Tomatoes are a superfood that contain several vitamins and nutrients that promote health. Here are 5 key nutrients present in canned tomatoes that pack a powerful nutrition punch.
When you think of the word superfood what comes to mind? Is it a tomato? Tomatoes are such a commonly eaten food filled with so much nutritional power, yet you may not think of them as a superfood. Not only are tomatoes packed with flavor, but they are also filled with important nutrients that are vital for overall health. Let’s unpack what science has to say about some of these key nutrients.
Lycopene. Lycopene belongs to a class of compounds called carotenoids, and are powerful antioxidants that promote skin health, protect against certain cancers, and decrease the risk of heart disease and diabetes. Tomatoes are an excellent source of lycopene, but heat during the cooking process makes the lycopene even more bioavailable to our bodies, which makes canned and cooked tomato products an excellent choice.
Beta-carotene. This is a phytochemical that is converted to retinol in the body which then becomes vitamin A. Vitamin A is important for supporting eye health and protects against cataracts and macular degeneration.
Vitamin K. This is a fat soluble vitamin that is important for protein production. These proteins are necessary for the formation of blood clots, and the prevention of bone loss. Vitamin K has also been shown to protect against heart disease.
Fiber. This nutrient has so many benefits, yet many people don’t get enough in their diets. Most know that fiber can promote bowel health and encourage regular bowel movements. However, it also can lower cholesterol levels, control blood glucose levels, and help maintain a healthy weight.
Tomato products should be a staple in every kitchen pantry. Not only are they quick and convenient, they contain many nutrients that promote health! So, what are you waiting for? The next time you’re at the store go ahead and grab a can (or three) of some canned tomato products to use in the kitchen this week.
Need some recipe inspiration? Try out some of our favorites:
Get ready to celebrate a world of flavors! We are celebrating National Nutrition Month all month long, and this year’s theme is all about how you can appreciate flavors from cultures around the world. This is a tasty way to nourish ourselves and appreciate our diversity, as we are all unique with different bodies, goals, backgrounds and tastes! So, get ready to see how canned and jarred tomatoes can help you uncover a world of flavor with some of our best recipes inspired by global cuisine. #PutTheLoveIn ❤️
You’re going to love this restaurant-caliber Creamy Tomato Tortellini Soup that features delicious international flavors! A favorite all year long, with so many variations you can really make it your own!
Looking for a tasty appetizer that will please a crowd? Check out this Chicken Parmesan Dip! This dip combines ingredients like ricotta cheese, basil, and fire-roasted tomatoes and will hit the spot when you are craving hearty comfort food.
Have you have ever tried Indian Cuisine? It is some of the most flavorful and delicious food ever! Although the large number of spices used in Indian food can seem overwhelming, it’s easier than ever to create restaurant-worthy food from the comfort of your own kitchen. This Chicken Tikka Masala is a great option for those who want an international-inspired meal that doesn’t take forever to get on the table.
Registered Dietitians love using canned and jarred tomatoes as they provide a plethora of antioxidants (such as lycopene) that play an integral role in the reduction of certain types of diseases and cancers. In fact, numerous studies have linked lycopene consumption with prostate cancer protection. While lycopene is present in other fruits such as watermelon and pink grapefruit, tomatoes (which are the second most consumed vegetable second to potatoes in the U.S.), account for more than 85% of the lycopene in the American diet. Interestingly, cooked tomato products may hold particular significance, as the lycopene from cooked and processed tomatoes is more bioavailable than that of fresh tomatoes. Heating or processing breaks down the tomato cell-matrix and promotes isomerization of lycopene from all-trans isomers to the more bioavailable form of cis-isomers. Research shows that single daily servings of processed tomato products produce significant increases of lycopene concentrations in blood and buccal mucosal cells in healthy adults.
I’m not Italian, but I aspire to be. This recipe for Penne Puttanesca has been tweaked and, I like to think, perfected over the course of a decade. We even searched for a better one in Italy and couldn’t find it. It’s quick, easy and the robust flavor will knock your socks off!
Puttanesca is a classic Italian sauce consisting of anchovies, tomatoes, olives, and capers, creating the perfect balance of salty and savory. Canned tomatoes are the star of this dish, providing bright color and flavor, as well as being a nutrition powerhouse. Tomatoes are packed with lycopene, a cancer-fighting compound, as well as vitamin C, iron, and potassium. Plus, canned tomatoes actually have a higher lycopene content than fresh, as the cooking and canning process enhances the availability of the nutrient, making it easier for your body to absorb.
Switch up your pasta routine this week with this quick and easy Puttanesca Pasta. It's the perfect meal for any weeknight, and your family is sure to love it!
12-16 oz penne pasta
1/2 c high-quality extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tbsp anchovy paste
3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
2 tbsp dried oregano
24-28 oz plum or diced tomatoes
1/2 c pitted and chopped Kalamata olives
2-3 tbsp capers, drained
1/4 c fresh, Italian parsley, chopped
Get your pasta water boiling.
Now start your sauce by putting high-quality extra virgin olive oil in a large sauce pan with red pepper flakes. Heat to medium heat and stir for about 2 minutes to infuse your oil.
Now add chopped garlic, dried oregano and anchovy paste (it’s not overwhelming, I promise). Mix well to get the paste dissolved and now add your tomatoes, along with Kalamata olives and capers. Let simmer for 5 – 10 minutes.
When your pasta is al dente, drain thoroughly. Pour pasta into sauce mixture and parsley. Mix and serve very hot.
Wowsers–so good! I like to serve with grilled chicken or sautéed shrimp on top. If you’re not feeling like pasta, it’s fantastic as a sauce over grilled chicken, pork or fish.
For other delicious pasta recipes, check out some of our favorites: