Healthy Food ~ Mushroom,Tomatoe,Basil Frittata

 

Today’s Recipe

If you don’t know what to serve for dinner tonight …

 

Frittatas such as this one are a great addition to your Healthiest Way of Eating any time of day. They not only provide great flavor one serving contains only 144 calories. Enjoy!

 

Prep and Cook Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 medium onion, minced
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1 TBS +1 TBS chicken broth
  • 1 cup thinly sliced crimini mushrooms
  • 1/2 medium tomato, seeds removed, diced
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 TBS chopped fresh basil
  • salt and black pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Mince onions and press garlic and let sit for 5 minutes to bring out their hidden health benefits.
  2. Heat 1 TBS broth in a 10-inch stainless steel skillet. Healthy Sauté onion over medium low heat for 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
  3. Add garlic and mushrooms and continue to sauté for another 2 minutes.
  4. Add 1 TBS broth, tomato, salt, and pepper and cook for another minute. Stir well, and gently scrape pan with a wooden spoon to remove any slight burning.
  5. Beat eggs well, and season with salt and pepper. Mix in chopped basil. Pour eggs over vegetables evenly and turn heat to low. Cover and cook for about 5 minutes, or until firm. Cut into wedges and serve.

Serves 2

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In-Depth Nutritional Profile for Mushroom, Tomato, Basil Frittata

Healthy Food Tip

 

The Latest News About Tomatoes

 

 

There are few food sensations that better mark the summer and early fall months than the sweet juiciness of a vine-ripened tomato. Although tomatoes are available year-round across the U.S., some of the most delicious tomato flavors come from fresh tomatoes that have been planted in late spring or early summer and ripen from July through September.

Although tomatoes are fruits in a botanical sense, they don’t have the dessert quality sweetness of other fruits. Instead they have a subtle sweetness that is complemented by a slightly bitter and acidic taste. They are prepared and served like other vegetables, which is why they are often categorized as such, including in our A-Z List of the World’s Healthiest Foods. Cooking tempers the acid and bitter qualities in tomatoes and brings out their warm, rich sweetness.

What’s New and Beneficial About Tomatoes

  • Did you know that tomatoes do not have to be a deep red color to be an outstanding source of lycopene? Lycopene is a carotenoid pigment that has long been associated with the deep red color of many tomatoes. A small preliminary study on healthy men and women has shown that the lycopene from orange- and tangerine-colored tomatoes may actually be better absorbed than the lycopene from red tomatoes. That’s because the lycopene in deep red tomatoes is mostly trans-lycopene, and the lycopene in orange/tangerine tomatoes is mostly tetra-cis-lycopene. In a recent study, this tetra-cis form of lycopene turned out to be more efficiently absorbed by the study participants. While more research is needed in this area, we’re encouraged to find that tomatoes may not have to be deep red in order for us to get great lycopene-related benefits.
  • Tomatoes are widely known for their outstanding antioxidant content, including, of course, their oftentimes-rich concentration of lycopene. Researchers have recently found an important connection between lycopene, its antioxidant properties, and bone health. A study was designed in which tomato and other dietary sources of lycopene were removed from the diets of postmenopausal women for a period of 4 weeks, to see what effect lycopene restriction would have on bone health. At the end of 4 weeks, women in the study started to show increased signs of oxidative stress in their bones and unwanted changes in their bone tissue. The study investigators concluded that removal of lycopene-containing foods (including tomatoes) from the diet was likely to put women at increased risk of osteoporosis. They also argued for the importance of tomatoes and other lycopene-containing foods in the diet. We don’t always think about antioxidant protection as being important for bone health, but it is, and tomato lycopene (and other tomato antioxidants) may have a special role to play in this area.
  • There are literally hundreds of different tomato varieties. We usually choose our favorite varieties by some combination of flavor, texture, and appearance. But a recent study has shown that we may also want to include antioxidant capacity as a factor when we are choosing among tomato varieties. Surprisingly, researchers who compared conventionally grown versus organically grown tomatoes found that growing method (conventional versus organic) made less of an overall difference than variety of tomato. While all tomatoes showed good antioxidant capacity, and while the differences were not huge, the following four varieties of tomatoes turned out to have a higher average antioxidant capacity regardless of whether they were grown conventionally or organically: New Girl, Jet Star, Fantastic, and First Lady. It’s only one study, of course, and we’re definitely not ready to recommend these four varieties at the exclusion of all others. But these findings are fascinating to us, and they suggest that specific types of nutrient benefits may be provided by specific varieties of tomatoes. Also, if you’re seeking good antioxidant protection and you’re in the grocery standing in front of a New Girl, Jet Star, Fantastic, or First Lady tomato, you would probably be well-served to place it in your shopping cart.
  • Intake of tomatoes has long been linked to heart health. Fresh tomatoes and tomato extracts have been shown to help lower total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides. In addition, tomato extracts have been shown to help prevent unwanted clumping together (aggregation) of platelet cells in the blood – a factor that is especially important in lowering risk of heart problems like atherosclerosis. (In a recent South American study of 26 vegetables, tomatoes and green beans came out best in their anti-aggregation properties.) But only recently are researchers beginning to identify some of the more unusual phytonutrients in tomatoes that help provide us with these heart-protective benefits. One of these phytonutrients is a glycoside called esculeoside A; another is flavonoid called chalconaringenin; and yet another is a fatty-acid type molecule called 9-oxo-octadecadienoic acid. As our knowledge of unique tomato phytonutrients expands, we are likely to learn more about the unique role played by tomatoes in support of heart health. Tomatoes are also likely to rise further and further toward the top of the list as heart healthy foods.

WHFoods Recommendations for Tomatoes

Choose tomatoes that have rich colors. Deep reds are a great choice, but so are vibrant oranges/tangerines, brilliant yellows, and rich purples. Tomatoes of all colors provide outstanding nutrient benefits. When buying canned tomatoes, it is often better to buy those that are produced in the United States as many foreign countries do not have as strict standards for lead content in containers. This is especially important with a fruit such as tomatoes, whose high acid content can cause corrosion to, and subsequent migration into the foods of, the metals with which it is in contact.

Health Benefits of Eating Tomatoes

Tomatoes provide numerous health benefits including:

  • Anti-oxidant support
  • Promotes heart health
  • Supports bone health
  • Anti-cancer benefits
  • Prostate health support

For more details on tomatoes’ health benefits, see this section of our tomatoes write-up.

Nutritional Profile of Tomatoes

While most often associated with lycopene (a carotenoid phytonutrient widely recognized for its antioxidant properties), tomatoes provide a unique variety of phytonutrients. Included are additional carotenoids (including beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin); flavonoids (including naringenin, chalconaringenin, rutin, kaempferol, and quercetin); hydroxycinnamic acids (including caffeic, ferulic, and coumaric acid); glycosides (including esculeoside A); and fatty acid derivatives (including 9-oxo-octadecadienoic acid).

Tomatoes are also an excellent source of free radical-scavenging vitamin C and vitamin A as well as bone-healthy vitamin K. They are a very good source of enzyme-promoting molybdenum; heart-healthy potassium, and dietary fiber; blood sugar-balancing chromium and manganese; and energy-producing vitamin B1. In addition, tomatoes are a good source of heart-healthy vitamin B6, folate, magnesium, niacin, and vitamin E; energy-producing vitamin B2, iron, pantothenic acid, and phosphorus; muscle-building protein, and bone-healthy copper.

For more on this nutrient-rich good, including references related to this Latest News, see our write-up on tomatoes.

If you have any questions about today’s Healthy Food Tip Ask George Your Question

 

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