why is this meal good for me?
This bruschetta is perfect for those warm days where you want a fresh snack or light lunch. You get over 1 of your five a day just from the tomatoes  and the flavours with the garlic and basil all work seamlessly in this family favourite. The browner and seedier the bread you use the better, as this will provide you with b vitamins, more fibre and healthy sources of fat to help absorb those A, D, E and K vitamins .
Even though tomatoes are 95% water, they pack a punch in terms of their nutritional qualities. They provide a decent amount of vitamin c, fibre and vitamin A , whilst containing a large amount of the antioxidant lycopene . This bad boy has been linked extensively with many health benefits including being associated with lower LDL cholesterol , inflammation  and decreased heart attacks .
There needs to be more conclusive evidence on this initial research but the great thing about whole plant foods is that there’s no downside to adding more to your diet. Unlike many common medications such as statins  and aspirin , the side effects of whole plant foods are higher fibre and a feeling of fullness  as well as increased vitamin intake as we’ve mentioned above. These factors help to drive the proven benefits of increased fruit and veg intake in reducing cardiovascular death by 5% and 4% respectively for each additional serving .
So whenever you’re munching, think about what veg you could add, or what juicy zingy fruit you could gobble for dessert. The more the merrier.
how do i cook it?
Serves: 3/4 Time: 15 mins Difficulty: easy
½ small red onion, diced
500g of roughly chopped tomatoes
2 garlic cloves
10 basil leaves, chopped
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 loaf whole-grain seeded bread
4 tbsp toasted sunflower seeds
Chuck the tomatoes, onions, basil and oil in a bowl and mix together.
Add the pepper and if you have time whack it in the fridge for an hour for optimal flavour amalgamation.
Slice up the bread, toast it and rub a bit of a garlic clove on it evenly and top with the mixture.
For pro chef points add a couple of whole basil leaves in the top to serve.
As always, don’t take our word for it, check out the evidence below. The information we provide is in no way a substitute for health care or medical advice.
where is the science from?
1] He et al 2007 eating your 5 a day reduces heart disease risk by 17-26%
2] Goncalves, A., Roi, S., Nowicki, M., Dhaussy, A., Huertas, A., Amiot, M.J. and Reboul, E., 2015. Fat-soluble vitamin intestinal absorption: absorption sites in the intestine and interactions for absorption. Food chemistry, 172, pp.155-160.
4] Story, E.N., Kopec, R.E., Schwartz, S.J. and Harris, G.K., 2010. An update on the health effects of tomato lycopene. Annual review of food science and technology, 1, pp.189-210.
5] Palozza, P.A.O.L.A., Catalano, A., Simone, R.E., Mele, M.C. and Cittadini, A., 2012. Effect of lycopene and tomato products on cholesterol metabolism. Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism, 61(2), pp.126-134.
6] Riso, P., Visioli, F., Grande, S., Guarnieri, S., Gardana, C., Simonetti, P. and Porrini, M., 2006. Effect of a tomato-based drink on markers of inflammation, immunomodulation, and oxidative stress. Journal of agricultural and food chemistry, 54(7), pp.2563-2566.
7] Karppi, J., Laukkanen, J.A., Mäkikallio, T.H. and Kurl, S., 2012. Low serum lycopene and β-carotene increase risk of acute myocardial infarction in men. The European Journal of Public Health, 22(6), pp.835-840.
8] Noël, B., 2004. Autoimmune disease and other potential side-effects of statins. The Lancet, 363(9425), p.2000.
9] Sostres, C. and Lanas, A., 2011. Gastrointestinal effects of aspirin. Nature Reviews Gastroenterology & Hepatology, 8(7), p.385.
10] Clark, M.J. and Slavin, J.L., 2013. The effect of fiber on satiety and food intake: a systematic review. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 32(3), pp.200-211.