We all know the Mediterranean diet is healthy and guess what is a major staple in this way of eating?
Yup- tomatoes! Tomatoes are a powerhouse of carotenoids with the best known one being lycopene, which by the way, is also high in last week’s featured food- watermelon. Lycopene has high antioxidant activity. Translated: they protect our cells from damage. Most notably, tomatoes have been shown to protect against prostate cancer, UV skin damage and even pancreatic cancer. Some tips for getting the most out of your tomatoes: eat the skins where most of the carotenoids are and eat some fat with your tomatoes like olive oil or avocado. The fat helps us absorb the beneficial compounds in tomatoes.
These 8 AMAZING facts about tomatoes, and more info on their health benefits, and how to prepare are from:
EIGHT amazing facts about tomatoes!
Your Recipe: Gazpacho
Try this amazing gazpacho recipe to use up all those summer tomatoes in your garden:
1 hothouse cucumber, halved and seeded, but not peeled
2 red bell peppers, cored and seeded
4 plum tomatoes
1 red onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
23 ounces tomato juice (3 cups)
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup good olive oil
1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
Roughly chop the cucumbers, bell peppers, tomatoes, and red onions into 1-inch cubes. Put each vegetable separately into a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse until it is coarsely chopped. Do not overprocess!
After each vegetable is processed, combine them in a large bowl and add the garlic, tomato juice, vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Mix well and chill before serving. The longer gazpacho sits, the more the flavors develop.
Copyright 1999 The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook
Liz Weinandy, M.P.H., R.D.
Besides being a member of the 614Fitness community, Liz is a Registered Dietitian and staff dietitian at the OSU Wexner Medical Center. She has published numerous articles on diet and appears often on local television.