Power Foods Friday – Tomatoes


Happy Friday!!!  I made it through my first work week after vacation, and let me just say…it definitely wasn’t easy!  It’s always hard getting back into the swing of things when you’ve been gone for a week.  At least it’s a long weekend, right?!?

Anywho…to continue on with the tradition of PFF, I wanted to talk a little bit about TOMATOES.  Growing up in an Italian family meant that tomatoes made an appearance quite often.  My grandma would can her own tomatoes and make fresh tomato sauce all the time.  Actually, I don’t even know if my mom will remember this, but I remember when I was little my mom and I were helping my grandma can some tomatoes and my mom ended up spilling a ton of it on her yellow shirt.  Boy was she mad!!!!  It pretty much ruined the shirt as you may imagine!
Tomato CollageMy grandparents also used to grow tomatoes in the garden.  Since Justin and I live in a townhouse, we don’t’ really have our own garden, but luckily I can go to my parents’ house to get some fresh tomatoes.  FYI…these pics are from my dad’s garden.  So, tomatoes are pretty much a staple in our house.  I like adding them to pasta dishes, salads and I even add them to my smoothies sometimes (I know that sounds weird, but I swear you’d never know).

Tomatoes have some pretty important and well-known health benefits, so take a look:

  • Antioxidant benefits.
  • An excellent amount of vitamin C and beta-carotene; a very good amount of the mineral manganese; and a good amount of vitamin E.
  • In terms of phytonutrients, tomatoes are basically off the chart (click HERE for a full list).
  • Provide cardiovascular support (reduce the risk of heart disease).
  • Supports bone health due to the rich supply of antioxidants.
  • Anti-cancer benefits — specifically prostate cancer, non-small cell lung cancer, pancreatic cancer and breast cancer (although not well researched for all cancer types).
  • Diets that include tomatoes have been linked with reduced risk of some neurological diseases (including Alzheimer’s disease) in multiple studies (not as thoroughly researched).
  • Tomato-containing diets have also been linked in a few studies with reduced risk of obesity (not as thoroughly researched).

Pretty cool, huh!?! 

What’s your favorite way to eat tomatoes?

Do you have a garden?

Reference: Tomatoes by the World’s Healthiest Foods

43 thoughts on “Power Foods Friday – Tomatoes

  1. Getting back into the swing of things is always so hard after vacation! I think my favorite way to eat tomatoes right now is with a little mozzarella and some balsamic glaze and fresh basil : ) So good! Have a great long weekend Holly!

  2. Yes, I do have a garden with tomatoes! My favorite way to eat them is in a caprese salad or a fresh salsa or guac. Yay lycopene!

  3. your dad’s garden is beautiful with all those tomatoes! i dont have a garden- i live in a tiny studio in the middle of boston, but i would love to get better at gardening one day. my favorite way to eat them is in homemade pasta sauce! :)

  4. I LOVE tomatoes! I do have a garden and have been growing them all summer. I put them in everything and Italian food is my all-time favorite!

  5. It’s funny because I -hated- tomatoes when I was little, but I absolutely adore them now. I’ll eat them any which way, but my favourite is probably either as salsa or pasta sauce. And I don’t have my own garden, unfortunately, but my parents do so I like to steal veggies from them :)

  6. Tomatoes – yes please. Especially fresh, straight out of the garden tomatoes… soooo good. My fav way to eat them is in a sandwich with two pieces of sprouted grain bread, vegan mayo, and vegan cheese. Mmmm.

  7. I love tomatoes!! Sadly, the grasshoppers are doing a number on mine and I don’t know that I’ll get many more. My favorite way to eat them is just sliced with a little salt!

  8. YAY for tomatoes! I love these thing! For some reason, my garden is always a little behind so I’m still patiently waiting for the red gems to be ready to be picked. I love munching on cherry and grape tomatoes, making chili with tomatoes, adding them to salads, eating them with cottage cheese, making salsa…..ETC! They are delectable.

  9. Isn’t it awesome how amazing tomatoes are right now?? I feel like I am adding them to anything and everything that I can. I am eating them on my taco salad for lunch today, and I cannot wait!

