We often hear that “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” but so does a tomato. There is an ongoing argument whether a tomato is a fruit or a vegetable, for me, this is immaterial. Whether you consider it a fruit or a veggie, what’s important is that tomatoes are rich in cancer-fighting nutrients and should be a part of one’s diet.
Studies show that tomatoes contain lycopene, a powerful antioxidant which help prevent various forms of cancer. It has been found that lycopene is twice as powerful as beta carotene in fighting toxics that can trigger cancer in our cells. Tomatoes are also rich in Vitamin C which can boost the body’s immunity, preventing viruses from transforming healthy cells into cancerous cells. Fresh tomatoes, canned tomatoes, tomato sauce and ketchup contain lycopene. You can get as much health benefits from eating canned tomatoes as you can from eating raw ones.
When I was younger, I used to take off the tomatoes from my food. My mom always tells me not to do that because it is not only good for preventing cancer but it is good for the skin as well. Now that I am a mom and convinced of the importance of tomatoes to good health, I encourage my kids to eat them. And according to a tomato sauce tv commercial, the best way to fight cancer is eat at least 3 tomato based meals a week. I'd like to share a recipe I’m sure your kids would love. Tomato Bread Soup.
Tomato Bread Soup
1 large onion, minced
4 cans plum tomatoes, cut into large pieces, with juices
5 cups chicken broth or 2 chicken cubes dissolved in 5 cups water
10 slices crusty bread, cut into chunks
1 teaspoon salt
2 to 3 teaspoons sugar
2 cups fresh basil leaves or 1 teaspoon dried basil
Pinch of Italian seasoning
Saute onion in olive oil. Add tomatoes and its juices and allow to sauté for a few seconds. Add chicken broth and let simmer for a few minutes. Add the bread chunks, stirring to blend well. Season with salt, sugar, basil and Italian seasoning. Let simmer a few minutes. Serve warm, pouring a dollop of extra virgin olive oil into each individual soup bowl just before serving.