9 Surprising Reasons to Love Tomatoes

‘Tis the season for tomatoes—lots of them.  If you have a garden, you may already be enjoying the harvest of your tomato plants.  If not, there are many reasons to stop at your local market and pick some up.  Here are 9 reasons to love tomatoes:

1.  They’re packed with vitamin C—a critical nutrient to keep your immune system strong.

2.  They contain an important phytonutrient called lycopene that has been proven in studies to fight aging and have anti-cancer properties.  It appears to be particularly effective against prostate and colon cancers.

3.  Lycopene found in tomatoes even protects our genetic material against damage and the resulting disease.

4.  Tomatoes stimulate the production of the amino acid carnitine which has been shown in research to speed the body’s fat-burning capacity by over 30 percent.

5.  Research shows the lycopene found in tomatoes, when eaten regularly, can reduce the risk of heart disease by 29 percent.

6.  Lack of lycopene in a menopausal woman’s diet has been linked to osteoporosis.

Keep reading to learn which tomatoes have the most lycopene… I think you’ll be surprised.

7.  Fresh tomatoes and tomato extracts have been shown in research to lower total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides. They have also been shown to prevent clumping in the blood (known as platelet aggregation), which is a risk factor for atherosclerosis.

8.  Tomatoes also contain other valuable phytonutrients, including: beta carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin, all of which improve vision and help protect your eyes from degeneration.

9.  They are delicious and so versatile! They can be enjoyed in pasta, salads, soups, stews, wraps, curries, and many of your favorite dishes.

Some people claim that tomatoes should be eaten cooked for maximum nutritional value.  That’s not the full story, however.  While lycopene is best absorbed from cooked tomatoes, vitamin C and the enzymes found in tomatoes are best if eaten uncooked.  So, I suggest mixing things up a bit. Relish cooked tomatoes in soups, stews, and curries. Enjoy raw ones in salads, sandwiches, and salsas.

Research also shows that the form of lycopene found in yellow and orange tomatoes is better absorbed than the lycopene from red tomatoes.  That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the red ones, but throw some multicolored heirloom tomatoes into the mix too.

Adapted from World’s Healthiest News.  Subscribe to my free e-newsletter World’s Healthiest News to receive monthly health news, tips, recipes and more. Follow me on Twitter @mschoffrocook and Facebook.  Copyright Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD.


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Marvin Zinn
Marvin Zinn2 years ago

Cherry tomatoes covered my garden this spring from those left on the ground last year. I had to pull up 75% of them to make space for other things, and will have many gallons of them ripe through the next month. I share them all with friends and neighbors, but I should have pulled more of them because I lost half of the rest with still to many of these blocking roots and sunlight.

Jeanne Rogers
Jeanne Rogers2 years ago

Even though I never needed more reasons to LOVE them, it was good info.

Winn Adams
Winn Adams2 years ago

Only 9? I love tomatoes and eat them at every opportunity.

Mary T.
Mary T.2 years ago

Love tomatoes, growing 10 in my backyard, they are very good ripe off the vine

Elisa F.
Elisa F.2 years ago

We love tomatoes! Thanks for sharing.

Amira R.
Amira R.2 years ago

Great benefits. I'm so glad I loooove tomatoes (:

Ram Reddy
Care member2 years ago

Thanks for the article

Kathy Perez
Kathy Johnson3 years ago

who needs more reasons! they are delicious

Odette Castro
Odette Castro3 years ago

And delicious.

Odette Castro
Odette Castro3 years ago

And delicious.