Five good reasons to love tomatoes

TOMATOES are the gem of Mediterranean diets, and with good reason.

These bright red fruit are bursting with goodness, they are easy to buy at any time of year and aren’t expensive. Love them because:

1. They are packed with antioxidants, including vitamins A, C and E. Antioxidants are great for antiageing and prevent heart disease, cancer and strokes.

2. According to the American Cancel Society, they may prevent some types of cancer, including prostate, lung, stomach, cervix, breast, mouth, oesophagus, pancreas, colon and rectum, thanks to the anti-cancer agent lycopene. Cooked tomatoes have higher levels of lycopene that raw ones.

3. They boost the immune system, help maintain energy levels, aid wound healing and keep the skin and mucous membranes in good condition. They build strong bones, ward off osteoporosis and prevent macular degeneration. Sun-dried tomatoes are considered a super food for hay fever.

4. They can be used to cleanse and tone the skin to brighten up a dull complexion. Mash tomato, avocado and a drizzle of honey into a thick paste and apply to your face for 15 minutes. Rinse with tepid water. The tomato deep cleans, avocado moisturises and honey is antibacterial and moisturises skin without making it oily. Tomatoes are particularly beneficial for oily skin, as well as large pores and acne.

5. Condition hair and relieve an itchy scalp. Shampoo your hair then pour on tomato juice. Leave for five minutes and rinse with cool water. This will remove build-up of products and hydrate your hair.

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