A flagship vegetable for sunny days, the tomato has it all: vitamins, antioxidants, flavours, low-calorie… Our advice for tasting it well. With, as a bonus: a delicious gazpacho recipe. This guide will help you understanding how Tomato – An Anti-aging ally.
- Sweet, tart, vitaminized, the tomato has it all!
- Vitamin C, carotenoids: a vegetable bursting with colour
- Lycopene, the antioxidant asset
- How to choose and store the tomato
- At room temperature or in the refrigerator
- Summer recipe: tomato gazpacho (103 kcal per serving)
- Ingredients for 4 persons
Sweet, tart, vitaminized, the tomato has it all!
Refreshing as desired, the tomato is rich in water (94.5 g / 100 g) and low in calories (16.4 kcal / 100 g).
And it has taste: it contains, in fact, fructose and glucose (carbohydrates) (3 g / 100 g) which give it its sweetness. Its tangy flavour comes from the organic acids (citric and malic acid) it contains.
During ripening, the level of organic acids in the tomato decreases while that of the carbohydrates increases. Thus, the very ripe tomatoes that you find in high season (from August to October) are sweet and fruity, and those that are early are rather bland. The Tomato – An Anti-aging ally.
Vitamin C, carotenoids: a vegetable bursting with color
While contributing to the nutritional balance, the tomato provides a good dose of vitamins. Per 100 g, it contains 14.3 mg of vitamin C and its level can go up to 20 mg depending on the maturity of the vegetable. By eating 4 to 5 tomatoes a day, you cover your daily need for vitamin C (110 mg for adults and adolescents, 60 to 100 mg for children)!
Lycopene, the antioxidant asset
The tomato also contains carotenoids, and more specifically lycopene, a powerful antioxidant. “The latter prevents free radicals, which promote premature cell aging, from developing and prevents arthritis, heart attacks, cardiovascular disease …”, explains experts.
And, unlike the other nutrients in tomatoes, the content of which decreases with cooking, lycopene is released from the cells of the tomato with heat. So do not hesitate to eat tomato-based juice, soups or sauces any longer!
Get inspired with this tabbouleh stuffed tomato recipe, rich in lycopene. The Tomato – An Anti-aging ally
How to choose and store the tomato
When choosing tomatoes, make sure that they are neither too firm nor too soft and above all, very red, a sign of maturity. Know that you will find the most beautiful tomatoes from August and until September-October, depending on the year.
Their size and variety depend on the culinary use you wish to make of it. For salads, opt for small, very fragrant bunch tomatoes. If you want to stuff them, prefer ribbed or beef hearts. More fleshy, the latter also go well with mozzarella for a raw preparation because they are juicy and tasty.
To make sauces, choose basic red tomatoes (gown, Andean retort…). For an aperitif snack, turn to the sweeter cherry tomatoes.
At room temperature or in the refrigerator
If you taste your tomatoes quickly, leave them in a bowl at room temperature. To keep them longer (around ten days), place them on absorbent paper in the vegetable drawer of your refrigerator.
Depending on how you use them, you can also freeze your tomatoes. Either as they are, in freezer bags, to bring them out throughout the year, or peeled and blanched, to integrate them into sauces, savory pies…
However, be aware that the cold degrades the taste qualities of tomatoes …
Summer recipe: Tomato gazpacho (103 kcal per serving)
To keep all the benefits of the tomato, nothing like a gazpacho. As an aperitif, as a starter or as a light dish, it smells like the sun in your kitchen!
Ingredients for 4 persons
- 4 large tomatoes
- A quarter of a cucumber
- 1 red pepper
- 1 onion
- 2 cloves of garlic
- The juice of half a lemon
- 2 tbsp. oliveoil
- Olive oil ,salt, pepper, Espelette pepper.
- Firstly, Peel, seed the tomatoes and the pepper, then cut them into small pieces.
- Peel and seed the cucumber, cut into small dice.
- Peel the onion and cut it into strips.
- Finally, peel and finely chop the garlic cloves.
- Place the vegetables in a blender with the lemon juice, 2 spoonfuls of olive oil, salt, pepper and Espelette pepper.
- Mix everything until a homogeneous mixture, without pieces.
- Arrange in a salad bowl or in a large carafe. Cover with cling film and set aside four hours in your refrigerator before serving chilled.
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