Benefits Of Tomatoes
Tomato is considered both, a fruit and vegetable and forms an integral part of cuisines all across the globe, especially in the Mediterranean region. Daily consumption of tomatoes provides a great boost to health, along with improving the flavor of food. You find tomatoes in countless different foods, including pastas, pizzas, ketchup, various beverages, and as an included flavor element in dishes from breakfast to dinner. Tomatoes are relatively easy to cultivate and grow very quickly, making them a quickly replaceable food source, which is a big reason why it is a staple food for many nations.
The scientific name of tomatoes is Solanum lycopersicum, and it is believed to be native to Mexico. However, the Spanish colonization of America and Central America caused tomato cultivation to spread. It is an annual nightshade plant, and grows in clusters of small to moderately sized, round red fruits. Tomatoes have soft, pinkish red flesh and a number of seeds, as well as a slightly sweet taste. They are considered both vegetables and fruits, and they typically weight approximately 4 ounces.
Nowadays, tomatoes are grown in countries all around the world, and there are thousands of different cultivars and varieties of tomatoes that can provide you with unique health benefits. Let’s explore a few of the reasons why they are such a valuable food item for human health.
The many health benefits of tomatoes can be attributed to their wealth of nutrients and vitamins, including an impressive amount of vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin K, as well as significant amounts of vitamin B6, folate, and thiamin. Tomatoes are also a good source of potassium, manganese, magnesium, phosphorous, and copper. Tomatoes also have dietary fiber and protein, as well as a number of organic compounds like lycopene that also contribute to the overall health benefits that tomatoes can confer to our health!
Health Benefits Of Tomatoes
The health benefits of tomatoes have been known to mankind since ancient times. Benefits of tomatoes include improved eye sight, good stomach health, and reduced blood pressure, as well as relief from diabetes, skin problems and urinary tract infections. Furthermore, tomatoes can increase digestion, stimulate blood circulation, reduce cholesterol levels, improve fluid balance, protect the kidneys, detoxify the body, prevent premature aging, and reduce inflammation and related conditions. Tomatoes consist of a large number of antioxidants that have been proven to fight different forms of cancer. It is a rich source of vitamins and minerals and exerts a protective effect against cardiovascular diseases.
18 Reasons Why You Should Be Eating More Tomatoes
More Detailed Health Benefits Of Tomatoes
Some of the other health benefits of tomatoes are as follows:
1. Abundant Source of Antioxidants
Tomato contains a large amount of lycopene, an antioxidant that is highly effective in scavenging cancer causing free radicals. This benefit can even be obtained from heat-processed tomato products like ketchup. The lycopene in tomatoes defends against cancer and has been shown to be particularly effective in fighting prostate cancer, cervical cancer, cancer of the stomach and rectum as well as pharynx and esophageal cancers. It also protects against breast cancer and cancer of the mouth, according to studies published by the Harvard School of Public Health.
2. Vitamin and Mineral Rich
Tomatoes provide us with a great amount of natural vitamins and minerals such as vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamins B1, B3, B5, B6, B7, excellent vitamin C, folate, iron, chromium, choline, zinc, and phosphorus, thiamin, niacin, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus and copper, all of which are necessary for good health. They are high in Vitamin C, A, beta carotene. Tomatoes are good source of essential anti oxides.
A single tomato can provide about 40% of the daily vitamin C requirement. Vitamin C is a natural antioxidant which prevents against cancer-causing free radicals from damaging the body’s systems. It also contains abundant vitamin A and potassium, as well as iron.
Potassium plays a vital role in maintaining nerve health and iron is essential for maintaining normal blood health. Vitamin K, which is essential in blood clotting and controls bleeding, is also abundant in tomatoes.
3. Reduces Cholesterol and Protects the Heart
Tomatoes help inhibit heart disease. The presence of Vitamin B and potassium in tomatoes is effective in reducing cholesterol levels and lowering blood pressure. Hence adding tomatoes in your regular diet can effectively prevent heart attacks, strokes as well as many other heart related problems.
The lycopene in tomatoes prevents serum lipid oxidation, thus exerting a protective effect against cardiovascular diseases. The regular consumption of tomatoes has been proven to decrease the levels of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood. These lipids are the key culprits in cardiovascular diseases and lead to the deposition of fats in the blood vessels.
