The antioxidants in tomatoes offer protection against a range of deadly diseases, with cancer, diabetes, and heart disease being a few of them.
Scientifically called Solanum lycopersicum, the tomato originated in the Central and South Americas. It comes in numerous varieties that are grown in temperate climates in various parts of the world. Tomatoes are exceptionally beneficial for people who want to lose weight and maintain their blood pressure levels.
The tomato is referred to as the functional food – meaning it goes way beyond just providing basic nutrition. One major reason is the presence of lycopene, the all-powerful antioxidant that enhances health in numerous ways. There are numerous varieties – the most popular of them being plum tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, WAYS GRAPES BENEFIT YOUR BODY,beefsteak tomatoes, and tomberries.
Health Benefits Of Tomatoes
1. Tomatoes Help Prevent Cancer
According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, lycopene in tomatoes could be responsible for the fruit’s anticancer properties. Lycopene is an antioxidant in the carotenoid family. Its potent antioxidant properties have been found to neutralize free radicals that are generated in our bodies due to various reasons. Even laboratory studies show that tomato components have prevented the proliferation of several cancer cell types.
2. Tomatoes Regulate Blood Pressure
Tomatoes are also rich in potassium, a mineral known to lower blood pressure levels. This is because potassium reduces the effects of sodium. In fact, the more potassium you consume, the more sodium you lose through urine. Apart from this, potassium eases the tension in the walls of your blood vessels – further reducing blood pressure. According to the American Heart Association, the recommended intake of potassium for an average adult is 4,700 mg per day. But be careful not to consume too much of potassium as it might lead to kidney stones.
3. Tomatoes Aid Weight Loss
As per a Chinese study, tomato juice can significantly reduce body weight, body fat, and waist circumference. It also can lower cholesterol levels that can contribute to weight gain. Apart from being a great source of antioxidants, tomatoes are also rich in fiber and are low in calories. Hence, they promote satiety and even reduce calorie intake, thereby helping with weight loss.
4. Tomatoes Improve Skin And Hair Health
Tomatoes are an important ingredient in most beauty treatments. They help cure large pores, treat acne, soothe sunburn, and revive dull skin. The antioxidants in tomato, especially lycopene, fight cellular damage and skin inflammation.
5. Tomatoes Are Good During Pregnancy
Vitamin C is one of the nutrients any woman needs during pregnancy to keep herself and her baby healthy. It aids the formation of healthy bones, teeth, and gums. This vitamin also assists in the proper absorption of iron in the body, another vital nutrient during pregnancy. Though taking iron supplements during pregnancy is advisable, eating tomatoes can have its benefits.
6. Tomatoes Reduce Cholesterol And Promote Heart Health
It’s lycopene, again! Including lycopene-rich tomatoes regularly in your diet for a few weeks can cut down your LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) levels by as much as 10%. To be more precise, you need to take at least 25 mg of lycopene a day. This could be about half a cup of tomato sauce
7. Tomatoes Counter The Effects Of Cigarette Smoke
Smoking leads to the excessive production of free radicals in the body, which can be very well countered with vitamin C. Which is why tomatoes can work great for smokers. Lower levels of vitamin C in this aspect can result in heart disease and cancer.
8. Tomatoes Improve Vision
Tomatoes are rich in vitamin A, which is one reason they are excellent for your eyes. The retinas of your eyes rely on vitamin A, and low levels of the vitamin can, with time, cause blindness.
9. Tomatoes Enhance Digestive Health
Tomatoes are good sources of chloride, which is an essential component of digestive juices. One report also talks about the efficacy of lycopene in tomatoes in preventing gastric cancer. The fiber in tomatoes helps here too – 100 grams of tomatoes give you 2 grams of fiber (both soluble and insoluble fiber), further promoting gut health.
10. Tomatoes Help Manage Diabetes
According to the American Diabetes Association, tomatoes are an important part of the diabetic diet. This is because they are rich in iron and vitamins C and E – all of which help relieve diabetic symptoms. Tomatoes also have a low glycemic index (the ability of a particular food to increase blood sugar levels), which can be a bonus for diabetics.
11. Tomatoes May Prevent Urinary Stone Formation
According to another Turkey study, fresh tomato juice might help in preventing urinary stone formation.
12. Tomatoes Help Prevent Gallstones
A few ways to incorporate tomatoes into your diet for preventing gallstones could be adding the canned or stewed versions to your soups and stews. You can also make fresh salsa and add tomatoes as a topping on salads, meat, or eggs.
13. Tomatoes Strengthen Bones
The vitamin C in tomatoes is also crucial for bone formation and the synthesis of connective tissue. A deficiency of vitamin C can lead to underdeveloped bones. The vitamin has been linked to reduced bone loss in postmenopausal women as well. Even the lutein in tomatoes promotes collagen formation, which helps boost bone health.
14. Tomatoes Enhance Your Immune System
In one study, a tomato-rich diet had enhanced the functioning of the white blood cells in test subjects. The white blood cells, which are known for fighting infections, sustained 38 percent less damage from free radicals.
15. Tomatoes Reduce Inflammation
Tomatoes also contain three other antioxidants called zeta-carotene, phytofluene, and phytoene – which are found together in most brightly-colored fruits and veggies. These antioxidants help fight inflammation and the associated diseases like cancer and arthritis.
16. Tomatoes Boost Men’s Health
The lycopene in tomatoes was found to boost male fertility by as much as 70% . The antioxidant can also reduce the number of abnormal sperms. And not just that, it also improves sperm movement and reduces the damage to it.
17. Tomatoes Enhance Brain Power
Your brain, given the high concentration of omega-3 fatty acids, is particularly vulnerable to damage by free radicals. Tomatoes, being rich in lycopene and beta-carotene and other antioxidants, can help combat this. In fact, tomatoes, when taken with olive oil, can have better effects. This is because the carotenoids in tomatoes are dissolved in fat (olive oil) and are easily absorbed by the blood.
18. Tomatoes Promote Liver Health
The lycopene in tomatoes scavenges the DNA-damaging agents, thereby promoting liver health. Tomatoes also contain certain B-complex vitamins that sustain liver health.
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