There are so many amazing fruits and vegetables to look forward to during summer. While tomatoes can be had year round, it’s the ripe, sweet, fresh and local summertime tomatoes that really thrill the taste buds.
Tomatoes are a nutritional powerhouse, inside and out. The bright color of tomatoes is provided by lycopene, a plant compound, that is beneficial in the prevention of cancers, particularly prostate cancer. Their high content of beta-carotene and vitamin C also protect against free radical formation and tumor development.
While we often hear about the need to cut down on sodium, it’s just as important to increase your other electrolytes, particularly potassium, to keep our arteries healthy. Tomatoes are an excellent source of potassium with 290 mg for a medium sized fruit. Oh yeah, and to confuse us more, tomatoes are technically a fruit, despite us eating them more like a vegetable. Since adults need 4700 mg of potassium a day, and less than 5% meet that goal, tomatoes, both raw and cooked, should be part of everyone’s daily diet.
Remember to wash your tomatoes well, and buy organic when possible, since tomatoes are a pesticide intensive crop. Check out this informative list of all the different varieties of tomatoes from Nature Fresh farms here
And try these easy to easiest ways to eat tomatoes every day!
Tomato, Cucumber, Avocado salad
1-2 medium to large ripe tomatoes
- I like heirloom for this salad since there are so few ingredients.
1 English cucumber, partially peeled, some ½ of skin still on
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Slice tomatoes and fan out on top of a large plate. Cover tomatoes with sliced cucumber, then sliced avocado. Drizzle with olive oil and serve.
Add chopped or sliced fresh tomatoes to an omelet, sandwich, salad, or pasta dish. Place on a grill to char and serve with grilled fish or chicken. Use no sodium added canned, diced tomatoes as the base for a pasta sauce, soup or chili.
Snack on organic cherry tomatoes any time of day!