The Healthy Tomato
Recipe by Dr. Bryan Stephens
To-may-to, To-mah-to: No matter how you say it, call it healthy
Tomatoes are a staple for many different meals. Living in Texas, it is hard to overlook them in the salsa, pico-de-gallo, guacamole (yes, I like Mexican food), sauces, soups, and salads. Besides coming in all shapes, sizes, different colors, and different flavors, they also are packed with a variety of nutrients. Fiber, vitamin C, potassium, vitamin K1, folate, lycopene, beta-carotene, naringenin, and cholorgenic acid round out the major nutrients. Lycopene is one that has been extensively studied. This is an antioxidant found in red and ripe tomatoes. Typically, the more red coloring, the more lycopene present. This becomes important because of the antioxidant effects it has throughout the body. One study found that the lycopene in tomatoes helped reduce the amount of sunburns by 40%! Along with skin care, tomatoes are good for your heart. Multiple studies show reduced heart attacks, lowered LDL (commonly called bad cholesterol), and an added protective effect on the endothelium of your blood vessels which may decrease the risk of blood clotting. Additionally, tomatoes are linked to cancer prevention. Although the actual mechanism for why it happens is unknown, the lycopene content is believed responsible.
One word of warning with tomatoes. Commercially grown tomatoes are initially picked and shipped while still green. Companies will spray them with ethylene gas in order to hasten the ripening process and give them a red color much faster. Ethylene is the natural gas that plants produce when fruit is ripening from weather, injury (bruised fruit), or insect/bird attack. While spraying ethylene ripens the color, it does not allow time for flavor development and can leave them blander in taste. When possible, grow your own or purchase from organic locally grown farms. This will help keep the fruit (because a tomato is a fruit) healthier and tastier.
Palomo I, Fuentes E, Padró T, Badimon L. Platelets and atherogenesis: Platelet anti-aggregation activity and endothelial protection from tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum L.). Exp Ther Med. 2012 Apr;3(4):577-584. doi: 10.3892/etm.2012.477. Epub 2012 Feb 9. PMID: 22969932; PMCID: PMC3438755.
Palozza P, Catalano A, Simone RE, Mele MC, Cittadini A. Effect of lycopene and tomato products on cholesterol metabolism. Ann Nutr Metab. 2012;61(2):126-34. doi: 10.1159/000342077. PMID: 22965217.
Our Chiropractors in McKinney, located near the corner of Eldorado Pkwy. and Ridge Rd., take a natural approach to getting rid of soreness caused by low back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, etc. We know how important getting the right amount of nutrients and movement is to your health. Through Chiropractic adjustments and education, we teach our patients the best ways to relieve pain with Chiropractic and without medicine. So try this recipe featuring The Healthy Tomato!
1 cucumber diced
2 tomatoes diced
½ red onion diced
¼ cup cilantro
1 avocado diced
1 tsp hymalaian pink salt
1 tsp pepper
2 cloves minced garlic
¼ cup lemon juice
Combine and serve.