Did you know that tomatoes are one of the best sources of a health-promoting carotenoid phytonutrient known as lycopene?
Lycopene is a natural pigment found in tomatoes that gives them their characteristic deep red color. Lycopene has been one of the hottest topics of phytonutrient research in the past five years. Its powerful antioxidant protection has been credited not only for its ability to help reduce the risk of prostate, breast, endometrial and breast cancer, but also hardening of arteries—one of the primary causes of heart disease! Add a few cherry tomatoes to your salad or especially if you.re lucky enough to be able to buy heirloom tomatoes, take 10 minutes and cook up some fresh marinara sauce for your pasta, and don.t forget the extra virgin olive oil. The latest research shows that the fat-soluble carotenoids found in foods (alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, lutein /zeaxanthin, lycopene and others) are best absorbed when consumed with a little fat or oil.
Mediterranean Tomato Salad
This easy to prepare Mediterranean-style salad complements almost any meal.
Prep and Cook Time: 5 minutes
Ingredients: 2 large ripe tomatoes, chopped into large pieces
1 medium red onion, sliced thin
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 TBS lemon juice or vinegar
3 TBS extra virgin olive oil
10 fresh basil leaves, torn into small pieces
Sea salt and pepper to taste
½ cup mozzarella cheese
6 olives, chopped
2 tsp capers
Slice onions and mince garlic and let sit for 5 minutes to bring out their health-promoting benefits.
Combine and toss all ingredients. Add salt and pepper to taste.
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