Tomatoes are loaded with antioxidants ( which is a substance that removes potentially damaging oxidizing agents in a living organism ) and are equally delicious whether cooked or raw. It is a very good source of vitamins C and E, Folate, Potassium, lycopene and beta Carotene. Tomato is technically a fruit; though it is generally referred to as a vegetable and there are at least 10,000 varities of this healthy fruit.
Tomato is an excellent source of lyopene which is a Carotenoid pigment and phytochemical that may help protect against prostrate cancers. Lycopene is a naturally occuring substance that give fruits and vegetables a red colour. It can also be found in Watermelon, Pink Grapefruits, Papayas and Pink Guava. Lycopene is known to slow down human cell damage caused by ageing and disease. The best way to get a healthy dose of lycopene is through tomatoes when they are processed; cooking tomatoes releases a whole lot more lycopene to be absrbed by the body. Lycopene is fat soluble so the oil is said to aid absorption.
When choosing your tomatoe; know that the redder the better as the redder ones have up to 50% more lycopene than the paler varities and Vine ripened ones also have more lycopene than those that were harvested early and allowed to ripen off the vine. According to research studies there is a higher concentration of lycopene in tomatoe paste that uses the whole fruit including the skin unlike thoes that remove the skin. SO KEEP THE SKIN ON when using tomatoes in recipes.
The seeds of tomatoes are also healthy as they have a substantial amount of digestible amino acids (which is used by the body to grow, repair body tissues and perform many other functions- in short they are regarded as the building blocks of life).
The jelly like substance around the seeds has the highest concentration of Vitamin C in the tomato fruit. This jelly like substance is actually high in Salicylates which studies have shown to have an anti clotting effect on the blood. Salicylates are naturally occuring chemicals in certain plants and are also an ingredient in Aspirin and other pain relieving medication. This anti clotting effect on the blood may be partially responsible for tomato’s reputed protection against heart disease.
The discovery of the effectiveness of this jelly like substance was made by Professor Asim Dutta-Roy when he was extensively researching into the benefits of a Mediterranean diet. This led to the gel being patented as Fruitflow. Research has shown that a smoother blood flow is noticed within 3 hours of consuming this product with the effect lasting up to 18 hours.
My aim in mentioning the above product is not to advertise it BUT TO LET EVERY BLOG VISITOR REALISE THE CLINICALLY PROVEN POTENCY OF THE GEL SURROUNDING A TOMATO FRUIT. In light of this, it is advisable to eat the whole fruit whether raw or processed.
WAYS TO ENJOY TOMATOES
Toss it into salads
Add it to Sandwiches
Use tomato paste in Jollof rice recipe…..
Use both chopped tomatoes, passata and tomatoe paste in this Flaked mackerel sauce. Here
Snack on it; especially the cherry varieties
Look for recipes that call for tomatoes and delibrately inculcate it into your diet
All in all, enjoy this healthy fruit the way you prefer to and consciously make it a regular part of your diet.
Anybody else know any other way to enjoy Tomatoes? Feel free to share with us and lets Explooorreee!