Growing up, one of my brothers hated tomatoes! Whenever he refused to eat tomatoes we would all point out how he loved ketchup and that ketchup is made from tomatoes… That made no difference to him. However, a good point can be made here—we can enjoy and consume tomatoes in many forms. I’m not going to go as far as the Regan administration and declare that ketchup is a vegetable, but we can find many ways to enjoy fresh tomatoes. From hearty tomato sauces and marinara to freshly sliced beefsteak tomatoes drizzled with balsamic vinegar, the reasons for including tomatoes in your daily diet are powerful:
Tomatoes contain copious amounts of lycopene and anti‐oxidants. Lycopene can reduce the risk of many cancers, including prostate, cervical, mouth, throat, esophagus, stomach, colon, prostate and ovarian cancer‐‐and even more effective when combined with broccoli
One cup of red, ripe, raw tomatoes is a good source of Vitamins A, C, K, folate and potassium
Lycopene, vitamin K and calcium in tomatoes strengthens and improves bone mass, which is critical in avoiding osteoporosis
Tomatoes are naturally low in calories, fat, and have no cholesterol.
Now, we know that ketchup is not a vegetable, but be sure to watch out for ketchup with high fructose corn syrup. Corn syrup is bad news for your body and promotes inflammation, leading to many health maladies. Choose organic ketchup or those that omits corn syrup.
To include some real vegetables in your diet, view the latest Veggie Chest episode for a savory tomato sauce with a garlicky spaghetti squash
Spaghetti squash is a great alternative to traditional pasta and has fewer carbohydrates, lots of fiber and is a good source of vitamin C, vitamin B6 and manganese.