The health benefits of tomatoes include eye care, good stomach health, and a reduced diabetes, skin problems, and urinary tract infections too. Furthermore, they improve digestion, stimulate blood circulation, reduce cholesterol levels, improve fluid balance, protect the kidneys, detoxify the body, prevent premature aging, and reduce inflammation. Tomatoes consist of a large number of that have been proven to fight different forms of cancer. They are also a rich source of vitamins and minerals and exert a protective effect against diseases.. They provide relief from
What is a Tomato?
Tomato is considered both, a fruit and a vegetable and forms an integral part of cuisines across the globe, especially in the region. Daily consumption of tomatoes provides a great boost to the health, along with improving the flavor of food. You can find them in different foods like pasta, pizzas, ketchup, and various beverages. They are relatively easy to cultivate and grow very quickly, making them a great food source, which is a big reason why tomatoes are a staple food for many nations.
The scientific name of tomatoes is Solanum lycopersicum and they are believed to be native to Mexico. However, the Spanish colonization of America and Central America caused tomato cultivation to spread. They are an annual nightshade plant and grow in clusters of small to moderately sized, round red fruits. They 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 weigh approximately 4 ounces.
Nowadays, tomatoes are grown in countries all over the world and there are thousands of cultivars and varieties 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.
Tomatoes Nutrition Facts
Serving Size : Nutrient Value Water [g] 89.44 Energy [kcal] 32 Protein [g] 1.64 Total lipid (fat) [g] 0.28 Carbohydrate, by difference [g] 7.29 Fiber, total dietary [g] 1.9 Sugars, total [g] 4.4 Calcium, Ca [mg] 34 Iron, Fe [mg] 1.3 Magnesium, Mg [mg] 20 Phosphorus, P [mg] 32 Potassium, K [mg] 293 Sodium, Na [mg] 186 Zinc, Zn [mg] 0.27 Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid [mg] 9.2 Thiamin [mg] 0.08 Riboflavin [mg] 0.05 Niacin [mg] 1.22 Vitamin B-6 [mg] 0.15 Folate, DFE [µg] 13 Vitamin B-12 [µg] 0 Vitamin A, RAE [µg] 11 Vitamin A, IU [IU] 215 Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) [mg] 1.25 Vitamin D (D2 + D3) [µg] 0 Vitamin D [IU] 0 Vitamin K (phylloquinone) [µg] 5.3 Fatty acids, total saturated [g] 0.04 Fatty acids, total monounsaturated [g] 0.04 Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated [g] 0.11 Fatty acids, total trans [g] 0 Cholesterol [mg] 0 Caffeine [mg] 0 Sources include : USDA
Health Benefits of Tomatoes
The health benefits of tomatoes have been known to mankind since ancient times. They are rich sources of antioxidants that have been proven to be effective against many forms of cancer. Let’s discuss the benefits in detail.
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 effective in fighting prostate cancer, according to a study led by Dr. Edward Giovannucci of the Harvard School of Public Health. It also protects against breast, cervical cancer, cancer of the stomach and rectum as well as pharynx, esophageal and mouth cancer.
Rich Source of Vitamins and Minerals
A single tomato can provide about 40% of the daily vitamin C requirement. Vitamin C is a natural antioxidant which prevents 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 circulation. Vitamin K, which is essential for blood clotting and controlling bleeding, is also abundant in tomatoes.
Protect the Heart
The lycopene in tomatoes prevents serum lipid oxidation, thus exerting a protective effect against cardiovascular diseases. A regular consumption of tomatoes or tomato juice decreases the levels of LDL cholesterol and in the blood, as per the British Journal of Nutrition. These lipids are the key culprits in cardiovascular diseases and lead to the deposition of fats in the blood vessels.
Counter the Effect of Smoking Cigarette
The coumaric acid and study by Dr. Sanjiv Agarwal, Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Toronto, Canada, shows that lycopene, which imparts tomatoes its red color, may also be helpful in preventing various forms of cancer.acid, in tomatoes, fight against nitrosamines, which are the main found in cigarettes. The presence of vitamin A in high quantities has been shown to reduce the effects of carcinogens and can protect you against lung cancer. Furthermore, a
Vitamin A, present in tomatoes, aids in improving vision and 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, being a powerful antioxidant, can help prevent them.
Aid in Digestion
Tomatoes keep the digestive system healthy by preventing both constipation and diarrhea. They also prevent jaundice and effectively remove toxins from the body. Furthermore, they have a large amount of fiber, which can bulk the bowels and reduce symptoms of . A healthy amount of fiber helps stimulate peristaltic motion in the smooth digestive muscles and 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.
Consuming a tomato daily reduces the risk of developing , 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.
Tomatoes aid in maintaining healthy teeth, bones, hair, and skin. Topical application of tomato juice is even known to cure severe sunburns. Daily consumption protects the skin against UV-induced erythema. They rank high in the preparation of anti-aging products. Furthermore, an antiperspirant composition for the treatment of hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating) containing tomato as one of the ingredients was patented by Dr. Audrey G. Kunin, certified dermatologist and Chief Creative Officer of DERMAdoctor, Inc.
Prevent Urinary Tract Infections
Tomato intake 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; hence, they are a diuretic. This increases the elimination of toxins from the body, as well as excess water, salts, uric acid, and some fats as well!
Regular consumption of tomatoes can provide relief from gallstones. There have been various studies to prove their efficacy against many chronic diseases and varieties of cancer. The antioxidant properties of tomatoes can also be derived from processed foods like ketchup and purees. Daily consumption of tomatoes fulfills the requirement of vitamins and minerals and exerts an overall protective effect on the body.
Why are Organic Tomatoes Better?
Organic tomatoes, according to a study at the University of Barcelona, are produced in an environment that has a lower nutrient supply, since nitrogen-rich chemical fertilizers are not added. This leads to excessive formation of antioxidants such as quercetin and kaempferol in organic tomatoes. As we all know, antioxidants are good for health and help in reducing heart diseases. Moreover, chemical-based tomato farming involves spraying tomatoes with large quantities of pesticides and insecticides. Tomatoes are a highly sprayed crop throughout the world. Therefore, many organic food lovers believe that they are protected from chemical when they eat the organic ones instead. Of course, organic farming is good for the environment as well!