The vibrant colors and distinct flavors of tomatoes are valued for their versatility, but the health benefits truly distinguish this fruit.
Rich in Antioxidants: Tomatoes are packed with powerful antioxidants, including lycopene, which may help protect cells from damage. Studies suggest that a diet rich in lycopene can help reduce the risk of chronic diseases, such as heart disease and cancer.
Heart Health: High levels of lycopene in tomatoes contribute to cardiovascular health, helping lower the levels of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood, which can reduce the risk of heart disease.
Vision Health: Tomatoes are an excellent source of vitamin A, a nutrient essential for maintaining eye health. Regular consumption of tomatoes can help prevent age-related macular degeneration and night blindness.
Bone Health: With a significant amount of calcium and vitamin K, tomatoes play an essential role in strengthening and performing minor repairs on the bones as well as improving bone mass.
Skin Health: The high content of vitamin C and other antioxidants in tomatoes can help protect the skin against damage from the sun and pollution, reduce wrinkles, and improve overall skin texture.
Digestive Health: Being rich in fiber and water, tomatoes can promote healthy digestion, prevent constipation and reduce the risk of diverticular disease and hemorrhoids.
Blood Health: Tomatoes are a great source of vitamin K and iron, nutrients critical for blood health. They help in blood clotting and circulation, thus promoting overall health.
Weight Management: Due to their low calorie and high-water content, tomatoes can be a useful addition to a diet aimed at weight management. They provide satiety, help control hunger and nourish the body with essential nutrients.
Blood Pressure Maintenance: Being rich in potassium and low in sodium, tomatoes are an excellent food to maintain normal blood pressure. They assist in relaxing the blood vessels, reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Cancer Prevention: Several studies suggest that lycopene in tomatoes is associated with a reduced risk of prostate, lung and stomach cancers. Regular tomato consumption may contribute to the prevention of these types of cancer.
Grilled Chicken Bruschetta
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 4 medium ripe tomatoes, chopped
- ¼ c fresh basil, chopped
- 1 T balsamic vinegar
- 1 T olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
Step 1: Preheat grill to medium heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper, and grill until cooked through, about 6 to 7 minutes per side.
Step 2: While the chicken grills, in a medium bowl, combine tomatoes, basil, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper.
Step 3: Once chicken is cooked, top with the bruschetta mixture and serve.