Hot summer days with cooler air at night… now that we’re well into late summer, it's time to enjoy some truly terrific tomatoes.
Technically a fruit (and botanically a berry), tomatoes supply a wealth of unique phytonutrients with tongue-twisting names like esculeoside, tomatidine and chalconaringenin. Researchers now understand the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory power of these phytonutrients, which helps explain how tomatoes protect against an array of chronic ailments such as heart disease and cancer. And with different tomato varieties such as heirlooms (along with their different colors) come even more unique phytonutrients. Combine this with tomato’s rich vitamin C content (about 40% in just one cup), and the notable carotenoid lycopene, and this “veggie” has major antioxidant clout.
Want a handy tomato tip? Tomatoes don’t like to get too cold, so don’t stick them in the refrigerator unless they’re getting overripe.
Dr. Liz Applegate, PhD is Director of Sports Nutrition at the University of California, Davis, Nugget Market, Inc.’s nutrition consultant and a nationally renowned expert on nutrition and fitness. Dr. Applegate is the author of several nutrition and fitness books in addition to the popular “Fridge Wisdom” nutrition column for Runners’ World Magazine for the past 30 years and Nugget Market, Inc.’s “Health Notes by Dr. Liz” for the past 9 years.