One of the pleasant consolations of a hot summer is the tomato. Not only does it taste great by itself and in many of our favorite foods, it is a nutrient powerhouse that should be part of your diet. For most of us, fresh tomato season doesn’t last long enough, so be sure to take advantage of this amazing fruit.
Here are some of the health benefits of tomatoes.
Can you say potassium?
Potassium is considered the good “salt”. Many medical studies have shown that people who consume foods that are potassium rich have less high blood pressure. Some of the best dietary sources of potassium without sodium (the bad salt), tomatoes and orange juice!
Healthy Weight Loss
Yes, you can eat tasty foods and still lose weight. Medical studies show that by eating foods rich in water and fiber, you can lose weight and not have to sacrifice taste. The idea is that fiber and water help to fill your stomach. This sends signals back to your brain that make you full, so you eat less. In medicine, we call this sensation satiety. Yes, you guessed, it! Tomatoes are a great source of water and fiber, and are low-calorie to boot.
Eat Your Sunscreen?
Tomatoes are a great source of antioxidants, including lycopene. It is such a great antioxidant that medical studies have shown that eating tomatoes on a regular basis helps prevent sunburn. It has also been shown to be useful for brain health. Lycopene gets into your body better when it is heated with oil. Go with olive oil, the healthy fat. My personal preference is to enjoy the variety that tomatoes offer. My family enjoys some fresh, some as a caprese salad, and some as a tomato sauce to name a few. Be sure to tune in to the TummyDoc Channel, as we will feature the amazing Italian Chef Fabrizio Schenardi as he discusses the culinary aspects of the Mediterranean diet!
As they say in Italy, Buon Appetito!
Dustin James MD
The Tummy Doc
Author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide® to Digestive Health
Reading, sharing, or other utilization of this article does not establish a doctor patient relationship with the article’s author. As always, be sure to consult with your physician regarding your health related issues before initiating or changing any medicines.