Tomatoes are the main ingredient of Pico de Gallo. They are actually a fruit and have amazing health benefits.
Tomatoes contain high content of lycopene (a red carotene), which has the capacity to reduce the incidence of cardiovascular disease, cataracts, and macular degeneration, and has been well studied to be extremely protective against breast, colon, lung, skin and prostate cancer. Lycopene does all that by neutralizing harmful oxygen free radicals before the can do damage to cellular structures. Look for the most ripe and red tomatoes for the highest level of lycopene. It is stable in cooking, and to get the most of the tomato, use tomato paste or juice versus a raw tomato. Processing and eating it with olive oil van also improve its absorption.
A study showed that men who are 2 or more servings of tomato sauce each week were 23% less likely to develop prostate cancer during the 22 years of the study than men who ate less than one service of tomato sauce a month. In another study, lycopene supplementation of 15mg per day given to patients with existing prostate cancer was shown to slow tumor growth, shrink the tumor and lower the level of PSA (prostate specific antigen, a marker of cancer activity) by 18%.
A high source of natural vitamins, tomatoes contain iron, potassium, magnesium, biotin, vitamin K, as well as copper, zinc, and phosphorus. Tomatoes contain chlorogenic acid as well as coumaric acid that can protect the body from the carcinogens produced by cigarette smoke. They can also reduce your fat content by stimulating amino acid ‘carnitine’.
Tomato is a natural flavor-enhancing agent and has tremendous antioxidant properties. Doctors recommend eating tomatoes for improving digestion as well as preventing constipation. They play a great role in prevention of kidney and gall bladder stones. Eating tomatoes regularly can improve the health of your hair, skin, and your bones. The humble tomato can strengthen the body’s immune system and has so many benefits!
Spicing Up Your Pico de Gallo
Jalapenos stimulate the immune system to produce white blood cells, thus boosting the immune system. Jalapenos are a rich source of Vitamin C. This can help fight the free radicals that cause cancer. They can also provide relief against migraines, contain capsaicin, an anti-inflammatory agent, and can improve the nervous system of the body.
Enjoy this simple recipe! Looking for more recipes with functional nutrition benefits? Follow me on Pinterest!
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