4. Reduces Smoking Damage
Tomatoes reduce the amount of damage done to your body by smoking cigarettes or inhaling second hand smoke. Tomatoes contain coumaric acid and chlorogenic acid that protect the body from carcinogens that are produced from cigarette smoke. The presence of vitamin A in such high quantities has also been shown to reduce the effects of carcinogens and can protect you against lung cancer.
5. Eyes Health: Improves Vision
Tomatoes are good for eyes. Vitamin A, present in tomatoes, aids in improving vision, as well as in preventing night-blindness and macular degeneration. Vitamin A is a powerful antioxidant that can be formed from an excess of beta-carotene in the body. A lot of vision problems occur due to the negative effects of free radicals, and vitamin A is a powerful antioxidant.
6. Digestive Health
Tomatoes keep the digestive system healthy by preventing both constipation and diarrhea. It also prevents jaundice and effectively removes toxins from the body. Furthermore, tomatoes have a large amount of fiber, which can bulk up stool and reduce symptoms of constipation.
A healthy amount of fiber helps to stimulate peristaltic motion in the smooth digestive muscles, and also release gastric and digestive juices. This can regulate your bowel movements, thereby improving your overall digestive health and helping you avoid conditions like colorectal cancer.
7. Lowers Hypertension
Consuming a tomato daily reduces the risk of developing hypertension, also known as high blood pressure. This is partially due to the impressive levels of potassium found in tomatoes.
Potassium is a vasodilator, meaning that it reduces the tension in blood vessels and arteries, thereby increasing circulation and lowering the stress on the heart by eliminating hypertension.
8. Good for Diabetes
They serve as great blood sugar regulator. Studies have shown that type 1 diabetics (patients) who consume high-fiber diets have lower blood glucose levels and type 2 diabetics may have improved blood sugar, lipids and insulin levels. One cup of tomatoes contains about 2 grams of fiber. That works effectively to help diabetics keep their blood sugar levels under better control.
9. Skin Health
Tomatoes aid in maintaining healthy teeth, bones, hair and skin. Topical application of tomato juice is even known to cure severe sunburns. Daily consumption of tomatoes protects the skin against UV-induced erythema. Tomatoes rank high in the preparation of anti-aging products.
Eating tomatoes not only make skin fresh and glowing but also reduce aging signs. Using tomatoes as face mask is good for oily skin and using in addition with other things improves skin health removes dark spots and wrinkles.
10. Hair Heath
Consuming tomatoes is good for hair health. Drinking tomato juice improves the appearance and texture of hair. As they are rich in vitamin k, they help to strengthen the tufts of hair and increase their growth.
11. Prevents Urinary Tract Infections:
Tomato intake also reduces the incidence of urinary tract infections, as well as bladder cancer. This is because tomatoes are high in water content, which can stimulate urination, so tomatoes are a diuretic in certain ways. This increases the elimination of toxins from the body, as well as excess water, salts, uric acid, and some fat as well.
12. Reduce Constipation Risks
Tomatoes are good for keeping yourself away from constipation. Fiber is essential for minimizing constipation. And eating foods that are high in water content and fiber like tomatoes, keep you hydrated and your bowel movements regular.
13. Prevents Gallstones
Regular consumption of tomatoes can also provide relief from gallbladder disease such as gallstones.
14. Cancer Prevention
There have been various studies to prove the efficacy of tomatoes against many chronic diseases and varieties of cancer. They cut cancer risk and stop aggressive cancer spreading. Studies indicate that the high levels of lycopene in tomatoes works to reduce your chances of developing prostate, colorectal and stomach cancer.
Lycopene is a natural antioxidant that works effectively to slow the growth of cancerous cells. Cooked tomatoes produce even more lycopene.
The antioxidant properties of tomatoes can also be derived from processed foods, including tomatoes found in ketchup and purees. Daily consumption of tomatoes fulfills the daily requirement of vitamins and minerals and exerts an overall protective effect on the body.
15. Bone Health
They also contain high amounts of calcium that keep bones strong.
16. Good Source of Fiber
Eating one tomato gives you 2 grams of fiber, which is 7% of the daily recommended amount.
17. High Water Content
Tomatoes contain high water content. And eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, including tomatoes, gives protection against high blood pressure, high cholesterol, strokes, and heart disease.
Adequate amount of folic acid is essential for pregnant women. It protects against neural tube defects in infants.
Nutritious Value Of Tomatoes:
Following is the amount of nutrients found in Tomatoes
1 cup - 180 grams
GI: very low