So I really am trying to do better things for my heart, honestly it is a struggle for me, but one good bit of news is that tomatoes can reduce heart disease risk factors. Happy dance, I like tomatoes!

Hunt's Tomatoes

With my weight being the biggest issue I am trying to watch portions, eat better foods, and exercise more. It seems to go in spurts that I do this though. Ugh. I know many of you totally understand where I am coming from. I used to think I needed to take better care of myself for other people, but honestly I just have to do it for me. It was just like when I quit smoking, there were factors from others that influenced me, but ultimately it was me saying I am quitting and that’s that. So now I am working on taking better care of me and my heart for me. So I can be here to see my son continue to grow up, so I can spend more time with my family, so I can grow old with Hubby, so I can travel as often as I can, so I can live each and every moment to its fullest! Do you all know that song, Live Like You Were Dying, by Tim McGraw? If you have heard it, that is what I mean.

Several other bloggers are sharing their heart stories as well through TheMotherhood. Make sure you stop by the We Heart Tomatoes circle on TheMotherhood and read more and get lots tasty recipes using Hunt’s canned tomato products.

ConAgra Foods, the maker of Hunt’s tomatoes presented research findings recently that explored the unique cardiovascular benefits of tomatoes as part of a heart-healthy diet. Yes there is the lycopene we have heard about for a while now, but there is more. One of my favorite findings from Dr. Kappagoda, director of the Coronary Heart Disease Reversal Program University of California-Davis is “For instance, in a six-week study, people with high blood pressure who consumed two servings of canned tomato products daily experienced a significant decrease in blood pressure”. Since I do have high blood pressure (it runs in my family) this was really interesting to me. Another fact I liked was from Kristin Reimers, PH.D., nutrition manager, ConAgra Foods – “Calorie for calorie, tomatoes contain more than twice the potassium of other common sources such as bananas, potatoes, milk and orange juice.” Since I don’t eat bananas I was happy to hear this! I’m really glad that there is more and more research now focusing on what foods really are good for us to include in our diets rather than just what not to eat (like high fat and sugar stuff). To me it’s more looking at the glass half full instead of half empty and I am much more inclined to listen to these kinds of healthy diet tips. You can read more about ConAgra Foods’ presentation on tomatoes and heart health.

Since I love Italian and Mexican food I do use a lot of tomatoes. In the summer we try to grow our own, but we generally don’t have a big enough crop of our own. For that reason I do always keep Hunt’s canned tomato items in stock – the kind I use most often is the petite diced tomato. Tomatoes are one of those items that I think canned can stand up to fresh for many dishes. Today is Taylor’s birthday and we are having a party so one of the things I am serving is some homemade salsa. It really is super easy to do and just adjust to your own liking. There is a world of difference making fresh salsa than buying it premade plus you control the heat and other ingredients.

Robyn’s Easy Tomato Salsa

Hunt's TomatoesINGREDIENTS:

2 cans of Hunt’s Petite Diced Tomatoes
5 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 or 2 jalapeno pepper, seeds removed, diced
1 medium white onion, chopped
1 bunch of fresh cilantro, chopped
1 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp lime juice
1 tsp salt
2 tsp fresh black pepper
1 tsp ground cumin

DIRECTIONS: Throw it all in a bowl – I prefer glass for salsas – and combine well. Make sure to let it sit in the fridge for a couple of hours so all the flavors blend together. Serve with tortilla chips and enjoy!

Hunt's Tomatoes

Disclosure: I received a stipend for sharing this post with you from TheMotherhood on behalf of ConAgra Foods’ Hunt’s products. The health information is from them, but the opinions and my own personal story are my own. Hunt’s is a brand I’ve used for years and years and have always found to be reliable. Transparency is everything.