Healthy Meal Ideas

Why Dietitians Say That You Should Always Pair Avocado With Tomato

Photo: Getty Images/Arx0nt
Flavor-wise, pairing avocado with tomato is an endlessly reliable food combination—the creamy mellowness of avocados plays perfectly with zingy, juicy tomatoes. But like turmeric and black pepper or cherries and dark chocolate, the pairing is also rife with synergistic advantages in terms of nutrition, which means that when you consume the ingredients together, they offer health benefits that you wouldn’t otherwise receive if you were to eat them on their own.

While you’re probably making way for recipes that spotlight the latest seasonal favorites, you also might consider avocados and tomatoes year-round staples in your pantry—in which case, you’ll appreciate one of the recipes ahead. They each offer both fantastic flavor and health benefits in equal measure.

Why pair avocado with tomato?

According to Kristen Carli, MS, RD, founder of Camelback Nutrition & Wellness, “The fat in avocado helps us absorb more lycopene, the key antioxidant found in tomatoes.” Lycopene is linked to a range of health benefits—among them, “improving blood pressure and cardiovascular health, reducing cholesterol, and fighting a variety of cancers,” as Laura Iu, RDN, CDN, CNSC, RYT, previously told Well+Good.

Carli says that tomatoes, in addition to other sources of beta-carotene (which is any fruit or veggie that is yellow, orange, or green in color), also contain provitamin A. Provitamin A is a precursor to vitamin A, which plays a role in regulating the immune system as well as maintaining healthy vision. She adds that when beta-carotene is paired with healthy fats, provitamin A is converted to vitamin A in the body as the latter is fat-soluble.

While avocado is an ideal vehicle for ushering in the vitamin and minerals contained in tomatoes, avocado is replete with health benefits of its own. For one, it is loaded with fiber, which is essential for a healthy gut. Avocados also contain antioxidant properties that have been shown to help combat free radicals and filter out toxins that are absorbed into the body.

How should you consume avocados with tomatoes?

If you want to obtain the vitamins and minerals that come with pairing avocados and tomatoes, Carli says that there are myriad ways to incorporate them into meals (and in case you were wondering, know that consuming tomatoes in all forms—fresh or canned—will provide you with these nutritional benefits). Avocado toast with fresh tomato wedges, for instance, is a can’t-go-wrong classic, or you can chop the ingredients up to make salsa with tostadas or crunchy tortilla chips as a vehicle. If you want a heartier meal, you can also toss together a salad or grain bowl.

For more fleshed out ideas (no pun intended), find three of our favorite health avocado and tomato recipes below.

3 tasty avocado-and-tomato recipes

1. Tomato jam-topped avocado toast

This tomato jam-topped avocado toast recipe from chef Nyesha Arrington is a riff on avocado toast as you know it. It features tomato jam—which, according to Arrington, is “sweet, savory, and just a little spicy—along with avocado, juicy peach slices, and fresh sprigs of microgreens to finish it off. The end result is, to put it simply, a delight for the taste buds.

Get the recipe: Tomato Jam-Topped Avocado Toast

2. Black bean tostadas with avocado cashew cream

Inspired by a traditional Mexican dish, chef Nyesha Arrington’s vegan black bean tostadas with avocado cashew cream recipe features nutritious ingredients that combine into something incredible. Think protein-rich beans and nuts, veggies that are chock-full of fiber, and of course, avocados and tomatoes. Seasoned with spices like cumin and cayenne, your first bite will assure you that the time spent in the kitchen was well worth it.

Get the recipe: Black Bean Tostadas with Avocado Cashew Cream

3. Corn salad recipe with peaches, tomatoes, and basil vinaigrette

Another mouth-watering idea from chef Nyesha Arrington, this corn salad recipe—complete with a sweet and savory vinaigrette—is ideal as a side or as a main course. Corn (as you might’ve surmised) makes an appearance in the recipe, as well as avocado, tomato, and peach, while the inclusion of shallots adds another layer of interest to the dish.

Get the recipe: Corn Salad Recipe with Peaches, Tomatoes, and Basil Vinaigrette

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