It’s no secret, I love tomatoes. Big tomatoes, small tomatoes, red tomatoes, yellow tomatoes. And especially straight off the vine, run down your face, juicy tomatoes eaten like apples. Oh yes.
Besides the fact that they taste DELICIOUS, tomatoes are also super healthy for you!
- They’re powerful antioxidants! There have been many studies involving tomatoes and increased bone, liver, kidney and blood health. The amazing fruit is full of vitamin C, beta-carotene, vitamin E and TONS of phytonutrients (including lycopene, which is important in preventing osteoporosis).
- They help keep your heart healthy by lowering cholesterol and decreasing unwanted platelet clumping in the blood.
- Tomato paste could help protect from sunburn! This is due to the carotenoids, lycopene and beta-carotene in tomatoes that can help hunt down free radicals, which can be caused by UV rays.
- Tomatoes are also linked to decreased cancer risk. Again, the magical lycopene doing its work!
What’s the history of tomatoes?
- They’re native to South America, and probably started out tiny and much like yellow cherry tomatoes.
- Tomatoes were eaten and harvested by the Aztecs in Mexico until the 1500’s when the Spanish brought back seeds to Europe. However, they weren’t accepted with open arms for a while, because many people thought they were poisonous and unfit to eat.
- Now approximately 130 million tons of tomatoes are enjoyed every year worldwide!
My favorite time to enjoy tomatoes is during their season in the Texas Hill Country (April-November) when we harvest them straight from our garden.
And my favorite tomato dish? Caprese salad!!!
Fresh mozzarella, cucumber also from our garden (an optional extra I like to add), basil and tomatoes drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. I also like to sprinkle on a little pink Hawaiian sea salt!
It’s summer… run out to the nearest farmer’s market (if you have one!) or grocery store and pick up some nice fresh tomatoes! And don’t forget that you’re not supposed to store them in the refrigerator… they lose their delicious flavor.
P.S. Look at this hysterical anti-tomato site I found! Crazy.