There’s only so much we can eat in one day. With the different varieties of food available in the market, you’d have a hard time choosing which ones can benefit you the most. As much as you’d like to eat everything nutritious insight, you have to pick foods that not only have the most nutrients, they should also have fewer calories.
With fruits, you can only do so much in regards to calorie content. Fortunately, tomatoes can solve the dilemma for you.
Yes, unbeknownst to many, the most nutritious fruit in the world is the tomato. However, they’re almost always used as part of savory vegetable dishes. Packed with nutrients and low calories, they can be part of your diet every day without ruining your calorie “budget”. Here’s why you should be infusing them in your menu daily:
- They’re a good source of carotenoids such as lycopene, lutein, beta-carotene, and zeaxanthin. Both lycopene and beta-carotene are effective in preventing breast and prostate cancer, as well as stopping the development of breast tumors. Lutein and zeaxanthin are commonly associated with the prevention of macular degeneration and cataracts.
- You probably have heard, seen, and read about tomato sauce is good for the heart in advertisements. They’re not exaggerating as lycopene can take care of your heart health as well. As the premier antioxidant in this food, it helps in the regulation of fat and therefore preventing the risk of heart diseases.
- Additionally, the numerous phytochemicals also help in stopping the excessive clumping of blood platelets, creating an anti-aggregatory effect.
- One of the least known benefits of tomatoes in the body is the ability to protect bone tissues. A study was done in which lycopene-rich foods were eliminated from the diet of postmenopausal women for four weeks. In just a short span of time, the bones showed signs of stress and negative changes in bone tissues.
Reading the information above can put anyone in a frenzy and start “panic” buying for tomatoes. Just an afterthought though when choosing them, you shouldn’t worry too much about picking the dark red ones if they are not available.
Although lycopene is responsible for the deep-red color, you should instead choose those that are orange/tangerine as they are richer in tetra-cis-lycopene, which is better absorbed by our body.
As much as possible, don’t buy canned tomatoes and always aim to buy the fresh ones straight from the market. Avoid those with wrinkles, discolored spots, and mushy ones. If you bought unripe ones, make sure not to store them in your refrigerator as tomatoes are sensitive to the cold. Instead, store them in a paper bag at room temperature.
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Consume ripe tomatoes as soon as you buy them as they are easily perishable. Enjoy a salad, add them to dips and sandwiches, or simply mix them as you would with vegetable dishes.