The world is full of superfoods including some you’re probably familiar with like flaxseeds, walnuts, acai berries, and wild-caught salmon. But there’s one food—and it’s not exotic—that’s going to surprise you with its superfood capabilities. Tomato sauce. Yes, you read that right. Tomato sauce.
The same stuff that you put on your spaghetti and all over your meatballs is one of the very best foods you can eat for your health. What makes tomato sauce special?
Aside from its fantastic flavor and ability to enhance almost any meal, tomato sauce—and tomatoes in general—are rich in key antioxidants, lycopene in particular. If you’re unfamiliar, antioxidants “may prevent or delay some types of cell damage” by protecting the cells from free radicals, molecules that “may play a role in heart disease, cancer and other diseases.”
According to a report released by Harvard Medical School, “eating tomato sauce and other foods with lycopene regularly is associated with a lower risk of prostate cancer,” and another report released by the Asian Journal of Andrology stressed that eating a diet rich in tomatoes and processed tomato products like tomato sauce may improve fertility in men.
But that’s not all. Research suggests that tomatoes and tomato sauce may also have key probiotic properties that can amplify the presence and impact of good bacteria in the gut. This is largely due to the fiber found in tomato sauce which “discourages harmful bacteria such as C. difficile from gaining a toehold in the gut.”
Mineral rich and vitamin packed.
Tomatoes are packed with vitamins and minerals that boost the body’s natural processes. Tomatoes are rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin K, as well as potassium and manganese.
Vitamin A keeps your eyes, kidneys, and lungs in good working order while also supercharging the body’s immune system.
Vitamin C is well known for its ability to support the immune system, but it also combats free radicals and “helps to repair and regenerate tissues, protect against heart disease, aid in the absorption of iron…decrease…LDL (“bad”) cholesterol.”
The body uses vitamin K to help promote blood clotting, potassium to maintain normal blood pressure and promote proper nerve function, and manganese to keep the kidneys and pancreas functioning properly.
A favorite tomato sauce recipe
If you’re looking to add more tomatoes and tomato sauce to your diet, don’t settle for the canned stuff—take some time on a weekend to make your own delicious, healthy, all-natural tomato sauce. At Allure Medical, our favorite recipe for making tomato sauce at home is shared below.
Enjoy and Bon Appétit!
* 5 – pounds of organic tomatoes (plum, roma, or pear tomatoes are best)
* 1 – teaspoon salt
* 2 – tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
* 1 – tablespoon tomato paste
* 5 – garlic cloves, minced
* 10 – basil leaves
* 1 – bay leaf
Step 1 – Cut tomatoes in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and discard.
Step 2 – Press the tomato against the large holes of a grater skin-side out and grate the tomato flesh into a bowl. You should have 4 cups.
Step 3 – Take the tomato skins and chop them finely. Then add them to the bowl with the grated tomato flesh.
Step 4 – Empty the bowl into a wide saucepan over high heat. Add salt, olive oil, tomato paste, garlic, basil and bay leaf before bringing to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer.
Step 5 – Allow the water of the tomatoes to evaporate until the sauce has reduced by about half (about 15 minutes). Stir occasional to ensure the sauce does not burn, and season with additional salt and pepper as needed.
Step 6 – Remove the sauce from heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Enjoy immediately, or place in the refrigerator or freezer for storage.