Italian Foods Are Not the Enemy

Lycopene in Italian Food

When you’re dieting and trying to eat healthily, what the first thing that you give up? Junk food and pasta, pizza and all your favorite, cheese-laden Italian fares.

Let me tell you now—you don’t have to. (more…)

Sneaky Tomato Recipes For Kids

Want your kids to eat tomatoes?

Arguments of whether tomatoes are fruits or vegetables aside—if you’re a kid, it’s likely that you’re going to hate them. But there’s just too many health benefits derived from tomatoes to let this one slide. So here are some sneaky ways to get your little ones some much-needed lycopene before they can say no.

Consider it your kids’ starter plates to a world of healthy eating. Try these recipes out and see how easy it can be to get your kids loving their greens (or reds—as the case may be):

Stock up on some healthy snack-time options with some bread, crackers and a jar of rich tomato jam

Tomato and Thyme Surprise

  • 1 pound tomatoes, roughly cut
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon thyme, finely chopped
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 1” cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 ½ teaspoon fresh squeezed lemon juice

Instructions:

  1. Place all ingredients in a deep saucepan and allow mixture to simmer over low heat.
  2. Keep mixing until mixture is thick.
  3. Pour into a jar and allow to cool before screwing the lid on tightly.
  4. The jam will hold for about two weeks, refrigerated.

 

Nothing gets kids appetites going more than chips and dip—here’s a healthier, lycopene-rich alternative.

Kiddie Salsa and Tortilla Chips

  • 2 cups of tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon red onion, diced
  • 2 teaspoons of lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 bag of corn tortilla chips

Instructions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor.
  2. Serve salsa with a side of chips.

 

Here’s an easy salad to make for more adventurous palates—still kid-friendly and still healthy.

Kiddie Cob Salad

  • 2 cups butter lettuce
  • ½ cup tomato, chopped
  • ½ ripe avocado, cubed
  • 2 smoked turkey slices
  • 1 hard boiled eggs, peeled and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons crumbled blue cheese

Dressing:

  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 ½ teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

Instructions:

  1. Toss all ingredients together, chill and serve.
  2. Add croutons or toasted bruschetta in the mix if you want.

 

The Science of Tomatoes

The Science of Tomatoes

They say the heart creates enough energy to power a truck through 20 miles, everyday. So that little pitter patter on your chest? Multiply that by a lifetime and that’s enough energy to get you to the moon and back.

Needless to say that heart health is something that everyone should pay attention to. So start by making sure you have enough nutrients to keep your heart healthy. (more…)

5 Beauty Benefits of Tomatoes

Beauty Benefits of Tomatoes

Forget about getting ridiculously painful (and expensive) Botox injections just to get younger-looking skin. Tomatoes can give you the same effect for less and with your facial expressions intact.

Apart from being a superfood, tomatoes also have properties that can give expensive skin care creams in the market today a run for their money. Here are a five suggestions on how you can include tomatoes into your skin care regimen:

If you have oily skin…

Tomatoes have natural oil reducing properties that mimic the effects of astringent, making it an ideal natural alternative for treating oily or combination skin.

To make a tomato-based astringent:

  • Cut a large tomato in half. Blend and strain to get the juice. Make sure to remove the pulp. But don’t throw it away, you can also use it for a tomato face mask.
  • Repeat the same process above, but this time with a small piece of cucumber.
  • Mix the tomato and cucumber juice together.
  • Apply this mixture as you would normally apply your astringent. This will help you control your skin’s excess oils.

If you want glowing skin…

Tomatoes are filled with antioxidants that help flush out toxins from your body. It’s also known for boosting your production of collagen, which lends itself to plump and glowing skin.

To make a tomato face mask:

  • Make a tomato puree by blending a large tomato. You can also choose to add a tablespoon or two of honey in your mixture.
  • Put it evenly on your face and leave it for 15-20 minutes.
  • Wash off with water or a mild cleanser.

Or you can also simply slice a tomato into quarters and gently massage each wedge onto your face. Do this for about 10-15 minutes, before washing it off with water or a mild cleanser.

For a weekly skin regimen, you can remove dead skin with a tomato scrub.

To make a tomato scrub:

  • Instead of cutting the tomato into quarters, slice it into circles.
  • Sprinkle a bit of sugar on each slice.
  • Rub on your face for 10-15 minutes. Make sure to rub gently, especially in the area around the eyes.

If you want to get rid of acne…

Tomatoes are rich in Vitamin A, C, and K, all of which are commonly found in many of the acne treatment medicine in the market today. Along with that, the natural acidity of tomatoes help in reducing flare-ups and clearing your skin.

To make a tomato face mask for mild acne treatment:

  • Make a puree of tomato and cucumber. The cucumber will soothe your skin.
  • Take the pulp and spread it evenly on your face. Putting a bit more on areas where you have acne.
  • Leave it for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Wash off with water or mild facial cleanser.
  • Do this regularly to clear your acne.

If you want to minimize your pores…

Humidity, pollution and stress can lead to dull and dry skin. Tomato juice can easily hydrate your skin and minimize your pores.

To make a tomato skin toner:

  • Mix equal parts tomato juice and distilled water.
  • Using a cotton ball, apply the mixture evenly on your face.
  • You can let the mixture soak or massage it onto your face for 15 minutes.
  • Wash it off with water or mild facial cleanser.

If you want to soothe sunburn…

Tomatoes are gaining in popularity as an all natural sunscreen, but in the event that you do forget to slather on some SPF and get sunburned, tomatoes are also a great way to manage it.

To make a tomato sunburn cure:

  • Slather on tomato juice to the affected area. Despite being acidic, tomato juice will not sting.
  • Boost the soothing properties by adding buttermilk to the mixture. Apply on sunburnt areas of your skin.

But, as always, prevention is better than cure. Tomatoes have also been found to be a great defense against the sun’s harmful UV rays. A recent study has found the eating a 55 mg of tomato paste, provided an increased 30% UV protection as compared to those who don’t eat the same amount of tomato paste daily.

5 Reasons To Add Those Tomatoes In Your Meal

Eat More Tomatoes

From sauces to side dishes to salads—tomatoes have always been an essential ingredients for a lot of recipes that are part of our daily meals.

This juicy and versatile food staple has more to offer than just to add color to your plate. In fact, tomatoes are largely considered a superfood even by the most discerning health nut because of the many amazing health benefits it offers.

So how come we’re not as tomato-crazy as we ought to be? Check out the top reasons why you should include or add more tomatoes on your diet right now: (more…)