Tomatoes are a common part of life for many people. We put them in sandwiches, salads, salsa, ketchup. Although it is technically a fruit the tomato is often treated as a vegetable due to its frequent use in savory dishes and was voted as “‘the most Israeli vegetable’”
in 2016. About 44% of the Israelis surveyed listed the tomato as their favorite vegetable and 56% stated that it was the only vegetable that nothing could suitably replace (JNS.org 2016). Although the tomato maybe very popular in Israel there are good reasons for you to love tomatoes even if you don’t live there.
Research has found that those who follow the Mediterranean diet in its generous use of tomatoes have lower rates of death caused by heart disease and cancer. Tomatoes are a good source of lycopene and research noted that the tumors in rats that consumed tomatoes grow slower than those in rats which were fed a supplement for lycopene which seems to indicate that the combination of nutrients as found in tomato makes it a more powerful aid against cancer than supplementing with lycopene alone (Magee, Elaine n.d).
“‘Tomatoes contain essential anti-oxidants and are vital for good nutrition. They contain alpha and beta-carotene, lutein, and lycopene. Together, these anti-oxidants strengthen the immune system and protect the body against illness. In addition, tomato juice is a really healthy drink, as it helps with lung function and protects against damage to DNA,’ said Dr. Ilan Levin of the Department of Vegetables and Crops at the Volcan center.” Many Israelis surveyed stated that did not like to peal tomatoes (JNS.org, 2016) which is a good thing because research has noted that many nutrients can be found in the skin (Magee, Elaine n.d).
So which all of these health benefits it is a good idea to consider eating more tomatoes and finding ways to love them like the Israelis do. If you want to include more tomatoes in your diet I would recommended getting organic tomatoes if you can so you can enjoy eating the whole tomato including the peal without having to worry about how many pesticides it may have been sprayed with.
Magee, Elaine n.d “Health Properties of Tomatoes” WebMD received from http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/health-properties-tomatoes#1
JNS.org, 2016 “Tomato Considered ‘Most Israeli Vegetable,’ Poll Shows” Algemeiner received from http://www.algemeiner.com/2016/05/13/tomato-considered-most-israeli-vegetable-poll-shows/#
Picture originally found here