The versatility of tomato sauce acts as the culinary muse to many of our favorite dishes. Ranging from light and fresh, to comforting and hearty, a quality tomato sauce gives us endless options in the kitchen while delivering to our bodies some much welcomed nutrients.
More than just giving your dishes a deep pretty red color, here are some surprising health benefits, that we get every time we cook with tomato sauce.
1. Loaded of Vitamins and Minerals
Whether whole or as a sauce, tomatoes are rich in natural vitamins and minerals including Vitamin A, K, B1, B3, B5, B6, B7 and Vitamin C. It also contains potassium, folate, iron, magnesium, chromium, choline, zinc and phosphorus. With its high Vitamin C content, tomatoes are a natural beauty food, promoting healthy skin while manganese and potassium help your body build stronger bones and relieve muscle cramps. Vitamin A improves vision and prevents night blindness and macular degeneration.
2. Prevents Cancer
Lycopene, a phytochemical compound that tomatoes are rich in, play a big role as an antioxidant that protects your body’s tissues from damages and free radicals. Several cancers, including prostate, cervical, mouth, pharynx, throat, stomach, esophagus, rectal, colon and ovarian can be prevented or reduced by tomatoes!
3. Regulates Blood Sugar
Being a good source of chromium, tomatoes keep your blood sugar steady.
4. Promotes Glowing Skin, Stronger Bones and Healthy Hair
Collagen, created from Vitamin C, is an essential component of the skin, connective tissues and nails. A deficiency of Vitamin C leaves skin more vulnerable to damage from sunlight such as wrinkles, sagging skin and blemishes. Tomato sauce is rich in Vitamin K that strengthens hair strands and revitalizes hair growth. It also builds stronger bones. Lycopene has been shown to improve bones mass, too, which is a great way to fight osteoporosis.
5. Reduces Chronic Pain
If you are one of the millions of people who experiences mild to moderate chronic pain from inflammation (such as back pain, muscle pain or arthritis), tomatoes can provide relief and help prevent pain thanks to the high amount of bioflavonoids and carotenoids, which are known anti-inflammatory agents.
Choosing your tomato sauce
Whether you’re making a simple marinara sauce or enriching a stew, quality tomato sauce will make all the difference. Choose the best all-natural tomato sauce made from organic tomatoes, herbs and spices and packaged in BPA-free lined cans to ensure that your canned tomato sauce is healthy. According to the 2017 EWG Dirty Dozen, tomatoes rank in the top ten most pesticide laden crops. Avoid conventionally grown produce to avoid pesticide residue that could lessen or negate all the health benefits you get from tomato sauce.
Read the label to ensure you’re getting tomato sauce that’s genuinely nourishing. If you read the label and find artificial flavors, high fructose corn syrup, MSG, or artificial food coloring, better opt for a brand of tomato sauce that uses quality and preferably organic ingredients only.