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Health Properties of Tomatoes

Here are 10 reasons you should be eating more delicious, nutritious tomatoes.

Terrific Tomato Recipes

The good news is that America already loves tomatoes. They're one of the top fresh vegetables eaten in this country, and are the most frequently consumed canned vegetable, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture statistics.

Here are two tomato recipes to help you start eating more of these nutritious fruits today.

Halfway Homemade Garlic & Onion Pasta Sauce

WebMD Weight Loss Clinic members Journal as 1 cup vegetables with 1 tsp fat maximum

You start with a bottle or can of marinara sauce, and end with a chunky, homemade-style pasta sauce.

2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

2/3 cup chopped sweet onion

1/2 cup chopped red, yellow or orange bell pepper

2 teaspoons minced garlic

A dash of black pepper

1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

2 cups bottled or canned marinara sauce

1/4 cup red wine of choice, such as merlot (optional)

  • Add olive oil to a medium, nonstick saucepan over medium-high heat. Once oil is hot, add onion and bell pepper and sauté until cooked (about 4 minutes).
  • Reduce heat to low. Stir in minced garlic and black pepper and cook about a minute more. Stir in fresh basil, marinara, and wine (if desired) and simmer until the sauce is good and hot (a minute or two more). Serve with cooked pasta, chicken, fish, etc.

Yield: 4 servings (about 3/4 cup to 1 cup each)

Per serving: 132 calories, 3 g protein, 17 g carbohydrate, 6 g fat, 0.9 g saturated fat, 3.8 g monounsaturated fat, 1.4 g polyunsaturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 3 g fiber, about 500 mg sodium (depending on the marinara sauce used). Calories from fat: 41%.

Simple Tomato & Herb Salad

WebMD Weight Loss Clinic members: Journal as 1 serving "vegetables with 1 tsp fat maximum"

This dish is simple because it uses a bottled salad dressing. The rest of the chopping and slicing goes quickly. It's all about featuring the garden fresh or vine-ripened tomato in all of its glory.

2 1/2 pounds (about 6 medium) garden fresh or vine-ripened tomatoes

1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion, separated into rings

2 shallots, sliced thin

6 tablespoons light or reduced fat Italian-style salad dressing (your choice)

1/3 cup minced mixed fresh herbs such as basil, parsley, and tarragon

  • Core tomatoes and cut them into 1/2-inch thick slices. Arrange tomato slices in a deep serving dish (a 9x11-inch dish works well), and scatter onion and shallots over them.
  • Drizzle the bottled salad dressing evenly over the salad. Cover the dish and chill for 20-30 minutes.
  • Sprinkle herb mixture over the top and serve.

Yield: 6 servings.

Per serving: 72 calories, 2 g protein, 12 g carbohydrate, 3 g fat, 0.6 g saturated fat, 1 g monounsaturated fat, 1 g polyunsaturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 2.5 g fiber, 243 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 35%.

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