Whether you love to eat them on their own, as a condiment on your burger or drizzled over your favorite pasta, the tomato has become a staple in many everyday diets. According to Medical News Today, “tomatoes are now the fourth most popular fresh-market vegetable.” Sadly, fresh tomatoes are a food that is common to dislike, but why do tomatoes get such a bad rap? They’re ridiculously good for you and can be transformed in countless different ways depending on how you prepare it.
Today, Florida is the nation’s largest producer of fresh tomatoes, according to The Florida Tomato Committee. Florida’s warm climate is conducive to growing this sun-loving fruit that has tons of not-so- hidden health benefits.
Tomatoes are a great source of vitamins A, B and C, which are beneficial to keeping your hair strong and healthy, improving your vision and can neutralize the free radicals in your blood. Tomatoes have also been known to help maintain strong bones due to the amount of calcium they contain. In addition to the health benefits of fresh tomatoes, the Cornell Chronicle at Cornell University reported that “cooking [tomatoes] substantially raises the levels of beneficial compounds called phytochemicals.” When cooked, the levels of lycopene are increased. “Lycopene, a carotenoid responsible for the red color in tomatoes and other fruits, has long been known as a powerful antioxidant that decreases cancer and heart-disease risk,” according to the same report.
Also, tomatoes are packed full of a mineral known as chromium. According to The Florida Tomato Committee, “it works effectively to help diabetics keep their blood sugar levels under better control.”
So, go home and make a refreshing salad with tomatoes or a comforting bowl of spaghetti with a tomato-based sauce and reap the benefits of this little fruit!