Health Benefits of Tomatoes

By Leo Galland M.D. and Jonathan Galland

Tomatoes are one of our favorite fat-burning foods. They help reduce inflammation and reverse leptin resistance. Reversing leptin resistance is the key to losing those stubborn extra pounds. That is why tomatoes are used almost daily in The Fat Resistance Diet.

Tomatoes are excellent sources of potassium and several vitamins:

  • folic acid
  • vitamin A
  • vitamin C
  • vitamin E

Tomatoes also contain important anti-inflammatory nutrients called carotenoids and bioflavonoids. Key tomato carotenoids are lycopene, a red pigment, with potential anti-cancer effects and beta-carotene, an orange pigment, an important antioxidant that protects against damage from sunlight.

Bioflavonoids, which are concentrated in the tomato skin, counteract inflammation and allergic reactions. The main compounds are quercetin and kaempferol.

Studies indicate that tomato consumption is associated with a reduced risk of:

  • prostate cancer
  • ovarian cancer, especially in premenopausal women
  • digestive tract cancers
  • cardiovascular disease
  • asthma and chronic lung disease

The absorption of carotenoids and flavonoids from tomatoes is greater from cooked tomatoes than fresh tomatoes, since cooking breaks down the tomato cell matrix and makes the carotenoids more available.

The addition of olive oil to diced tomatoes during cooking greatly increases the absorption of lycopene. Oil is essential for absorbing carotenoids from tomatoes in salads or salsa. There is almost no absorption of these vital nutrients from salad eaten with a non-fat dressing.

The recipes and meal plans in our book give you a variety of delicious ways to prepare tomatoes. From our frittatas and omelets at breakfast, salads, sandwiches and pasta at lunch to appetizers, and salads for dinner. We show you wonderful ways to get tomatoes into your day.

Summertime is the perfect season to enjoy tomatoes. Look for fresh ripe tomatoes at farmer’s markets in the city or a farm stand in the country or at your local supermarket. They are so tasty and plentiful now, you will want to stock up to make our delicious Gazpacho for your friends and family.

Further information about adopting a healthy lifestyle is available at

About the Authors:

Dr. Leo Galland is a board-certified internist who received his education at Harvard University and the New York University School of Medicine. He has held faculty positions at New York University, Rockefeller University, the State University of New York, and the University of Connecticut. Interviews with Dr. Galland and articles about his work have been featured in Newsweek, Reader’s Digest, Self, Bazaar, Men’s Fitness, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and many other publications. He has written three highly acclaimed popular books, The Fat Resistance Diet, Power Healing, and Superimmunity for Kids.

Jonathan Galland is a health writer for newspapers, magazines and major news websites. He is frequently interviewed as a weight loss and health expert on the radio and has appeared on Martha Stewart Living Radio. His work has been featured on the cover of Fitness, Glamour, and Women’s World and in publications such as The Washington Post, Body and Soul, Self and The Wall Street Journal. Jonathan is co-author of The Fat Resistance Diet, with his father Leo Galland M.D. Their book has been translated and published in Italy as La Dieta Galland and in Japan as Dr. Galland’s Metabolic Diet.

This article is provided for general educational purposes only and is not intended to constitute medical advice or counseling, the practice of medicine or the provision of health care diagnosis or treatment, the creation of a physician-patient relationship, or an endorsement, recommendation, or sponsorship of any third party product or service by the sender or the sender’s affiliates, agents, employees, or service providers. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, contact your doctor promptly.

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