Tomatoes and Heart Health

tomatoes fast facts

I love you from my head…tomatoes

There is a real reason that tomatoes are the second most produced and consumed vegetable in the country (Although it should be ranked as #1 since potatoes are more of a starch as far as I’m concerned). Tomatoes are key to long lasting heart health. Wanna know why?

They are JAM PACKED with essential nutrients like:

  • lycopene
  • folate
  • vitamin e
  • potassium
  • beta carotene
  • vitamin c
  • vitamin k
  • flavonoids

How do tomatoes impact heart health?

  • reduce bad cholesterol (LDL)
  • lower blood pressure
  • help prevent platelet clotting
  • decrease homocysteine levels (note: homocysteine is a common amino acid found in your blood. Elevated homocysteine levels link to an increase risk of heart disease)

If you need more information on these heart health topics, hold tight because there will be more to come.

Just remember, fresh is best. The more processed the tomatoes are, the less bioavailability the nutrients have (hint: bioavailability means the nutrients get from your food, into your body at a high rate. Lower bioavailability means that food digestion and absorption doesn’t happen the way it should). Also, those canned tomatoes are going to have more sodium, which is no beuno for your blood pressure. Added bonus? Fresh tomatoes have the skin on them, which means they are a great source of FIBER! cha-ching!

Did you know?: Cook your tomatoes to make them even healthier. That’s right – add heat and their nutrient content INCREASES. Major bonus!

What are you waiting for?

Grab a tomato or two and add them to your meals today! Here are some fresh ideas for you to add them in…NOW

  • lasagna – try this Kale Lasagna from fellow RDN, Kelli Pitrone
  • make your own marinara/pizzas sauce
  • egg omelet
  • roasted tomato soup
  • Those are only a few of the yummy¬†things you can do with tomatoes. You can follow the heart health Pinterest board for more recipes and ideas