July 31st, 2014

Top 3 Reasons to Eat More Tomatoes

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Groovy Green Livin Tomatoes

Tomatoes are a favorite in our home. This year we planted a few tomato plants in our garden. They were growing and thriving until the deer discovered them and decided to eat a few of the plants. There are plenty left, but I would love any suggestions on how to prevent this next year.

The remaining tomatoes aren’t quite ready to pick. We’re waiting impatiently. There’s nothing like fresh plum tomatoes straight off the vine.

Groovy Green Livin tomatoes

Did you know that tomatoes aren’t vegetables? They are a citrus fruit.

Whether large or small, they pack a powerful punch by way of nutrients and health benefits. They are truly a super-food.

Here are the top 3 reasons to eat more tomatoes

Keep Cancer Away

The tomato’s beautiful red color comes from a phytochemical called lycopene. According to the American Cancer Society, studies have shown that risks for some types of cancer are lower in people with higher lycopene levels in their blood. 

I was a bit surprised to learn that tomatoes that have been crushed and cooked appear to be a better source of lycopene than those eaten raw. Apparently mashing, pureeing  and cooking releases more of the lycopene from the tomato, making it easier for our bodies to absorb. 

Ward Off Heart Disease

study by scientists at Tufts University found regularly eating lycopene, found in tomatoes, over many years can have a powerful positive effect on heart health. In another study a supplement of lycopene improved function of the the inner lining of blood vessels in volunteers with cardiovascular disease. 

Strong Bones

Vitamin K and lycopene, both found in tomatoes and tomato products, help prevent bone loss. A serving of tomatoes provide 18% the daily value for vitamin K, which promotes bone health. Lycopene, a potent antioxidant found predominantly in tomatoes and tomato products, helps to prevent bone loss and osteoporosis.

Time to eat those tomatoes! Stick with organic tomatoes whenever you can.

What’s your favorite way to eat tomatoes? Mine: roasted with garlic and olive oil. 

photo credit: Pieter Musterd via photopin cc  and arbyreed via photopin cc

23 Responses to “Top 3 Reasons to Eat More Tomatoes”

  1. Nothing is better than a fresh tomato! Oh how I will miss my own this year, but next year for sure!

  2. I never liked tomatoes until I was an adult and I tasted one fresh off the vine. You’re right, there’s nothing like them! It’s always interesting to hear about foods that have a higher nutrient content when they’re cooked. One more reason to make homemade tomato sauce. 🙂

  3. Oh my gosh, I love tomatoes even more now, though I don’t know if it’s possible to love them more. lol My sister actually told us to hang Irish Spring and Dial soap around our garden; she’s kept deer out of her garden for years doing this. We’ve tried it this year, and so far so good (knock on wood). I hope they stay away…. I want my tomatoes.:)
    Mel {MamaBuzz} recently posted..Introducing My New eBook – Blog Design Elements of SuccessMy Profile

  4. I love tomatoes and so does my 3 year old. She’ll grab a tomato and eat it like an apple! Happy about that! Great info shared, thanks!
    Caroline Murphy recently posted..DIY Microwave PopcornMy Profile

  5. My favorite way is sliced with basil, mozzarella and olive oil. Not the most original but so very yummy.

  6. I love tomatoes! My husband doesn’t agree but my toddler loves them too! Our favorite is just eating them plain! Not nearly as good cooked.

  7. My daughter LOVES cherry tomatoes. They are like candy to her. Looks like its not such a bad thing! She’ll be one healthy girl!

  8. I didn’t grow tomatoes for the first time this year – feeling a little jealous 🙂
    I like them plain or with fresh mozzarella and basil.
    nancy b. recently posted..A Cool Bowling DayMy Profile

  9. We grew a couple of tomato plants this year, late and so we are still patiently awaiting them to be ripe.
    Drew Bennett recently posted..Interview with Zoe Saldana – #GuardiansOfTheGalaxyEventMy Profile

  10. I just love a good beefsteak tomato with blue cheese.
    Emily @Random Recycling recently posted..What happens when kids bring one pail to the beach?My Profile

  11. Did someone say strong bones? I think the Stow household could use a few more tomatoes in our recipes! I’m not a HUGE fan, but Chris is. He plants his own every year.

  12. I never ate tomatoes as a kid Annie, but now I love them. Roasted with salt, olive oil and garlic.

  13. That sounds delicious Emily. So simple!

  14. They’re so easy to grow aren’t they Drew? My kids love watching them grow and ripen.

  15. If ours every turn red I’ll share Nancy.

  16. They are like candy to me too Charlene. Love that your daughter likes them! There are plenty of kids that won’t touch them unless they’re on pizza or pasta.

  17. Lucky you that your toddler likes tomatoes Heather. I love eating plum or grape tomatoes right off the vine.

  18. Yum! Your’e not alone Jessica.

  19. That’s great Caroline. When my kids were little they didn’t love tomatoes.

  20. Something you can try for the deer next year is a hot pepper spray. To make puree four or five hot chili peppers with a gallon of water, strain, and spray. This is even more effective if you let the puree age for a day or so before you strain and use it. It will not harm the tomato plants.

    It would need to be re-applied after rain.

    Its simple natural and effective.

  21. Thank you so much for this excellent tip. We’ll give it a try. So simple!

  22. I’ve loved tomatoes ever since when I was a kid. My mom always told me to eat them ‘coz they have lots of health benefits, and as a bonus they are also low in calories.
    Sarah recently posted..Intermittent fasting for weight loss – What you need to knowMy Profile

  23. […] continue reading this post → […]

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About Lori

Hi! I’m Lori, a recovering attorney, writer, and mom to three boys. Join me as I uncover and share the latest info on healthy living. Learn more.

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