Florida Tomato Month

Tomatoes are full of immune boosting vitamin C and A, folic acid, biotin, and fiber to name a few.

Happy Florida Tomato Month! I don’t know about you, but I am definitely celebrating! Tomatoes typically grow all year round here, but during the colder months (trust me, sometimes it drops to the 30’s at night!) tomatoes aren’t as plentiful and the prices skyrocket. For somebody who uses and eats tomatoes on a daily basis, it is quite a buzz kill.

But, the weather has returned to its hot, humid self and tomato prices are back down where they belong. I’ve also noticed they are soooo juicy and flavorful this time of year too. No wonder its Florida Tomato Month J. My salads and salsas have been perfection!

So we all get the point that I love to incorporate tomatoes into my everyday diet because they’re absolutely delicious, but that’s not the only reason; there’s a lot of nutritional motivation behind my frequent tomato consumption as well.

Have you ever noticed on a typical bottle of ketchup they highlight lycopene (a nutrient in tomatoes) and how it’s good for you? Well they’re actually right! Though, I don’t recommend buying a typical bottle of ketchup to reap the benefits of tomatoes because they drown all the good stuff with high fructose corn syrup, preservatives, and salt. But, they are spot on about tomatoes in general, especially if eaten in their whole, pure form (but of course the ketchup bottle isn’t going to tell you that).

Anyways, back to lycopene. It’s shown that lycopene is an antioxidant that may fight free radicals in your body (particularly in your bones), help protect skin against UV damage, and maintain strength and thickness of cell membranes (the cell protectors) so you have less toxins entering the cell, therefore preventing disease.

Impressive, right? I thought so too 🙂 Lycopene aside, tomatoes are full of immune boosting vitamin C and A, folic acid, biotin, and fiber to name a few.

That’s why I make it such a priority to include tomatoes into my daily diet to give my body the natural defense it needs and the nutrients it thrives off of.

Some of my favorite ways to eat tomatoes are to use them to make my Tomato-Date salad dressing, salsa, homemade tomato sauce, veggie sauté, or add them to my salads whole.

What are some of your favorite way to get tomatoes into your diet?

Tara Collingwood
Tara is a nationally recognized expert and spokesperson on nutrition, fitness, and health promotion and is quoted in a variety of media including television, radio, newspapers, magazines, and websites.

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