Lynette and I are members of 2 CSA’s plus we grow 4 varieties of heirloom tomatoes. Boy, are we swimming in tomatoes right now! We have hundreds of these luscious red, orange and pink fruits to deal with. I love to eat them fresh. This time of year tomatoes are 20-30% of the food I eat. Fortunately, Lynette loves to dehydrate, sauce, freeze and preserve them for the coming Vermont winter.
This is fortunate because “love apples” are incredibly good for our health and we can then eat this goodness from the garden all year. Most of us know tomatoes are rich in calcium and vitamins A and C (one tomato provides almost half of the recommended daily amount of vitamin C!), low in calories and fat free.
Tomatoes are also the best natural source of lycopene. Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant, which means it is a nutrient that can reduce damage to cells. Numerous research studies show Lycopene can reduce the risk of several cancers, including prostate, cervical, mouth, pharynx, throat, esophagus, stomach, colon, rectal, prostate and ovarian cancer.
Fresh tomatoes are a good source of lycopene but processed tomatoes contain even more. The process of cooking breaks down the cell walls, helping to release the lycopene. Eating tomatoes with a little bit of fat, such as olive oil, helps more lycopene to be better absorbed by the body. Read the rest of this entry »