Top 10 Reasons to Love Tomato Products
Recipe from Lisa & McKenzie of Nourish RDs
There are a few indispensible pantry items you’ll always find in our kitchens, including canned tomatoes, tomato paste, and salsa. There are tons of reasons why we love these products originating from the juicy, red tomato. But, for the sake of not making this blog post too long, here are our top 10 ten reasons why we love them.
- One word: Lycopene. This potent antioxidant is behind the growing list of health benefits scientists have linked to eating tomatoes, including heart health, lower inflammation and oxidation levels, improved cholesterol and blood pressure levels, bone health, and prostate cancer prevention. Whew! That alone is worth opening a can of tomatoes!
- More Health Benefits. Processed tomato products may offer even more health promoting properties than their fresh counterparts. When fresh tomatoes are heated, their nutritive benefits – primarily found in lycopene – become more available to the body.
- 12 Months of Tomatoes. Since in-season, perfectly ripe tomatoes are perishable and not always available, canned tomatoes are an excellent way to reap the benefits of America’s favorite non-potato vegetable 12 months a year.
- Easy Peasy. Tomato products are one of the easiest ways to boost your daily veggie intake. Top your scrambled eggs with a heaping scoop of salsa, add a couple tablespoons of tomato paste to your slow cooker stew, or stir in a can of tomatoes to your homemade macaroni ‘n cheese.
- What’s Not to Love? Tomato products are found in many of America’s favorite dishes. Think: lasagna, chili, spaghetti, tacos, and pizza. What’s even better? These dishes are all amazing vehicles for tons of nutrient-rich veggies. Pile on extra vegetables and tomato sauce, cut back on the cheese and animal protein, and you have yourself one very nutrient-packed dish.
- Budget Friendly. According to a study presented at the Experimental Biology 2012 annual meeting, it’s 60% more expensive to get the same of dietary fiber from fresh tomatoes as opposed to canned. And since most American’s are only getting half the recommended grams of dietary fiber each day, we’re all for making the goal of reaching your optimal fiber intake more attainable.
- Natural Sunscreen. It’s so fun to learn when everyday fruits and vegetables have a few tricks up their sleeves – like tomatoes, and their ability to act as nature’s sunscreen. In one study, women who ate tomato paste daily for 12 weeks had a 30% increase in skin protection, compared to women who didn’t eat lycopene-rich products daily.
- Improved Mood. According to research published in the Journal of Affective Disorders, it was found that eating tomatoes two to six times per week caused a 46 percent decline in having mild and severe depression symptoms. And what’s more, eating tomatoes everyday decreased depression risk by 52 percent. It’s easy to see why eating tomato products make us happy.
- Perfect Pairings. Whether it’s tomatoes with potatoes, tomatoes with mushrooms, or tomatoes with avocado, this red vegetable (or fruit, technically speaking) has some pretty healthy pairings in the culinary world.
- They’re Delicious! It goes without saying that tomato products are undeniably delicious. And food that’s good for you, should taste good, too! That’s why we’re happy to say that we’re on board the #TomatoWellness bandwagon.
Share your food photos featuring tomato products and use the hashtag #TomatoWellness! The Tomato Products Wellness Council may feature your photo on their Instagram and Facebook accounts!
NourishRDs is a nutrition communications and consulting company founded by registered dietitians McKenzie Hall and Lisa Samuel. NourishRDs‘ (non)diet advice? Eat real food and share it with those you love! McKenzie and Lisa are nutrition spokespersons, who write, speak and present on nutrition, real foods cooking and body image. You can read their blog, and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.