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One red tomato

Tomato Love

It’s summer time and that means it’s time to get your garden in ship-shape. While I don’t have much of a green thumb, I do plant tomatoes every season for two main reasons:

  1. I love tomatoes
  2. Tomatoes grow well in my garden

I am not the only one that feels this way. In the U.S., tomatoes are the most popular vegetable to grow in home gardens.1 The average American consumes nearly 24 pounds of tomatoes annually and also receives more vitamins from tomatoes than from any other vegetable.1

Tomatoes are a powerhouse of good nutrition

The following is a short list of some of the nutrients worth bragging about:2

Vitamin C and Lycopene

  • Vitamin C and Lycopene are both antioxidants
    • Antioxidants help prevent excess production of free radicals. Free radicals cause damage to the body cells
    • “Several studies have shown that diabetes mellitus (types 1 and 2) is accompanied by increased formation of free radicals and decreased antioxidant capacity, leading to oxidative damage of cell components.”3
  • Vitamin C is also commonly used to help fight the common cold, slow the aging process, and promote heart health4
  • Lycopene gives tomatoes their characteristic red color2

Vitamin A

  • Vitamin A plays an important role in vision, immunity, and reproduction5

Potassium

  • Potassium helps regulate the body’s fluid balance and muscle contractions.
  • Potassium can also help lower blood pressure and promote bone health.6

 Fiber

  • Fiber is a type of carbohydrate the body does not digest.
  • It helps enhance satiety, improve blood sugar control, promote bowel regularity, and lower total blood cholesterol.

Tips for keeping tomoatoes fresh

Keep your tomatoes fresh and flavorful by following these few tips:

  • Store tomatoes at room temperature. Tomatoes lose their flavor faster when kept in the refrigerator1
  • Store tomatoes with stem down to keep them fresh longer1

My top 10 ways to enjoy tomatoes

  1. Snack on cherry tomatoes instead of grapes (I eat them right from my garden!)
  2. Tomato slices topped with guacamole and sour cream
  3. Tomato slices on top of a turkey burger
  4. Fresh tomato salsa and cottage cheese mixed together
  5. Diced tomatoes on top of scrambled eggs
  6.   Caprese salad
  7.   Homemade tomato sauce with zucchini noodles
  8. Tomato slices topped with tuna salad or egg salad
  9. Heirloom tomato pizza (top cauliflower pizza crust with pesto sauce, parmesan cheese, and, heirloom tomatoes)
  10. Eat a large tomato like it’s an apple!

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Type2Diabetes.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

  1. Tomato Facts - Interesting Facts about Tomatoes. Vegetable Facts Web site.  http://www.vegetablefacts.net/vegetable-facts/tomato-facts/. Accessed June 18, 2018. 2.)   Burton-Freeman B, Reimers K. Tomato Consumption and Health: Emerging Benefits. American Journal Of Lifestyle Medicine. 2010: 1-10. DOI: 10.1177/1559827610387488.
  2. Bajaj S, Khan A. Antioxidants and diabetes. Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism. 2012;16(Suppl 2):S267-S271. doi:10.4103/2230-8210.104057.
  3. Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid). WedMD Website. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-1001/vitamin-c-ascorbic-acid. Published 2009. Accessed June 18, 2018.
  4. Vitamin A Fact Sheet for Health Professionals. National Institutes of Health Web site. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminA-HealthProfessional/. Published March 2, 2018. Accessed June 18, 2018.
  5.   Everything you need to know about potassium. Medical News Today. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/287212.php. Published January 10, 2018. Accessed June 18, 2018.

Comments

  • Thomas A McAtee Jr. moderator
    11 months ago

    Good read. I used to love tomatoes but they stopped loving me. Gives bad reflux. 🙁

  • Meryl Krochmal, RD, CSP, CDE, CNSC moderator author
    11 months ago

    Hi Riddler, Thanks for commenting! I’m sorry that tomatoes don’t agree with you! 🙁
    I’m glad to hear you enjoyed the article. Take care, Meryl

  • Thomas A McAtee Jr. moderator
    11 months ago

    Used to love a tomato sandwich etc but they just quit loving me. I used to work for this one place and one time during a meeting they had juices etc. So I reached and grabbed w/o looking and opened. As soon as I drank it I knew something wasn’t right. Looked at bottle and was V-8. crap. Reflux hit very faxt.

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