- Antioxidant flavonoids, which are thought to help protect against cancer and heart diseases.
- Vitamin C, another antioxidant, which helps to protect cells and assists your body in absorbing iron from food (important if you’re anaemic).
- Vitamin E, which helps protect cell membranes.
- Tomatoes are also high in fiber, and low in calories and sugar. One medium sized tomato (10 calories) provides 50% of your Vitamin C requirements for the day.
How to Include Tomatoes Every Day
- Tomatoes are so good for you that it’s worth eating some every day. This doesn’t mean endless tomato salads – there are loads of ways to work tomatoes into your meals. How about trying one of these:
- Drinking tomato juice instead of orange juice for breakfast.
- Adding a grilled tomato to your cooked breakfast.
- Having a bowl of tomato soup for lunch (make your own or buy fresh).
- Adding a sliced tomato to your sandwich at lunchtime (cheese and tomato or bacon, lettuce and tomato are popular combinations).
- Making a tomato-based sauce to go with your pasta at dinner time – throw in cooked onion, mushrooms and/or courgette too.
- Using a tin of chopped tomatoes in your chilli, bolognaise or lasagne sauce.
- Adding cherry tomatoes to a garden salad.