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Winter season brings in winter foods! For Tomato and Winter Squash Month, it’s time to take your fill of these veggies and get the 101 on them. Prepared separately or in a meal, tomatoes and winter squashes are a filling source of nutrition that benefits your health – and it’s not only limited to eating them either!
While you may think of tomatoes as a vegetable, they’re technically a fruit! As the berry of a plant that stems from the nightshade family, it’s mainly grown in South America, but is a vital part of most meals within the Mediterranean region. They contain a rich source of nutrients–mainly antioxidants–which include vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium, lycopene, folate, magnesium, copper, thiamin and vitamin K. Tomatoes can be added to virtually any food, helping boost flavor to your dishes.
Containing a large amount of the antioxidant, lycopene, tomatoes can help fight against free-radicals that are responsible for damaging your cells. The nutrient is available even in processed ketchup! Alongside it is vitamin C, which a single tomato can provide around 40% of. As another antioxidant, it also helps protect your body’s systems, especially the cardiovascular system. Tomatoes additionally include vitamin A, an antioxidant that focuses on the prevention of vision issues, such as macular degeneration and night-blindness.
Tomatoes can help keep the digestive system on-point with its large serving of fiber. Need to start regulating your bowel movements? Their added fiber can stimulate the motions in your digestive muscles to get your system working in balance. The potassium in tomatoes also helps manage blood pressure. As a vasodilator, potassium helps reduce tension in the blood vessels and arteries.
It’s all in the name: winter squash is a veggie for the cold season, and can be used in a variety of hearty meals. This squash is bursting with its own similar set of nutrients, including vitamin A, fiber, omega-3, manganese and more. Like tomatoes, winter squashes are also antioxidant-rich. Few foods can match up to the sheer amount of carotenoids that winter squash has, especially for vitamin C and manganese. Just a serving of butternut squash gives you 35% of the recommended daily value of vitamin C.
One of the more stand out nutrients for winter squash is omega-3s. Its anti-inflammatory properties help relieve aches and swelling, especially for joint issues. Omega-3s are considered a fatty substance, but these are good fats, and they help your body by balancing your blood pressure and overall heart health.
Many healthy foods are good for your skin health, but there’s a way to maximize those beauty benefits to the limit. Winter squash can actually be made into a facemask, due to their loaded content of beta-carotene, a top nutrient for the skin. With a small addition of honey and milk, you can apply the grounded squash to your face for 15 minutes. You can add in some pumpkin, too!
U.S. Doctors' Clincal® also carries potent formulas that include nutrients from these two superfoods. From a heart-support supplement like Omega3Q10 to an antioxidant powerhouse like OxyPlus. Even if you can’t have a helping of tomatoes and squash every day, you can keep your nutritional levels well-balanced, well past the winter season!