Health benefits of tomatoes have drawn the attention of millions worldwide because of their outstanding nutrients.
In case you did not know, tomato is a fruit and not a vegetable even though it’s often used as a vegetable.
It belongs to Solanaceae family just like potatoes, chili peppers…etc.
There are different varieties of tomatoes available in the market and they are quite cheap but they all contribute, helping you to get that thin figure you are looking for.
Depending on specific variety, tomatoes differ in shape, size, taste & color, which range from red, green, orange, yellow, purple etc.
According to recent studies, genetically modified (non-organic or hybrid) tomatoes are not as nutritious and nature given tomatoes.
Fresh ripe tomato have bright red color (may vary depending on the brand), firm texture and rich flavor. Avoid too soft tomatoes with wrinkles or discolored sports on the surface as they are signs of bad tomatoes or overstayed stock.
Fresh raw tomatoes are much higher in nutrients than cooked tomatoes. Cooked tomatoes tend to decrease in vitamin C but increase in lycopene compound.
Store unripe tomatoes at room temperature to fasten their ripening process and once ripe, refrigerate to preserve their flavor and freshness and as well as slow down ripening process.
- Nutritional Benefits of Tomatoes
Tomatoes are rich in vital mineral like calcium, potassium, zinc, phosphorous, iron…etc and vital vitamins (A, C, k and B6). This fruit is quite low in calories and fats but rich in dietary fiber and organic acid like malic and citric acids.
Red variety tomatoes contain powerful flavonoids and antioxidant properties like lycopene, zeaxanthin and carotenoids that have the ability to protect cells and other body structures from oxygenated free radicals cells.
Health Benefits of Tomatoes
New health benefits of tomatoes keep on being discovered. There is quite a number of health benefits we get from eating tomatoes that are yet to be printed.
Here are the well established benefits of tomatoes found so far:
- Skin Care: – Tomatoes are the richest source of lycopene –a pigment that give tomatoes their red color. Lycopene is a powerful anti-oxidant compound that helps protect your skin from harmful ultra-violent rays of the sun. Vitamins A & C present also help prevent early wrinkles on the skin.
- Anti-oxidant Agent: – Tomatoes are rich in strong anti-oxidant like lycopene, zeaxanthin, beta carotene, lutein, xanthin…etc. These anti-oxidant properties work together to prevent or neutralize free radical cells that are known to cause chronic degenerative illnesses.
- Strong Bone: – Eating tomatoes frequently, gives you numerous minerals vital for strong bones. Calcium, phosphorous and vitamin K present help maintain strong teeth and bone density. Vitamin K1activates a protein called osteocalcin that helps fastens calcium synthesis.
- Anti-cancer: – According to recent studies, lycopene has been found to be very effective in preventing some type of cancer especially prostate cancer. Lycopene and other anti-oxidant properties like beta-carotene are strong anti-cancer agents that help decrease cancer risks like lung, colon, and prostate cancer. They also inhabit the growth of other types of cancer cells.
Improve Immunity: – Tomatoes house vital minerals and vitamins (A, B, C and E) that help the body build strong immunity to fight off infections.
- Prevent Heart deseases: – Folate, niacin and vitamin B6 help decrease heart related risks. Niacin helps reduce level of bad cholesterol in the blood while folate and vitamin B6 convert homocysteine that tends to damage blood vessel wall into other harmless molecules. Potassium mineral helps control and regulate heart rate.
- Anti-inflammatory: – Studies have shown that organically grown tomatoes contain high level of anti-inflammatory properties than non-organic tomatoes. Tomato skin is highly concentrated in boiflavonoids while its juice is packed with vitamin C.
These properties help prevent and fight TNF-alpha –which is the leading cause of inflammation and allergic reaction. TNF-alpha has been associated with chronic degenerative diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, atherosclerosis and several cancers…etc.
- Eye Sight: – Vitamin A, zeaxanthin, beta-carotene and other vital flavonoid compound help prevent and fight age related macular disease which is common in elderly persons by filtering harmful UV rays.
- Anemia: – Tomatoes contain outstanding amount of vitamin C and irons that are vital in production of hemoglobin and new red blood cells. They help increase the number of red blood cells in the blood and enhance oxygen supply throughout the body.
- Fatigue and stress: – Tomato juice is a wonderful electrolyte drink. Its rich in potassium, phosphorous and other minerals that help relieve symptoms of fatigue and stress.
- Serving Tips
Tomatoes are highly venerable to pests and are usually subjected to frequent insecticide spray. So, once at home, ensure you wash them thoroughly in water to remove any residual of insecticide, soil or dust on the surface.
Ripe tomatoes are very versatile and make wonderful addition to most diets. Raw tomato fits well in vegetable salad or soup recipes.
Don’t expose tomatoes to long periods of cooking because they tend to decrease in vitamin C even though lycopene compound increases instead.
- Safety Profile
Benefits of tomatoes are highly nutritious and healthy.
However, unripe tomato contains a toxic substance known as solanine which it uses as its natural defense. When consumed in plenty, solanine may cause stomach cramps, diarrhea, nausea…etc to some individuals.
Tomato may also cause allergy reaction to some people and symptoms like itching eyes, gastrointestinal disturbances and runny nose may occur.