Tomatoes are a treasure of riches when it comes to their antioxidant benefits. In terms of conventional antioxidants, tomatoes provide an excellent amount of vitamin C and beta-carotene; a very good amount of the mineral manganese; and a good amount of vitamin E.
Specific antioxidant nutrients found in tomatoes, whole tomato extracts, and overall dietary intake of tomatoes have all been associated with antioxidant protection. Sometimes this protection comes in the form of reduced lipid peroxidation (oxygen damage to fats in cell membranes or in the bloodstream). Sometimes this protection comes in the form of better antioxidant enzyme function (for example, better function of the enzymes catalase or superoxide dismustase). Better antioxidant protection has also been shown using broad measurements of oxidative stress in different body systems. We’ve seen studies involving tomato and specific antioxidant protection of the bones, liver, kidneys, and bloodstream.
Choose tomatoes that have rich colors. Deep reds are a great choice, but so are vibrant oranges/tangerines, brilliant yellows, and rich purples. Tomatoes of all colors provide outstanding nutrient benefits. Tomatoes should be well shaped and smooth skinned with no wrinkles, cracks, bruises, or soft spots. They should not have a puffy appearance since that characteristic is often associated with inferior flavor and may also result in excess waste during preparation. Ripe tomatoes will yield to slight pressure and will have a noticeably sweet fragrance.
Serving Ideas :
Tomatoes are a great addition to bean and vegetable soups.
Enjoy a classic Italian salad—sliced onions, tomatoes and mozzarella cheese drizzled with olive oil.
Combine chopped onions, tomatoes, and chili peppers for an easy-to-make salsa dip.
Puree tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers and scallions together in a food processor and season with herbs and spices of your choice to make the refreshing cold soup, gazpacho.
Add tomato slices to sandwiches and salads.
Source/ Courtesy : www.healthdiaries.com