Is It Good to Eat Tomatoes Every Day?
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Daily intake of tomatoes can provide a great lift to wellbeing, along with improving the flavor of food. Tomatoes are wealthy in natural nutrients and minerals, such as Vitamin A, K, B1, B3, B5, B6, B7, and vitamin C. It additionally has folate, iron, potassium, magnesium, chromium, choline, zinc, and phosphorus. Thus, tomatoes contain tons of important nutrients and anti-inflammatory compounds. For example, tomatoes are rich in lycopene, an antioxidant compound that is thought to have anticancer properties and may play a role in skin health. Tomatoes can help reduce blood pressure for people with diabetes and are low enough for people on low carbohydrate plans to enjoy them in moderation. Fresh, whole tomatoes have a low glycemic index (GI) score. Foods with a low GI score release their sugar slowly into the bloodstream and are unlikely to trigger a blood sugar spike.
Could I consume too many?
With tomatoes abundant this time of year some of us need to note that excessive consumption can eventually cause skin discoloration, digestive troubles, body aches, and trigger acid reflux. Remember to include a variety of fruits and vegetables in your diet instead of relying on just one option like tomatoes. In other words we recommend eating a rainbow of different colored fruits and vegetables every day to get a variety of nutrients.
Are canned tomatoes healthy?
Yes, canned tomatoes have the same nutrients as fresh tomatoes but, you may want to watch for added salt or sodium and added sugar as you read the nutritional label on commercially canned tomatoes. Although canned tomatoes are most often used as an ingredient (pasta sauce, chili, soups, etc.) where you will actually cook them, they are also great right out the can… ready-to-eat! Throw them in a blender to make homemade salsa or drain them and use on salads, tacos and bruschetta.
How to Store Tomatoes
Unripe tomatoes are still green and should be stored stem side down in a cardboard box or brown paper bag. This will encourage ripening. Ripe tomatoes should be kept stem side up, at room temperature and away from sunlight. Eat them within a few days for best taste.
Bottom line…Adding tomatoes to the diet has a positive effect on blood lipid levels and blood pressure thanks to its lycopene content. As a result, you will reduce your risk of atherosclerosis. In addition, the consumption of tomatoes can reduce the risk of other health problems such as high cholesterol, obesity, and cancer. This week I am sharing three recipes from the Med instead of Meds Classes that feature tomatoes and they are yummy!!!
Tomato and Pepper Salad with Lime
A bright and fresh salad with great flavor that will keep well for several days!
- 2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
- 2 bell peppers, any color, sliced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1/4 cup mint, chopped
- 10 black olives, sliced
- 10 green olives, sliced
- 1/2 cup Feta cheese, crumbled
1. Mix the tomatoes, peppers, olive oil, lime juices, and mint in a large bowl.
2. Place on a large platter or in a serving bowl.
3. Top with olives and Feta cheese.
This is a colorful and tasty salad that is especially good during summer months. It is easy to prepare and only has a few, simple ingredients. For variation, add chopped onions, black beans, and/or red pepper according to taste preference.
- 1 ear corn on the cob, husk and silk removed
- 2 ripe avocados, peeled and chopped into small pieces
- 1 large tomato, chopped into small pieces
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (adjust to taste)
- 1 teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper (adjust to taste)
1. Cook the corn on the cob in the microwave for 2 minutes. Remove and allow to
cool for 3-5 minutes.
2. Cut the corn off of the cob and collect the kernels in a bowl.
3. Mix the corn kernels, avocado, and tomato in a big bowl and toss with lemon juice, salt and pepper.
4. Chill in the refrigerator for 10-20 minutes.
5. Sprinkle with paprika.
6. Serve cold.
Basil, Shrimp and Tomato Pasta with Feta
This dish is very versatile and can be made with any vegetables or proteins that you have on hand. The fresh basil and feta are the superstars in this dish.
- 1 pound whole-wheat penne pasta
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 pound shrimp, deveined, shells and tails removed
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- 2 pints grape tomatoes, cut in half
- 4 ounces (approximately 1/4 cup) low-fat feta cheese
1. Cook pasta as directed.
2. While pasta is cooking, heat skillet over medium-high heat. Add olive oil to pan.
3. Sauté shrimp in olive oil until pink.
4. Add basil and grape tomatoes and sauté for additional two minutes until slightly wilted. Turn off heat.
5. Add feta and stir.
6. Serve shrimp, basil, tomatoes, and feta over whole wheat pasta.
Sources for this article NC Extension Food and Nutrition, Meds instead of Meds educational program. For more information about the Foods and Nutrition please contact Louise L. Hinsley, Extension Agent, Family Consumer Science at N.C. Cooperative Extension, Beaufort County Center, 155 Airport Road, Washington, 252-946-0111.