When it comes to warmer weather, we want to eat lighter. One way to do that is to increase your intake of fruits and vegetables. One that you need to include is tomatoes.
What is it about tomatoes that we love so much? They are a sign that warmer weather is here. A good summer tomato makes it worth enduring the winter.
But, that is not the only thing that makes a tomato desired by all. It is a super fruit that contains antioxidants. You know what those are. They are substances that combat free radical damage in the body. Free radicals are a natural by-product of cellular respiration. They bombard the organs and can lead to things like cancer, premature aging and heart disease.
The antioxidant substances in tomatoes are called carotenoids. They help to maintain a healthy heart and reduce cholesterol levels. One of the main carotenoids is lycopene. Tomatoes are full of it as well as vitamin C and A. Lycopene also helps to reduce the incidence of cancer, particularly prostate cancer.
Tomatoes are delicious when eaten fresh and sliced up with other vegetables. You will definitely get a full dose of lycopene. But, you know what’s better? It seems that the tomato releases even more of it when it is cooked.
Using fresh tomatoes in soups, stews and sauces also helps other nutrients in your food dishes be absorbed more readily into the body. To get the best nutrition from your dishes, combine tomatoes with heart-healthy foods like fish, greens, olive oil, avocados, lean meat and greens.
Now that you know what tomatoes can do for you, it’s time to find out about some tasty recipes.
- Chicken salad with tomatoes – This is not the mayonnaise chicken salad. Here, you place grilled chicken on a bed of baby spinach or mixed greens. Add some sliced cherry or grape tomatoes along with Italian seasoning, feta cheese and your favorite salad dressing.
- Tomato soup – Forget the can and go for natural. Take your best and juiciest summer tomatoes and grind them up in a blender. Warm up in a saucepan and add low-fat milk to thicken as you stir, or some sour cream.
- Kebabs – Take a few sliced tomatoes and arrange them with pieces of shrimp, chicken or beef along with other vegetables on metal skewers. Add a bit of olive oil to the outside of the vegetables for even cooking.
- Roasted Tomatoes – You can do so much with these. They can be chopped to make chutney to go with fish or pork. Or use them to create your own pasta sauce.
You can do just about anything with tomatoes. Enjoy them fresh on a salad or stuffed with your favorite mayonnaise-based salad. Marinade a few slices in vinegar and olive oil for a tasty snack. Roast and blend them for a delicious base for sauces. No matter how you prepare them you are getting a powerful antioxidant benefit.
What are your favorite tomato recipes? Let us know in the comments.
That’s it for now. Until next time Divas, wear your heels well and Be Blessed!
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