Can a tomato a day keep the doctor away?\nTomatoes play a big role in many heart-healthy recipes, and these rosy-hued veggies can do much more than brighten ordinary salads and pasta dishes. Tomatoes are packed with nutrients that can help lower your risk of heart disease.\nFind out about the link between tomatoes and heart health, and learn new ways to mix these power-packed vegetables into the dishes you love.\nA tomato a day could keep the doctor away. Learn more about the health benefits of #tomatoes. Click To Tweet\nHealth Benefits of Tomatoes\nScientifically speaking, a tomato is a fruit, but most people consider them vegetables because of their taste and the way in which they’re used in cooking. The U.S. Department of Agriculture, which issues Dietary Guidelines for Americans, includes tomatoes in the red-orange vegetable group.\nTomatoes are low in calories, high in fiber, and have many nutrients that are good for your overall health, including:\n\nLycopene\nFolate\nPotassium\nVitamins A, B, C, and E\n\nAnd, when processed with certain types of healthy oils, the lycopene in tomatoes actually gets easier for your body to absorb, so you don’t lose out on nutrients by eating tomato paste or sauce.\nTomatoes and Heart Health\nTomatoes have two key nutrients that have a big impact on heart health: lycopene and potassium.\nLycopene is a chemical that gives a tomato its red color and is also a powerful antioxidant, a type of substance that helps keep cells from becoming damaged. Some research shows that lycopene may lower LDL, or “bad” cholesterol, and keep blood from clotting, which lowers stroke risk.\nPotassium is a mineral that can help lower blood pressure by taking some of the sodium out of your body, and by relaxing the walls of your blood vessels.\nGetting More Tomatoes in Your Diet\nHere are some creative ways to get more tomatoes into your diet and to help lower your risk of heart disease:\n\nDrink low-sodium tomato juice.\nPick cherry or grape tomatoes for a healthy snack.\nMix diced tomatoes into your favorite pasta sauce.\nCook with tomato paste to add more flavor \u2013 and nutrients \u2013 to sauces.\nAdd slices of raw tomato to your favorite sandwiches.\nChoose different kinds of tomatoes to mix into salads for new flavors and textures.\n\nVisit the UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute or call 1-855-UPMC-HVI (876-2484) to learn more.