Living Well: Here's to Your Health: Tomatoes

Reprinted from PN June 2002
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Of all the fruits and vegetables, the tomato (technically a fruit, but eaten as a vegetable) has so much to offer. Tomatoes are a gold mine of nutrition—a great source of vitamins A and C. They may be the most important fruit or vegetable in our diets because of the amount consumed. They also contain beta carotene, magnesium, niacin, iron, phosphorus, potassium, riboflavin, sodium, and thiamine. And one tomato does all this for a mere 35 calories.

Tomatoes are a major source of lycopene, one of the only nutrients that has significant preventative value for prostate cancer. Lycopene may also help decrease heart disease.

Tomatoes might guard against cervical cancer in women, certain types of lung cancer, and age-related macular degeneration. Lycopene may even help the skin protect itself from UV-ray damage.

No matter how tomatoes are processed (fresh, ketchup, sauces, pastes, etc.), they are beneficial. Cooking tomatoes in oil encourages intestinal absorption. If you want to get more lycopene, cook the tomato.

For more information about tomatoes, consult the following resources:

? What Is An Heirloom Tomato? ?

? Tomato Health Facts ?

? ?Tomatoes?Not Just for Salads,? Taking Care, Healthy Living After 50. VA Mid-Atlantic Health Care Network?VISN 6 ?


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Living Well: Here's to Your Health: Tomatoes


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