Posted by: Joe Nuss on Dec 01, 2008
This is the perfect time of year to pair your sandwich or salad with a nice hot bowl of tomato soup. Not only will it warm your tummy on a cold winter's day, it may protect your ticker, too!
That's right. The almighty tomato may thwart the type of inflammation that sets the stage for heart disease. Tomatoes are a top source of vitamin C, which may play a critical part in preventing the inflammatory processes that can damage your heart. In one study, people who consumed a tomato-based soup for 2 weeks - adding 72 milligrams of vitamin C to each day - had higher blood levels of the vitamin and decreased markers of inflammation. Not only are tomatoes good for you, they can be used in a lot of heart-healthy meals, from soups to salads to salsa.
When selecting tomatoes never buy tomatoes that are stored in a cold area since cold temperatures can damage tomatoes. Choose plump tomatoes with smooth skins that are free from bruises, cracks, or blemishes. Depending on the variety, ripe tomatoes should be completely red or reddish-orange.
Store tomatoes at room temperature (above 55 degrees) until they have fully ripened. This will allow them to ripen properly and develop good flavor and aroma. Try to store tomatoes out of direct sunlight, because sunlight will cause them to ripen unevenly. If you must store them for a longer period of time, place them in the refrigerator. Serve them at room temperature. Chopped tomatoes can be frozen for use in sauces or other cooked dishes.
However you dice, slice, bake, or broil them, tomatoes can help lead the way to C-licious health.