The modest tomato remains one of nature’s unsung heroes. Botanically a fruit but considered a vegetable for culinary reasons, there is much, much more to the tomato than you’d think. The tomato is so pleasing to the eye that it’s a principal in most salads and grandly sits atop many dishes as a colourful and tasty garnish. The tomato packs in a whole lot of fibre and nutrients – vitamins C, E, K, B1, B6, B3, B2, iron, manganese, potassium, caotenoids and many more – all with very few calories. With all its health benefits and flexibility in countless recipes, including a tomato in your daily diet is a delicious, healthy option.
It’s time to forget the ketchup with the fries. Eating at least one tomato a day in its natural form is the best way to maximize its benefits. But not everybody likes raw tomatoes, so if you go ‘ugh’ at this thought, then a bowl of soup with some herbs to spice it up can do the trick. Guilty of spending time in artificially controlled climate? You might want to bite into a tomato to help retain your body’s moisture. Including tomatoes in your daily diet can reduce the amount of free radicals in your body, helping to maintain the support system necessary for your hair and skin. A serving of tomato a day can stabilise your body’s water level.
If you’re still of two minds about sinking your teeth into a juicy tomato, you might want to try different ways to get the best of it. The tomato not only looks and tastes good but works wonders for the skin too. Eating a tomato every day may help you get a rosy complexion, but placing slices of tomato on your face can also get rid of the excess oil on your skin. Not only will this help prevent pimples, but it will also add a glow to your face. Want to turn the clock back a few years? Try a tomato! No, it is not a time machine, but it is an effective anti-ageing product. Rich in antioxidants, tomatoes help fight the skin’s ageing. The age-defying ingredient, lycopene, is what gives the tomato its eye-catching colour. A vital antioxidant that the human body doesn’t produce, lycopene can even help fight the formation of cancer cells and other serious health complications.
Studies have shown that eating tomato in any form – pureed, as soup, juice, etc. – can even help protect the skin from the damage caused by exposure to the sun. If you’ve been out in the sun for too long, try rubbing the juice of a freshly cut tomato on your skin. You’ll notice the difference within minutes. Rich in vitamin C, it also helps get rid of the dullness of the skin.
Low in calories and with negligible fat content, tomatoes are ideal for those watching their weight. Including it in your daily diet can give you the nutrients you need, keep you full for longer and help with weight loss. Tomato juice contains a wide variety of nutrients, helps improve the appetite and aids digestion. If you’ve had one Bloody Mary too many, beat the hangover with a cocktail of tomato juice, cucumber juice and spinach juice, with a dash of olive oil.
So next time you see a bunch of tomatoes in your kitchen or at the store, don’t pass them up. Grab one, chop it up, toss it in a bowl with a pinch of brown sugar and a pinch of salt and squeeze a lemon wedge over it – it’s simple, delicious and healthy. Now that’s not a very easy combination to come by, so make the most of it!