3. Tomatoes. Yes, even processed tomatoes!
Tomatoes are packed with flavor—and nutrition! Tomatoes are a great source of antioxidants, including vitamin C, which help protect against damage from cancer-causing free radicals. Vitamin C also helps protect the skin from damage caused by air pollution, smoke, and sunlight. Tomatoes get their signature red color from lycopene, a plant compound that reduces the risk of prostate cancer.
The potassium in tomatoes reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, helps prevent kidney stones, and helps preserve and protect muscles and bones throughout the body. The folate in tomatoes helps protect against vision loss due to aging, improves symptoms of depression, helps manage blood pressure, reduces the risk of some forms of cancer, and eases symptoms of restless legs syndrome. The choline in tomatoes helps maintain a healthy brain, liver, nervous system, and metabolism. The beta carotene in tomatoes is converted into vitamin A in the body. Beta carotene is an antioxidant that helps maintain healthy skin and eyes and supports immune system function.
Tomatoes are a source of fiber, which helps food move through the digestive system more easily. Fiber promotes regularity and prevents constipation. It also reduces the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and diverticulosis, a painful inflammation of the intestines. Eating fiber-rich foods can help with weight management, because dietary fiber helps you feel full and helps regulate blood sugar levels. The fiber and water found in tomatoes encourage regular bowel movements.
There are a variety of ways to enjoy tomatoes and incorporate the superfood into your diet. Tomatoes are a great addition to just about any salad. The caprese salad, made with sliced tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, basil, and a dash of olive oil, is a classic. You can also chop up some fresh tomatoes to create a zesty homemade salsa and spice up any meal. Bite-sized cherry tomatoes and grape tomatoes are perfect for snacking. They’re delicious on their own or with a drizzle of olive oil or balsamic vinegar.