What’s one specific vegetable that is associated with high content of essential nutrients as well as antioxidant-rich phytochemicals? If you guessed tomatoes, then you are absolutely right! Learn more about the positive health effects of tomato products.
Tomatoes and tomato-based products contain a wide range of critical nutrients that keep your body functioning properly. These include (but are not limited to) vitamins, minerals, proteins, carotenoids, monounsaturated fatty acids, and phytosterols. The daily consumption of these nutrients are required in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Whether it’s in the form of ketchup, sauce, or paste, the antioxidant powers found in canned tomatoes can truly have a beneficial long-term effect on your health.
A recent research study provided evidence-based research that suggests the carotenoid found in tomato-based food products contains lycopene, which helps to prevent cardiovascular diseases, cancer, cognitive function, and osteoporosis. The positive correlation between the consumption of tomatoes and enhancement of the body’s antioxidants helps to reduce oxidative stress, which protects against DNA, cell, and protein damage. The consumption of tomatoes contains bioactive compounds that may also play a role in the prevention of constipation, reduction of blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels, improvement of digestion and body fluid balance, stimulation of blood pressure, and more. Boosting human health is our number one goal, and what better way to do so than by eating plant foods that we genuinely enjoy!
The benefits of canned tomatoes are an incentive to go out and purchase canned tomato products to get cooking in your kitchen. There are a wide range of recipes that you can whip up for you and your family to enjoy, such as pizza, pasta, tacos, and lasagna. These are easy, affordable recipes that will save you time and money while boosting your nutrient intake. If you’re new to cooking with tomatoes, check out some tomato-packed recipes found on the Tomato Wellness website for inspiration!
For other tomato news, check out:
Top 11 Reasons to Go Red with Tomato Products
Can Tomatoes Help Your Kid Eat More Veggies?
What is Lycopene?
Health Connection Between Tomatoes and Lycopene
Set it and forget it! This slow cooker minestrone soup calls for minimal effort but delivers BIG payback in the flavor department. Sautéing the veggies beforehand helps develop the flavors (which means you can cut back on the salt), plenty of herbs and spices also boost the flavor. If you don’t have a slow cooker with a sauté function, just do the first step on the stovetop. With so many great flavors, this slow cooker minestrone is sure to be a favorite on the dinner table!
2 tsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small yellow onion, diced
3 medium stalks celery, chopped
3 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp kosher salt
1 quart no salt added chicken or vegetable stock
1 (28 oz) can no salt added diced tomatoes
2 cups large chunks butternut squash
1 cup canned kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup canned white bean, rinsed and drained
1 cup ditalini pasta
5 springs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
- Heat oil in slow cooker set to sauté function. Add garlic, onion, celery and carrots and cook for 2 minutes.
- Add oregano and salt and cook for an additional 3 minutes.
- Add stock, diced tomatoes, squash and beans and stir.
- Using a piece of kitchen twine, gently tie thyme sprigs and bay leaf into a bundle and toss in the slow cooker.
- Cover and cook on HIGH for 4 hours (or on LOW for 6 hours).
- When there is 20 minutes left of cook time, remove lid and stir in pasta. Cover and cook for remaining time.
- When cook time is up, remove thyme bundle and discard.
- Ladle into bowls and serve. Cool and store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- You can add a little grated parmesan cheese before serving, each tablespoon adds about 100mg of sodium so measure out to keep track.
- Add a piece of parmesan rind to soup for an extra nutty flavor.
Excerpted from the DASH Diet Meal Prep for Beginners reprinted by permission of Alpha, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. Copyright © 2021 by Dana Angelo White
Dana is our July RD of the Month! Check out more of her favorite recipes featuring canned tomatoes here.
Regardless of the season, everyone is searching for new recipes that can be enjoyed and shared with friends and family. That’s why you should definitely check out this recipe for Wrangler’s Beef Chili! Whether it’s cooked in a slow cooker, stove top, or crockpot, you can never go wrong with a flavor-packed chili dish. This recipe calls for ground beef, veggies, tomato sauce, and macaroni. All of these ingredients provide specific nutrients that make this meal not only full of flavor, but also a secretly healthy comfort meal. For additional flavor, you can top this chili dish off with some crushed baked tortilla chips, green or regular onions, tomato, bell pepper, fresh cilantro, reduced-fat shredded Cheddar cheese, and non-fat Greek yogurt. This dish can be mixed in with baked potato halves or whole wheat macaroni if you are looking for some substitutions. Another interesting component of this recipe is that you can style it two ways: Cincinnati or Moroccan style, by adding alternative seasonings and grains that are specific to this dish.
While this dish is a good source of protein, it also has a high lycopene content from the canned tomato sauce. Since canned tomatoes are a critical part of any chili dish, it’s important to not skip this ingredient. It makes the chili juicy, adds more flavor, and contributes a boost of nutrient-rich value, as they contain vitamins C, vitamin E, fiber, and potassium. The ability of canned tomatoes to absorb more nutrients within the body allow them to contain cancer-fighting properties. Canned tomatoes are easy to find at any local grocery store and are cost-efficient, making them easily available and accessible to the general public. So if you’re trying to stock up on low-calorie, nutrient-rich canned items, then canned tomatoes will be your new best friend!
Get the full recipe for Wrangler’s Beef Chili by visiting our friends at the National Beef Council.
