Guard Yourself Against Free-Radical Damage with Tomatoes!

The tomato is another superfood and what’s great is that you get all the benefits if you eat fresh tomatoes, tomato sauce, puree, homemade tomato soup or paste. The veggie offers an excellent source of Vitamin A for bone and teeth health and Vitamin C for immune-boosting health.

Full of fiber to keep you full and lower cholesterol levels, the tomato has one of the highest concentrations of lycopene, which has been shown to protect against prostate, breast, pancreatic and intestinal cancers.

A great source of potassium, which aids in lowering high blood pressure, healing muscles after exercise and reducing the risk of heart disease, just one cup of tomatoes contains over 11% of your daily potassium need and over 55% of your daily requirement of Vitamin C.

A recent study published by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that women with the highest intake of lycopene-rich tomato-based foods had a significantly reduced risk of heart disease.

When we’re walking around outside breathing in pollution and cigarette smoke, we are exposing ourselves to free-radical damage. The more free-radical damage we are exposed to, the more likely we are to age prematurely and to develop a host of diseases; therefore, it’s important to guard ourselves against free-radical with the appropriate armor – – known as antioxidants.

Antioxidants – like Vitamins A and C and beta-carotene work to neutralize harmful free radicals in the blood and to prevent cell damage. Whenever you look for tomatoes or any other veggie or fruit, make sure the color is bright and vibrant. The brighter the produce, the more vitamins, minerals and antioxidants it contains.

For a hearty lunch or to serve with a salad for a dinner, try this easy Tomato Soup Recipe:

6 servings

2 cups less-sodium chicken broth

1 cup chopped onion

3/4 cup chopped celery

1 tablespoon thinly sliced fresh basil

1 tablespoon tomato paste

2 pounds plum tomatoes, cut into wedges

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

6 tablespoons plain low-fat greek yogurt

 

Robin DeCicco

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