By Kylie Delfino, RHN

Discover nutritional benefits of tomatoes!

The antioxidants present in tomatoes are found to be protective against cancer development including colon, prostate, breast, endometrial, lung, and pancreatic cancer.

Photo by Anda Ambrosini on Unsplash

Lycopene, a flavonoid antioxidant, is the unique phytochemical present in the tomatoes. Red varieties are especially concentrated in this antioxidant. Together with carotenoids, it has the ability to protect cells and other structures in the body from harmful oxygen free radicals. Studies have shown that lycopene prevents skin damage from ultra-violet (UV) rays and offers protection from skin cancer. In addition, tomatoes are also good source of the antioxidant vitamin-C (provide 21% of recommended daily levels per 100 g); consumption of foods rich in vitamin C helps body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful free radicals.

Fresh tomato is rich in potassium. 100 g contain 237 mg of potassium and just 5 mg of sodium. Potassium is an important component of cellular and body fluids and helps control heart rate and blood pressure caused by sodium. Tomatoes contain moderate amounts of many vital B-complex vitamins such as folates, thiamin, niacin, riboflavin as well some essential minerals like iron, calcium, manganese and other trace elements.


Recipe

  • 1 tablespoon lime zest
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 cups seeded and diced fresh watermelon
  • 1 cup peeled and diced fresh peaches
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh chives
  • 3 cups baby heirloom tomatoes, halved
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Optional – 1/2 cup of crumbed goats cheese and 1/4 cup of hemp seeds
  • Garnish: fresh basil sprigs or goats cheese and hemp seeds.

Add lime zest, and lime juice in a bowl; stir in watermelon, peaches and fresh basil

Season halved baby tomatoes with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste; spoon into cocktail glasses. Top with salsa. Garnish, with goats cheese if desired.