Whether you refer to a tomato as a fruit or a vegetable, there is no doubt that tomatoes are nutrient-dense, superfoods and thus the health benefits of eating tomatoes are many ranging from weight loss to healthy hair and skin.
Tomatoes! They are sweet, juicy, and delicious!
Everyone knows they are good for you, right? I guess yeah!
But do you know specifically why tomatoes are a healthful food?
Because they have vitamin C?
They are low in calories?
They are fat-free?
Yes, yes, and yes, but that is not all!
Let’s look at what makes the tomatoes an excellent healthy choice for you.
Tomatoes are rich in natural vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin A, K, B1, B3, B5, B6, B7, and vitamin C. It also has folate, iron, potassium, magnesium, chromium, choline, zinc, and phosphorus.
Tomato is often considered to be a “functional food,” a food that goes beyond providing just basic nutrition. Due to the presence of phytochemicals such as lycopene, tomatoes play a role in preventing chronic disease and offer many other health benefits
And how can you make the most of this fruit?
Health Benefits of Eating Tomatoes
Just one serving a day of tomato-based foods can have an amazingly favourable effect on your health. Not only can they reduce heart disease, but they could potentially prevent and reverse dozens of diseases if eaten daily. This is one fruit you should not leave out of your diet.
1. Prevents Cancer
As tomatoes are an excellent source of Vitamin C and other antioxidants, they help prevent the formation of free radicals known to cause cancer. According to several studies, lycopene present in tomatoes help in prevention of prostate cancer. According to John Erdman, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of the department of food science and human nutrition at the University of Illinois, “There’s very good, strong, epidemiological support for increased consumption of tomato products and lower incidence of prostate cancer.”
2. Protects your Heart
The fiber, potassium, Vitamin C and choline present in tomatoes support heart health. The benefits of eating tomatoes are that they help in increase in potassium intake along with a decrease in sodium intake which is the most important nutritional change that the average person should make to reduce their risk of cardiovascular diseases and maintaining the blood pressure. High potassium intakes are associated with a reduced risk of heart attack, protection against loss of muscle mass, preservation of bone mineral density and reduction in the formation of kidney stones.
3. Good for Diabetics
Studies have shown that people with Type 1 Diabetes who consume high-fiber diets such as tomatoes have lower blood glucose levels, while people with Type 2 Diabetes may have improved blood sugar, lipids and insulin levels. One cup of cherry tomatoes provides about 2 grams of fiber. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends 21-25 g of fiber per day for women and 30-38 g/day for men.
Also Read: 10 Diabetes Myths Busted!
4. Prevents Constipation
One of the important benefits of eating tomatoes is that it helps with hydration and promotes regular bowel movements because of its high water content and fiber. Hence it helps prevent constipation.
5. Eye Health
Tomatoes are a rich source of lycopene, lutein and beta-carotene, powerful antioxidants that have been proven to protect the eyes against light-induced damage associated with the development of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Being rich in Vitamin A, tomatoes help in improving vision.
6. Good for Skin
Collagen which is an essential component of the skin, hair, nails and connective tissue, is dependent on Vitamin C. A deficiency of Vitamin C leads to scurvy. As Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant, a low consumption leads to increased damage from sunlight, pollution and smoke, leading to wrinkles, sagging skin, blemishes and other adverse health effects. Rich tomato components fight acne and prevent damage to skin cells. Studies prove that drinking two cups of tomato juice a day helps to improve the overall appearance of the skin in a short period of time.
7. Promotes Healthy Hair
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Drinking tomato juice regularly improves the appearance and texture of hair, and since it is rich in vitamin K, it helps to strengthen the tufts of hair and increase its luster as well as the revitalization of growth.
8. Helps in Depression
The folic acid in tomatoes may help with depression by preventing formation of excessive homocysteine in the body, which can prevent blood and other nutrients from reaching the brain. Excess homocysteine interferes with the production of the feel-good hormones such as serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, which regulate mood, sleep and appetite.
9. Counters the effect of Smoking
Benefits of eating tomatoes includes the of damage done to your body by smoking cigarettes or inhaling second hand smoke. Tomatoes contain coumaric acid and chlorogenic acid that work to protect the body from carcinogens produced by cigarette smoking.
Also Read: Quit Smoking to Live Longer!
10. Enhances flavour
Tomatoes enhance the flavour of almost every dish. Cooking tomatoes makes the fruit heart-healthier and boosts its cancer-fighting ability. Research indicates that heat processing actually enhances the nutritional value of tomatoes by increasing its lycopene content.
11. Rich in Vitamins and Minerals
Tomatoes contain an incredible amount of natural vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Vitamins B1, B3, B5, B6, B7, Vitamin C, folate, iron, potassium, magnesium, chromium, choline, zinc, and phosphorus.
12. Prevents Kidney and Gall Bladder Stones
They work as a purifier to protect the body from diarrhea and prevent the formation of kidney stones and gall bladder stones in the long term.
13. Keep Bones Healthy
Tomatoes help in maintaining healthy bones strengthened by enhancing the ratio of calcium in the body. Fascinatingly, the connection of tomato intake to bone health involves the rich supply of antioxidant in tomatoes.
14. Strengthens Immune System
Daily consumption of tomatoes is increase the proportion of Vitamin C in the blood, which inhibits the levels of stress hormones and strengthens the immune system. So drinking tomato juice helps ease tension and stress.
15. Helps in Weight Loss
Tomatoes stimulate the production of the amino acid carnitine which has been shown in research to speed the body’s fat-burning capacity by over 30%. So, one of the most important benefits of eating tomatoes is that it helps in reducing weight.
Ways to eat more Tomatoes
You can easily incorporate tomatoes into your daily diet, from using them in sauces and soups to creating a quick appetizer. Have a look:
- Add sliced tomatoes to sandwiches—from tuna to turkey
- Add chopped tomatoes in salad
- Use marinara or tomato sauces on pasta. This can help you save many calories as you swap out creamy sauces for tomato-based sauces
- Drink tomato juice or vegetable juice with tomatoes
- Tomatoes for breakfast? Top scrambled eggs with coarsely chopped tomatoes.
- Eat tomatoes as a mid-afternoon snack.
- Make a tomato sandwich—this is a sandwich that stars the tomato.
- Add canned or stewed tomatoes to soups and stews.
- Serve stewed tomatoes over a baked potato.
- Make your own salsa with lots of fresh tomatoes.
Now that you know the benefits of eating tomatoes are so many…..don’t forget to include them in your daily diet!