By Sabrina Katz, Staff Writer

Tomatoes are an excellent a wonderful source of nutrients./ PHOTO BY Sabrina Katz

Tomatoes are a great for nutrients./ PHOTO BY Sabrina Katz

To-ma-to, to-mah-to! This week, I’m focusing on tomatoes and showing you why they should be a part of your diet. Tomatoes are a wonderful source for nutrients and are featured in plenty of different world cuisines.

There are many different types of tomatoes: cherry, Roma, heirloom, and more! The smaller tomatoes, like cherry and grape, are a great go-to snack, while the other, larger tomatoes, like Roma and heirloom, work really well in salads and other dishes.

Why should you incorporate these lush, juicy tomatoes into your lifestyle? Tomatoes contain vitamins A, B and C, which are antioxidants that help your vision, blood and immune system. The presence of potassium and chromium also stabilize blood sugars and control cholesterol.

Lastly—and most importantly—tomatoes contain lycopene, which is another antioxidant that has been shown to reduce the risk for prostate cancer. Hear that, boys?

One thing to be careful of when eating tomatoes is eating them in the most natural form you can. That means avoiding ketchup and even some tomato sauces, both of which contain added sugars. Homemade salsa and tomato sauces are generally the healthiest because you know exactly what you put in them!

I know you’re dying to try a tomato recipe, so I’ve got one for you that incorporates some other foods I’ve blogged about before! Here’s my take on a dining hall Panzanella:

You’ll need:

  • 1 whole tomato, diced
  • 5-6 slices of cucumber, diced
  • 1 slice of whole wheat toast
  • Several slices of red onion
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & pepper

Take the slice of whole-wheat bread and toast it in the toaster. Once it’s done, take it out and drizzle some olive oil on top. Next, slice the bread into small squares and mix it with the diced tomatoes, cucumbers, and onion slices. On top, drizzle some more olive oil as well as some red wine vinegar. Finish it off with salt and pepper and you’re good to go!