This month’s Registered Dietitian of the Month Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC has many letters behind her name, accomplishments and titles:
- Certified Athletic Trainer, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
- Sports Dietitian and Associate Clinical Professor of Athletic Training and Sports Medicine, Quinnipiac University
- Nutrition Expert, FoodNetwork.com
- Cookbook author, media spokesperson, nutrition and fitness consultant
- Mom, foodie, exercise junkie, and pizza lover
“As the author of 9 cookbooks, I have established a solid list of must-have ingredients. You’ll surely find fresh tomatoes and tomato products are at the tippy top of that list. From salsa to soup, I use canned tomatoes all year long. Canned crushed tomatoes (American grown, of course!) are the star ingredient in my Basic Tomato Sauce. This recipe is my “house sauce” that I always keep stocked in the fridge and the freezer for easy weeknight meals and the best night of the week – PIZZA FRIDAY. I have been making pizza for my family every Friday night for over a decade and it never gets old.
Instant Pot Curry Shrimp Chowder
This quick and easy soup has a symphony of exotic flavors that come together in minutes. The secret ingredients are almond butter and a protein boost from quick-cooking shrimp!
Carrot Marinara Sauce from First Bites: Superfoods for Babies and Toddlers
Spiking a basic tomato sauce with roasted carrots was my way of using up leftovers but turned into a family favorite overnight.
Quinoa-Stuffed Peppers with Salsa from Healthy Air Fryer Cookbook
A quick but filling plant-based version of stuffed peppers with flavor boosts from tomato paste and salsa.
Slow Cooker Minestrone
Set it and forget it! This slow cooker soup calls for minimal effort but delivers BIG payback in the flavor department. Sautéing the veggies beforehand helps develop the flavors (which means you can cut back on the salt), plenty of herbs and spices also boost the flavor. If you don’t have a slow cooker with a sauté function, just do the first step on the stovetop.
Microwave Tomato Soup from Healthy Quick and Easy College Cookbook!
Maybe my biggest tomato fest cookbook yet! This is a compilation of quick and easy recipes that drops 7/13/21!
A warm and cozy soup doesn’t need to take hours to make. Rich in antioxidants like vitamin C and lycopene, this soup is so good AND so easy to make.
You don’t need to buy canned tomatoes, fresh tomatoes, or food for that matter from outside the U.S. for better quality in taste and nutrition. Eating U.S. grown canned tomatoes and tomato products can help protect the environment, support local farmers, and you’ll still benefit from high quality taste and nutrition because USA grown tomatoes are the best tomatoes in the world!
Tomatoes are a nutrient-dense food and one of the healthiest fruits on the planet, packed with a variety of nutrients such as vitamin C, potassium, fiber, and antioxidants like lycopene. Lycopene is a powerful nutrient that has been shown in research to help decrease risk of chronic diseases, such as cancer and cardiovascular disease. When tomatoes are heated, the body actually absorbs lycopene more, becoming more bioavailable compared to eating tomatoes that have not been heated. This is because the cell walls of lycopene are broken down further when tomatoes are heated, making it easier for our bodies to absorb and transport it. All canned tomatoes are cooked, making them a great choice for maximizing lycopene and nutrition overall.
However, you don’t need to purchase canned tomatoes and tomato products coming from outside the U.S. to obtain these benefits. In fact, eating U.S. grown tomato products will provide not only health benefits for yourself but be good for the environment too. Buying tomato products made outside the U.S. must travel a longer distance to get to you, meaning more transport costs, more pollution, all adding to the climate change problem and affecting the environment. The greater the distance food travels, the more energy the transportation consumes and the more CO2 it will release. These emissions have a significant impact on air quality and contribute to global warming. Transporting by air generates 50 times more CO2 than any other type of transport, making it the worst mode of transport, followed by road. Although sea shipping may be at the bottom of the list, sea shipping is slow, and in our increasing demand for food, food is increasingly being shipped by faster and more polluting means.
Rest assured there is something we all can do to help reduce food miles and help the environment, and that is simply purchasing canned tomatoes and tomato products grown on U.S. soil. Doing this will help reduce international food transport, greenhouse gasses emitted, improve our carbon footprint, save us money, support local farmers, benefit from high-quality tomatoes and nutrition, and overall help protect our planet. Consuming USA tomato products taste better and will not have traveled far, therefore no additional energy will have been used to transport them-imagine all the fossil fuel that could be saved! The benefits of purchasing American-grown canned tomatoes and tomato products are having the peace of mind knowing what you are getting with each product, consuming high-quality tomatoes, and the positive impact you are creating at a local and global level. In the documentary called “Empire of Red Gold” the filmmaker not only found fraud, pollution, and terrible worker conditions in China and Italy tomato processing centers, but also found Chinese canned tomatoes being shipped to Italy and being relabeled as Italian. Unlike China and Italy, U.S. grown tomato products follow standards of sustainability, worker justice, and safety. USA farmers need our support as they are struggling with global trade wars, tariffs, and increased costs up and down the supply chain. Therefore, choosing local tomato products also supports our local farmers and communities.
So, the next time you find yourself at the grocery store deciding on different canned tomatoes or any other type of tomato products like salsa, ketchup, marinara sauces, etc. remember the positive impact you can make and the American farmers you can help support by simply purchasing delicious local American-grown tomatoes.
Fatima De Haro is an RD2BE from Bakersfield, California. She received her B.S. from the University of California, Davis and will start her coordinated program in dietetics this upcoming fall through the University of Vermont where she will receive her M.S. in Dietetics and complete the dietetic internship. She is passionate about living a healthy lifestyle and believes that by incorporating nutrient-dense foods and being physically active, we can help prevent, control, and cure certain illnesses. In her spare time she enjoys being with family and friends, as well as hiking, trying new food, and cooking. Her goal is to become a clinical registered dietitian.