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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

            Writer, Author, Novelist, Self-Publisher

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            Last Updated on May 22, 2019

            10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

            10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

            There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

            One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

            In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

            Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

            1. Cat Camel Stretch

            Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

            Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

            Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

            Here’s a video to guide you through:

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            2. Go for a Walk or a Run

            This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

            Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

            The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

            Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

            Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

            3. Jumping Jacks

            Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

            Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

            4. Abductor Side Lifts

            Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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            Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

            5. Balancing Table Pose

            This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

            Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

            ablab

              6. Leg Squats

              Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

              Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

              The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

              7. Push Ups

              You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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              An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

              Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

              This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

              8. Bicycle Crunches

              There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

              Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

              9. Lunges

              Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

              Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

              This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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              10. Bicep Curls

              You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

              Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

              Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

              Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

              Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

              These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

              You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

              Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

              More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

              Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

              Reference

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