  10. When I was younger, I hated tomatoes. I think it was the gooey texture inside that threw me off. But now that I’m a responsible adult that eats vegetables, I always have a few to throw in when cooking. I have noticed that I only buy Roma tomatoes! Baby steps!

  11. Adore tomatoes, even though you couldn’t get me near one as a kid. Best way to eat them is on bruschetta with basil, olive oil and a ton of Parmesan. I’m not a gardener, but fortunately my dad is so I plan on stealing from him :-p

  12. Tomatoes are one of my faves! Though I’ve never tried them in smoothies! Sounds interesting… do you make the smoothie sweet with fruit or just use vegetables like in V8 juice?

  13. There’s nothing better than a fresh tomato! Your dad’s garden is gorgeous and I love that your family has a tradition of making their own sauce. SO Italian.

    I have 3 heirloom tomato plants right now but only two have ripened so far. Heirloom tomatoes are a little sweeter but still so good!

  14. There is nothing like a homegrown tomato. So good! I love layering them on a sandwich with a dash of olive oil and salt and pepper. Thank you for sharing!

  15. Good to know that tomatoes are such power foods! Makes me love them even more. And having home grown tomatoes must be pretty awesome. Your father’s garden looks really nice and the tomatoes seem really tasty.

  16. there is NOTHING better than traditional tomato sauce made my Italians- my mums best friend (who we call Zio Franko lol) would bring a vat over once a month whenever they would make some- the only downside- the accompanying pannatone…

  17. I’ve been home for nearly a month, and I’m still getting back into the swing of things :) BUT I love me some tomatoes! They make eating powerfoods easy :)

  18. my husband doesn’t like tomatoes, well.. unless it’s with marmite, butter, and toast. Such a kiwi! YOu need to show him how to really enjoy them, I LOOOOVE THEM!

  19. Lycopene is so powerful in tomatoes… they’re definitely a big phytonutrient! Honestly, I’m not a huge fan… it’s just a texture thing for me, I guess. I know they’re so good for me, but I can only manage to eat them in small chunks and usually mixed into things.

  20. I’m with you, I LOVEEEE tomatoes! Growing up in an Italian family as well, I have similar memories of homemade tomato sauce. I could just take a bowl of freshly made tomato sauce and dip bread into it, and call it a meal! I add tomatoes to so many of my meals, but my favorite way to eat them has to be making a fresh pomodoro sauce and tossing it with some pasta. So simple, and so good!

  21. I have tons of little tomatoes from the garden where I’m doing my thesis sitting in the fridge waiting to be devoured (the fruit flies will eat them up if I leave them on the counter!) Lycopene in tomatoes is HUGE in the prevention of prostate cancer. I always find it interesting that canned tomato products have more concentrated amounts of lycopene than raw!

  22. Now I really need to eat more tomatoes!

  23. Hello!
    Japan time, a 30-minute 19:00 of the 2nd.
    Yellow tomato was a good harvest in the home garden this summer.
    The emotion in your report.:-):-)
    Thanks so much!!

  24. I LOVE Tomatoes… always have and always will. My favorite way to eat them is get them FRESH from the farmers market- the big tomatoes.. and slice them up, sprinkle a little salt on them and go to town. Ben finds this not only weird but gross (hater) but we did this all the time growing up and it has stuck with me.

  25. I love your blog here, Holly! (I found you through Jessie’s blog, “Jessie Loves to Run”).

    When my hubby and I purchased our home 3 years ago, we knew right away that we wanted a garden! Over the last few years, my dad has grown a garden–slowly expanding it year after year. Right now, we have a bit of a ‘humble’ garden, but, my hubby and I love growing tomatoes. (In fact, your pictures kinda sorta looked like ours…)

    I love using our tomatoes to make everything from bruschetta to pasta sauces. Sometimes I use recipes…sometimes I just experiment :). I always ask my hubby how my concoctions compare to The Olive Garden….not to brag, but I can tell by his face that I beat them hands down. lol :)

    • Thanks so much Julie! I can’t wait for the time when we can have our own garden. Fresh veggies off the vine is the BEST!

      Mmmm…can I come over for dinner!?! I’m sure your dishes are waaay better than the Olive Garden!

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