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Amazing Benefits Of Tomatoes (+5 Refreshing Recipes)

Amazing Benefits Of Tomatoes (+5 Refreshing Recipes)

Tomatoes are well known and enjoyed around the world, making them one of the most popular and accessible vegetables around. They are extremely versatile and can be served in both savory and sweet dishes. They can be eaten raw or cooked and can be made into soups, juices and even alcoholic beverages, such as the Bloody Mary.

There are many interesting facts about tomatoes. There are around 25,000 varieties of tomatoes and they have a lot of medicinal properties including the ability to reduce cancer risks, improve cardiovascular health, lessen hypertension, regulate blood pressure and reduce inflammation. They can also improve our skin, hair, nails and bones. Tomatoes have so many health benefits because they are rich in minerals and nutrients that are necessary for optimal well being. However, not many people are aware of these facts and it makes tomatoes one of the most underrated foods.

Read on to see how the following properties and benefits of tomatoes surprise you!

1. Tomatoes are good for our heart and circulation

Tomatoes contain a mineral called potassium which is necessary for optimal vein and muscle health. It can help reduce cholesterol and stabilise blood pressure. It also assists kidneys to filter the wastes in blood. Potassium levels in the body can be maintained by eating tomatoes and this will radically reduce the possibility of stroke and heart attack.

The amount of potassium in tomatoes varies, depending on the quality and size of the tomato you pick. To absorb the largest amount of potassium from tomatoes, you should eat them raw. You can either dice tomatoes for salads, slice them up for sandwiches or blend them into a refreshing juice. Keeping tomatoes uncooked and combining them with other fresh ingredients, you do not only enjoy delicious meals but also have sufficient daily potassium intake.

2. Tomatoes make us feel and look good

Tomatoes are packed with antioxidants such as Vitamin C, Vitamin A and beta carotene. These antioxidants help prevent irreparable damage of cells caused by free radicals. The relationship between antioxidants and free radicals is crucial to good health and well being.

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Apart from making us feel healthier, tomatoes also make us look more attractive. For example, tomatoes can keep our hair shiny and strong, maintain good eye health and allow our skin to stay glowing. Eat them raw or use them directly on your skin with the flesh side down, as the Florida Tomato Committee recommends. It may cause some redness on our skin at first, but this is not serious and will not last long.

3. Tomatoes boost the health of teeth and bones as we age

The human body contains copious amounts of calcium. Around 1% of calcium is used for the metabolic functions of our veins, muscles and nervous system. The other 99% is stored in our bones and teeth and can be lost dramatically as we age. Calcium is absorbed and removed from bones and teeth at different rates depending on how old we are.

“Bone itself undergoes continuous remodeling, with constant resorption and deposition of calcium into new bone. The balance between bone resorption and deposition changes with age. Bone formation exceeds resorption in periods of growth in children and adolescents, whereas in early and middle adulthood both processes are relatively equal. In aging adults, particularly among postmenopausal women, bone breakdown exceeds formation, resulting in bone loss that increases the risk of osteoporosis over time.” U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, National Institutes of Health

Other than drinking milk, eating tomatoes can help strengthen your bones and teeth as they are a great source of calcium too! The amount of calcium in tomatoes depends on how they are consumed, but this can be easily calculated. It appears that sun-dried tomatoes contain the highest levels of calcium.

4. Tomatoes reduce the risk of cancer

Tomatoes contain a red pigment called Lycopene. Lycopene is found in a lot of red fruits and vegetables and also in some that are not actually red like asparagus and parsley. It occurs naturally in the human body and is found in the liver, blood, adrenal glands, lungs, prostate, colon, and skin. Eating foods like tomatoes that contain Lycopene helps boost the quality and quantity of the pigment in those areas of the body and can assist in the prevention of cell damage that can possibly turn into cancer.

Research has shown that consuming Lycopene-rich tomatoes can help to prevent cancer occurring in prostate, lung and stomach without bringing any adverse effects to the body. To extract the optimum levels of Lycopene from tomatoes, it is best to consume them when they are cooked and combined with a little fat. Tomato soup is unquestionably one of the greatest options you should consider!

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5. Tomatoes are a great help to diabetics

Chromium is the mineral found in tomatoes that causes insulin spike and therefore regulates your blood sugar level. It is a beneficial property aiding in the prevention and management of diabetes. When you consume a diet high in carbohydrates, your blood tend to absorb most of the sugar in the diet. Luckily, studies have shown that chromium can reduce the risk of diseases arising from high sugar consumption. Canadian doctor Ben Kim says that chromium in food:

“Helps to regulate your blood sugar level by enhancing the effects of insulin

Helps to prevent cardiovascular disease, including type II diabetes, through its effect on insulin

Helps your body make protein, fats, and cholesterol through its effect on insulin”

He also lists the types of foods that contain chromium, including tomatoes, and the recommended daily intake of chromium for each age group.

6. Tomatoes can repair the damage done by smoking

Tomatoes contain coumaric acid and chlorogenic acid, which can help repair the damage caused by carcinogens in cigarettes. Like many of the other properties found in tomatoes, chlorogenic acid is a powerful antioxidant that can reduce inflammation and prevent cancer.

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Try the following 5 recipes to get the best out of tomatoes.

Tomato, Watermelon and Feta Skewers with Mint and Lime

WTCN July 2015 Food Stylist Erin Merhar Prop Stylist Caroline Cunningham Tomato ,Watermelon, Feta Skewers
    via WTCN

    Green Tomato Soup with Lump Crab Meat

    WTCN July 2015 Food Stylist Erin Merhar Prop Stylist Caroline Cunningham Green Tomato Soup With Crab Meat
      via WTCN

      Chunky Tomato Fruit Gazpacho

      gazpacho

        via myrecipes.com

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        Chicken with Sun Dried Tomato Cream Sauce

        sundried tomato sauce

          via damndelicious.net

          Spicy Tomato Juice

          f609c1d5e81b1e5324d431d71da71ae4

            via food.com

            Featured photo credit: Valentyn Volkov via shutterstock.com

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            Diane Koopman

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            Last Updated on September 28, 2020

            The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

            The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

            At the start of the year, if you had asked anyone if they could do their work from home, many would have said no. They would have cited the need for team meetings, a place to be able to sit down and get on with their work, the camaraderie of the office, and being able to meet customers and clients face to face.

            Almost ten months later, most of us have learned that we can do our work from home and in many ways, we have discovered working from home is a lot better than doing our work in a busy, bustling office environment where we are inundated with distractions and noise.

            One of the things the 2020 pandemic has reminded us is we humans are incredibly adaptable. It is one of the strengths of our kind. Yet we have been unknowingly practicing this for years. When we move house we go through enormous upheaval.

            When we change jobs, we not only change our work environment but we also change the surrounding people. Humans are adaptable and this adaptability gives us strength.

            So, what are the pros and cons of working from home? Below I will share some things I have discovered since I made the change to being predominantly a person who works from home.

            Pro #1: A More Relaxed Start to the Day

            This one I love. When I had to be at a place of work in the past, I would always set my alarm to give me just enough time to make coffee, take a shower, and change. Mornings always felt like a rush.

            Now, I can wake up a little later, make coffee and instead of rushing to get out of the door at a specific time, I can spend ten minutes writing in my journal, reviewing my plan for the day, and start the day in a more relaxed frame of mind.

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            When you start the day in a relaxed state, you begin more positively. You find you have more clarity and more focus and you are not wasting energy worrying about whether you will be late.

            Pro #2: More Quiet, Focused Time = Increased Productivity

            One of the biggest difficulties of working in an office is the noise and distractions. If a colleague or boss can see you sat at your desk, you are more approachable. It is easier for them to ask you questions or engage you in meaningless conversations.

            Working from home allows you to shut the door and get on with an hour or two of quiet focused work. If you close down your Slack and Email, you avoid the risk of being disturbed and it is amazing how much work you can get done.

            An experiment conducted in 2012 found that working from home increased a person’s productivity by 13%, and more recent studies also find significant increases in productivity.[1]

            When our productivity increases, the amount of time we need to perform our work decreases, and this means we can spend more time on activities that can bring us closer to our family and friends as well as improve our mental health.

