Health benefits of tomatoes? Absolutely! But first, you’re probably wondering why we called this piece of produce a fruit…yep! Contrary to what most people think the tomato is not a vegetable, but actually a fruit, just like the avocado that is often mistaken for a vegetable, but is a fruit as well.
Now, this brings up an excellent point….how do you know if it’s a fruit or a vegetable…check it out below!
Actually, it’s very simple. Pretty much the defining question is…does it have seeds? If it does than the answer is yes, technically speaking it is a fruit. This rule of course, would then put cucumbers, avocadoes and other pieces of produce into this category.
Now, you won’t find tomatoes next to the apples in the grocery store; because, even though they are a fruit, they are often referred to as vegetables in most stores and cookbooks.
Ok, back to what a tomato has to offer!
High Antioxidant Levels – tomatoes contain vitamin C and A, both of which are powerful antioxidants that help to neutralize the damaging effects that free radicals have on the body. Vitamin C helps to ward off colds and keep the immune system strong while vitamin A helps maintain healthy eyes.
*Remember that cooking destroys most of the vitamin content in produce so if possible eat raw or steamed!
Anti Carcinogen – tomatoes contain chlorogenic and coumaric acid. These two acids help the body to fight the damaging effects that come from free radicals.
Low Calorie – rich in vitamins and fiber tomatoes are an excellent food to add to a low calorie diet. The fiber keeps the stomach satisfied; the vitamins are for the health kick, and the water from the tomatoes for hydration - it's got it all!
Vitamin B-3 (Niacin) – this vitamin helps improve blood circulation through the arteries and vessels. Now the “B” vitamins are known as the “energy” vitamins, and this one is no exception. Vitamin B3 helps the body process proteins, fats, carbohydrates etc… for the production of energy.
That’s right! We’ll put them in a smoothie for ya! You can easily hide a tomato in a smoothie by throwing a more dominate flavored fruit in with it, some ice and maybe some protein powder…and presto…you’ll never know it’s there.
Check out some of our Tomato Smoothie Recipes below: