We know that apparently kale, quinoa and green tea are going to help us live forever, but have you ever thought of tomatoes as a superfood to add to that category? Apparently this little health hero was sitting right under our noses this whole time, making amazing salads, sauces and bruchetta while also saving our lives. It hits all your major health concerns and squashes them like a rotten tomato on the face of a bad comedian. We love when something delicious ends up being really good for us. We didn’t even know we were being healthy. If you needed more reason to eat tomatoes than their pure taste excellence, we’ve got a bunch right here.
Happy tummy, happy heart
The French don’t call this red beauty pomme d’amour (the love apple) for nothing, this fruit (vegetable?) has some great cardiovascular benefits. (Full disclosure: they called it the love apple because they thought it had aphrodisiac powers. It doesn’t. Also, yes, it’s a fruit). Tomatoes can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol and fight off heart disease. The source of their power is the antioxidant lycopene which is found in fruits and veggies that are red in colour.
We already said tomatoes have lycopene, but how can you make the most of that precious antioxidant? Unlike a lot of veggies that lose nutrients when you cook them, lycopene is actually better absorbed by your body when it’s cooked with oil or fat (a pasta-lover’s dream, right?). That means it’s time to break out grandma’s family tomato sauce recipe or one of these other amazing tomato dishes. Yum!
We’re always hearing about the importance of antioxidants in fighting off those cancer-causing free-radicals. Lycopene does that too. Between the antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds in tomatoes, they’ve been known to fight off breast, prostate and colon cancers. Guess apples aren’t the only fruit (vegetable?) that can keep the doctor away.
Orange you glad you could just eat a tomato?
The other superstar here is the tomato’s vitamin C content. One orange may be 88 percent of your daily vitamin C, but a tomato doesn’t do too shabby, supplying 40 percent of your daily requirement. Unfortunately, cooking a tomato breaks down the vitamin C so your lycopene-rich tomato sauce doesn’t have as much vitamin C as a tomato salad. Maybe you should just have both then? Sounds like a win-win-win-win to us.
A tomato complexion isn’t a bad thing
It looks like Spain has the right idea. Every year they have a massive hour-long tomato fight. During that time, people get completely soaked in tomato juice and as it turns out, that’s actually really good for your skin. Using tomato on your face can tone, reduce fine lines and wrinkles and even brighten your complexion. The vitamin C also helps protect your skin from harmful UV rays.
After all that, don’t you just want to bathe in tomato juice?