There’s nothing like a fresh slice of bright red summer tomato for your sandwich or salad. But did you know that tomatoes can also come in yellow, orange, green and even purple? Chlorophyll and carotenoids are responsible for the color of tomatoes, but they are also the compounds that contribute most to our health.

Botanically, tomatoes are fruits, not vegetables, but that doesn’t affect their ability to fight disease. Tomatoes are high in a variety of antioxidants that protect us from heart disease, stroke and several types of cancer. They contain high amounts of vitamin C and beta-carotene which protect our skin, eyes and immune system. They also contain potassium which lowers blood pressure and vitamin K which assists with blood clotting. Both help keep your bones strong. Other antioxidants like lutein and zeaxanthin maintain eye health.

Store Well and West Less:

  • Keep ripe whole tomatoes at room temperature in a single layer in an open container; avoid direct sunlight.  Try to use within 5 days.
  • Short refrigerator storage for fresh tomatoes (3 days)
  • Store canned tomatoes in a cool, dry place and use within 8 to 12 months for best quality
  • Freeze extra tomatoes in a tightly closed container or plastic bag.  (Best used in cooked dishes within 8 months)

Look for this hand out with quick and easy recipes when you visit the Bandon Clinic or Port Orford office!


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