Tomatoes: The Decalogue guide to love them !!
Tomato is one of the distinguished vegetables of Greece but also of the Mediterranean, due to the particular climatic conditions of the area. It is a unique food combining: flavour, few calories and a very high nutritional value! It is rich in vitamins and minerals that help regulate blood sugar and cholesterol in our blood. They also are ideal during your diet or fasting, especially just before the Easter divine.
We can enjoy them either raw or cooked and feel their taste, and gain all the beneficial ingredients to the human body. Researches have proved that the old perception, that only the raw form is nutritious, has been overcome because, for example, lykopenio is being better absorbed by the body when you cook tomatoes, while not much of vitamin C gets altered and the enzymes are ideal in their raw form.
The era in which tomato is in abundance, is the summer. It is a characteristic picture in Greece, with the stalls of the street markets being full of tomatoes or the fields being also full of them. The need for tasting tomato throughout the year, led to cultivation in greenhouses and in maintaining tomatoes with other ways such as sauces, in many forms and flavoring combinations offering to us tomato's benefits and taste of all over the year.
The Decalogue which will make you love them:
- Our body's need for vitamin C, so important to strengthen our immune system and guard it against diseases that afflict us so much during the winter months, is being covered with only 2 medium-sized tomatoes a day.
- Scientific studies have shown that lycopene, a natural pigment contained in tomatoes, prevents from aging and protects our genetic material from wear. Simultaneously, it also has anticancer properties, as appears to be particularly effective against prostate cancer and colon cancer.
- The same substance, lycopene, when consumed regularly, can reduce the risk of a heart disease by 29%.
- The lack of lycopene from a woman's diet in menopause has been associated with osteoporosis.
- Tomatoes stimulate the production of the amino acid carnitine, a natural nutrient and structural element, which has been proved to accelerate body's ability to burn fat, more than 30%.
- Fresh tomatoes, tomato sauces and tomato extracts have been proved to reduce total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. It has also been proved that they prevent clots in blood, which is a risk factor for atherosclerosis.
- Tomatoes also contain other valuable phytonutrients too, such as beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin, which improve vision and protect eyes from macular degeneration.
- Tomato contains plenty of folic acid, which is essential for the reconstruction and restoration of body's cells.
- For those who receive medical treatment, drink too much alcohol or eat a lot of meat, as well as pregnant women and the elderly, it is good to consume a lot of tomatoes because of their increased need for folic acid.
- They are delicious and you can eat them in many different ways: in pasta sauces, soups, stews, sandwiches and of course salads, even as juice.