As the summer winds down, the deluge of homegrown tomatoes can be overwhelming. Instead of viewing the burden of an abundant harvest consider the benefits associated with eating homegrown tomatoes.
Lycopene is highly touted as a major cancer fighting nutrient. Responsible for the red color of tomatoes, lycopene intercepts and disables harmful free radicals that have the potential to cause cancer. Studies have shown very positive effects of tomato consumption on prostate, and lung cancer.
2. Vitamin C
Oddly enough, the tomato is considered a fruit. Most people when asked which fruits provide the most vitamin C, automatically choose citrus fruits, forgetting about the 22% of daily intake that each tomato provides. Aside from its infamous cold fighting properties, Vitamin C also aids in wound healing and blood pressure regulation.
3. Vitamin A
Tomatoes are rich in vitamin A which contributes to a healthy lifestyle in a number of ways. Vitamin A acts as an anti-oxidant, neutralizing free radicals and slowing the aging process. Vitamin A is crucial for healthy hair, skin and nails and its antioxidant qualities keep you looking and feeling young!
According to a number of reputable sources, the high content of chromium on tomatoes offers many health benefits, especially to diabetics. Studies at Harvard have shown that adequate chromium intake can aid diabetics in controlling their blood sugar. This mineral has also been credited with aiding in cholesterol control.
5. No preservatives
Homegrown tomatoes provide many healthy nutrients. But one of their best benefits is what they don’t provide – preservatives. Fresh homegrown tomatoes are free of dangerous preservatives found in canned varieties. Many canned foods include high levels of sodium which can complicate health issues as well. Most casual gardeners also do not apply pesticides so eating homegrown tomatoes is another organic option, one that is considerable cheaper than store bought varieties.
Whether you grow them yourself or take the in the orphan tomatoes of your neighborhood, be sure to take full advantage of he wonderful health benefits they provide.
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Health Benefits of Tomatoes. http://www.suite101.com/content/health-benefits-of-tomatoes-a210300. Accessed August 31, 2010.
Tomatoes. http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=44. Accessed August 31, 2010.
Why Tomatoes Are Good For You, Plus Recipes. http://www.fabulousfoods.com/index.php?option=com_resource&controller=article&category_id=241&article=21266. Accessed August 31, 2