            Pro #3: More Control Over Your Day

            Without bosses and colleagues watching over us all day, we have a lot more control over what we do. While some work will inevitably be more urgent than others, we still get a lot more choice about what we work on.

            We also get more control over where we work. I remember when working in an office, we were given a fixed workstation. Some of these workstations were pleasant with a lot of natural sunlight, but other areas were less pleasant. It was often the luck of the draw whether we find ourselves in a good place to work or not.

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            By working from home we can choose what work to work on and whether we want to face a window or not. We can get up and move to another place, and we can move from room to room. And if you have a garden, on nice days you could spend a few hours working outside.

            Pro #4: You Get to Choose Your Office Environment

            While many companies will provide you with a laptop or other equipment to do your work, others will give you an allowance to purchase your equipment. But with furniture such as your chair and desk, you have a lot of freedom.

            I have seen a lot of amazing home working spaces with wonderful sets up—better chairs, laptop stands that make working from a laptop much more ergonomic and therefore, better for your neck.

            You can also choose your wall art and the little nick-nacks on your desk or table. With all this freedom, you can create a very personal and excellent working environment that is a pleasure to work in. When you are happy doing your work, you will inevitably do better work.

            Con #1: We Move a Lot Less

            When we commute to a place of work, there is movement involved. Many people commute using public transport, which means walking to the bus stop or train station. Then, there is the movement at lunchtime when we go out to buy our lunch. Working in a place of work requires us to move more.

            Unfortunately, working from home naturally causes us to move less and this means we are not burning as many calories as we need to.

            Moving is essential to our health and if you are working from home you need to become much more aware of your movement. To ensure you are moving enough, make sure you take your lunch breaks. Get up from your desk and move. Go outside, if you can, and take a walk. And, of course, refrain from regular trips to the refrigerator.

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            Con #2: Less Human Interaction

            One of the nicest things about bringing a group of people together to work is the camaraderie and relationships that are built over time. Working from home takes us away from that human interaction and for many, this can cause a feeling of loss.

            Humans are a social species—we need to be with other people. Without that connection, we start to feel lonely and that can lead to mental health issues.

            Zoom and Microsoft Teams meeting cannot replace that interaction. Often, the interactions we get at our workplaces are spontaneous. But with video calls, there is nothing spontaneous—most of these calls are prearranged and that’s not spontaneous.

            This lack of spontaneous interaction can also reduce a team’s ability to develop creative solutions—there’s just something about a group of incredibly creative people coming together in a room to thrash out ideas together that lends itself to creativity.

            While video calls can be useful, they don’t match the connection between a group of people working on a solution together.

            Con #3: The Cost of Buying Home Office Equipment

            Not all companies are going to provide you with a nice allowance to buy expensive home office equipment. 100% remote companies such as Doist (the creators of Todoist and Twist) provide a $2,000 allowance to all their staff every two years to buy office equipment. Others are not so generous.

            This can prove to be expensive for many people to create their ideal work-from-home workspace. Many people must make do with what they already have, and that could mean unsuitable chairs that damage backs and necks.

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            For a future that will likely involve more flexible working arrangements, companies will need to support their staff in ways that will add additional costs to an already reduced bottom line.

            Con #4: Unique Distractions

            Not all people have the benefit of being able to afford childcare for young children, and this means they need to balance working and taking care of their kids.

            For many parents, being able to go to a workplace gives them time away from the noise and demands of a young family, so they could get on with their work. Working from home removes this and can make doing video calls almost impossible.

            To overcome this, where possible, you need to set some boundaries. I know this is not always possible, but it is something you need to try. You should do whatever you can to make sure you have some boundaries between your work life and home life.

            Final Thoughts

            Working from home can be hugely beneficial for many people, but it can also bring serious challenges to others.

            We are moving towards a new way of working. Therefore, companies need to look at both the pros and cons of working from home and be prepared to support their staff in making this transition. It will not be impossible, but a lot of thought will need to go into it.

            More About Working From Home

            Featured photo credit: Standsome Worklifestyle via unsplash.com

            Reference

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