Is there anything better than a warm tomato picked from your garden? Okay, maybe there are a few things, but when you are biting into this ripe red fruit, it’s hard to think of what they may be. I know that not everyone is lucky enough to have tomatoes growing in their backyards, but your local farmers’ markets are brimming with them, so there is no excuse not to enjoy locally grown tomatoes.
Tomatoes aren’t only DELICIOUS! They are also chock-full of healthy nutrients. Starting with the basics, tomatoes contain large amounts of vitamin C, providing 40% of the daily value (DV). They also contain 15% DV of vitamin A, 8% DV of potassium, and 7% of the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of iron for women and 10% RDA for men. Not bad for this little red guy, eh?
But that’s not all, They also contain a powerful antioxidant called lycopene. Lycopene is responsible for a tomato’s color. Recently, studies have revealed that lycopene may have twice the punch of another well-known antioxidant, beta-carotene. Studies conducted by Harvard researchers have discovered that men who consumed 10 servings of tomatoes a week can cut the risk of developing prostate cancer by a whopping 45%. However, its benefits are not limited to the prostate. Italian researchers have found that those who consume more than 7 servings of raw tomatoes a week lower the risk of developing rectal colon or stomach cancers by 60%. Israeli researchers have found that lycopene is a powerful inhibitor of lung, breast, and endometrial cancer cells. Research has also indicated that the lycopene in tomatoes can help older people stay active longer.
When choosing or picking your tomatoes, look for bright red ones. The richer in color they are, the more nutrient dense they are. Personally, my favorite way to eat a fresh tomato is sliced up with a little salt. I also enjoy the following simple lunch:
Toasted Tomato Sandwich
Step 1: Toast your favorite bread (I like Ezekiel sprouted)
Step 2: Butter the bread
Step 3: Load up with sliced tomatoes
Step 4: Sprinkle with salt and pepper
Step 5: Devour!
So dig in to this summer’s most delicious offerings. Here is a picture of some of my tomatoes, which will have been consumed by the time you read this!