But fast forward a few years on – OK maybe LOTS of years, I now absolutely love my tomatoes.
Since discovering the Roma and Cherry tomato range I hardly go a day without having one of these luscious red fruits. Yes tomatoes are actually a fruit – not a vegetable.
There are a plethora of Health Benefits from eating tomatoes, some of which include:
– the anti-inflammatory properties of vitamins C + vitamin A help to control free radical damage. Free radicals break down body tissues (such as collagen and elastin) which can cause wrinkles and they have also been linked to many diseases such as cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, arthritis and diabetes.
– They contain the phytochemical ‘lycopene’ which is known to help prevent cancer.
– They are great for sufferers of low energy as they high sources of iron + B vitamins including niacin, B1, B2 and B5. Now that’s music to the ears for a tired, run down and exhausted shift worker!
– They are a good source of vitamin K and magnesium which are good for our bones.
Important Tips Before Buying Your Tomatoes
– Always buy organic tomatoes as non-organic may have a wax coating which can trap pesticides. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) they can also contain some of the highest levels of pesticides so it’s safest to just buy organic.
– Always source local. If they have come from a long way they have probably been picked green which means they haven’t had a chance to develop the vital phytonutrients. They are then artificially ripened once they get to the store by using a gas. Yikes! That is definitely not good.
– Having tomatoes in salads are great, but according to research our bodies are able to obtain the benefits of the phytochemical lycopene from eating cooked tomatoes as opposed to raw.
So there you have it. So many wonderful benefits from including tomatoes in your diet, but probably the best part of all is how they can give us so much energy.
On that note, I’m off to an Italian restaurant for dinner so I’ll be making sure I definitely choose a tomato-based dish off the menu! Hmmm. A risotto, pizza or pasta …