A Look at Superfoods: Tomatoes

Superfoods: Tomatoes

tomato

A 16 week look at Superfoods

 

This Week’s Featured Superfood: Tomatoes

Tomatoes have quite the history from being considered poisonous to being caught in the great fruit or vegetable debate, but no matter the drama tomatoes are packed full of healthful nutrients making it one of our 16 superfoods.

What makes Tomatoes so super?

  • Vitamin C  – Good for eye health, cardiovascular health,  repairs and regenerates tissue, decreases LDL, decrease triglycerides, is an antioxidant working against free radicals and may protect against certain types of cancer.  Vitamin C also may help reduce the effects of nitrates in food and aids in the absorption of Iron
  • Vitamin A – Vital in the growth of bone, key for good vision, important for a healthy immune system,  helps our skin and mucus membranes by protecting against bacteria and viruses and is helpful in reproduction.
  • Potassium – Helps the heart, kidneys, digestive system, muscles, and regulates flood balance and blood pressure.  Potassium has may help reduce the risk of stroke.
  • Lycopene – cancer preventing properties, heart healthy properties, protects the skin from UV rays, may be preventative against atherosclerosis and is helpful in preventing the damage of free radicals in the cells.  Healthy oils may help increase absorption of Lycopene.
  • Lutine -Zeaxanthin –  may help prevent age related Macular Degeneration and cataracts and may help prevent clogging of the arteries of the neck.

This makes tomatoes a mighty Superfood!  Enjoy!

Note: Tomatoes are often Genetically Modified, while the USDA says GMO’s are safe it is my personal feeling that there is not enough evidence either way and when in doubt it is better to be more conservative in your choice.  That said, if you are unable to find Non-GMO tomatoes please eat the tomato, it is too rich in vitamins and nutrients to pass it by.

Recipes

Bruchetta – The Pioneer Woman

Crapese Salad Skewers – The Gingham Apron

Stuffed Tomatoes – Sunny Anderson

Gazpacho – Wolfgang Puck

Sausage Meatballs with Red Gravy – Emeril  (This recipe may be adapted to make it healthier)

Classic Marinara Sauce – NY Times

And don’t forget the basic Tomato sandwich!


Fruit or vegetable? Botanically speaking, fruit.  But…under customs law they are vegetables.  To learn more visit NPR’s “When the Supreme Court Decided Fruits Were Vegetables”.

Tomatoes are part of the dangerous Night Shade family and were considered to be poisonous at one time, mainly by the British and early Americans.  Though the tomato itself is safe, the leaves are not and should not be consumed.


What is a Superfood?  A superfood is defined as a nutrient-rich food considered to be especially beneficial for health and well-being – Mcmillian Dictionary.

Dr. William Sears, in his book Prime Time Health, describes Superfoods as:

  • Nutrient Dense
  • Nutrients that have proven benefits
  • Made by nature, not a factory
  • Taste good & satisfying
  • May be able to be prepared in a variety of ways
  • Contains no ingredients harmful to health

While we receive vitamins, minerals, proteins, and essential fats from our foods, some foods have been proven to provide extra health benefits, these foods are the superfoods. They have properties that  may be anti-inflammatory, anticancer, and anti-Alzheimer, lower highs, and raise lows in our body.

Let’s be clear, when I say superfood I do not mean magical foods that cure-all, nor do I  mean a diet consisting of one food, like the old “Grapefruit Diet”.  The truth is, that these foods work best when part of a healthy, whole food, plant-based diet full of variety and by diet I mean lifestyle eating habits, not a short-term solution.  Just eat food that rots, but eat it before it does!

What’s for Dinner? Sauteed Flounder with Orange Shallot Sauce & Meatless Monday: Bruschetta

 

 

Meatless Monday: Bruschetta and Salad

bruschettaThis is my favorite time of year as far as food goes!  There are so many wonderful things to be eaten fresh from the garden!  One of my favorites is tomatoes.  There is just nothing like a real, fresh, from the garden tomato.  It is a sad day the day I have to buy the first tomato from the grocery.  It is round and red, but that is about it.  This week we decided to take advantage of some fresh tomatoes and made bruschetta and topped it with Manchego cheese.  Served with fresh lettuce from my friends garden.  Wonderful!

Time: 30 minutes

Ease: simple

Review: This recipe from the Pioneer Woman is very simple and flavorful.  It is a great recipe if you are new to making your own bruschetta.  Very simply, brushcetta is a combination of tomatoes, garlic bread, olive oil, salt and pepper.  This recipe has a lovely addition of balsamic vinegar.  Try experimenting with infused balsamic vinegars, such as pineapple balsamic vinegar.  I think you will find this can be a great “go to” recipe.

The Manchego was our addition, you could try experimenting with different cheeses or eat it just for the joy of the tomato!

 

Sauteed Flounder with Orange Shallot Sauce

Orange Floundar

Flounder is a nice fish with a distinct flavor, but not overly “fishy” flavor making it a nice fish to cook with and don’t think that flounder only comes fried!  Try baking it, stuffing it, broiling etc.  It is a good addition to your menus.

Time: 30 Minutes

Ease: Simple

Note:  though simple, at the bottom of the recipe it says they “highly recommend a non-stick pan”  They mean it!

Review: Eating Well Magazine is one of my favorite magazines and has been for 20 years!  It went out of publication for a brief period of time and I mourned the loss deeply and horded my old magazines, but they came back and are going strong!  And now you can get recipes online!  This recipe meets my expectations of something from EW.  It was easy to prepare and wonderful flavors. DO USE THE NON-STICK PAN, I didn’t and had some issues, but it still tasted nice and my husband made lovely yummy noises A+!

 

Share your favorite Summertime meals with Bringing Back Dinner!  Your’s may be the next one reviewed!