Whether you refer to a tomato as a fruit or a vegetable, there is no doubt that a tomato is a nutrient-dense, super-food that most people should be eating more of.
The tomato has been referred to as a “functional food,” a food that goes beyond providing just basic nutrition. Due to their beneficial phytochemicals such as lycopene, tomatoes also play a role in preventing chronic disease and deliver other health benefits.
The benefits of consuming fruits and vegetables of all kinds, including tomatoes, are impressive. The health 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, they 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.
Tomatoes Nutrition Facts
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. They are also a good source of potassium, manganese, magnesium, phosphorous, and copper. They 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!
Eating foods that are high in water content and fiber like tomatoes can help with hydration and promote regular bowel movements. Fiber adds bulk to stool and is essential for minimizing constipation.
Health Benefits Of Tomatoes:
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 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.
Tomatoes are a rich source of lycopene, lutein and beta-carotene, powerful antioxidants that have been shown to protect the eyes against light-induced damage associated with the development of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Lycopene is the antioxidant that gives tomatoes their rich red color. Tomatoes account for 80 percent of lycopene consumption in the average diet.
Folic acid in tomatoes may help with depression by preventing an excess of homocysteine from forming 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 serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, which regulate mood, sleep and appetite.
Help in Digestion
Tomatoes keep the digestive system healthy by preventing both constipation and diarrhea. It also prevents jaundice and effectively removes toxins from the body. Furthermore, they 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.
Choline is an important nutrient found in tomatoes that helps with sleep, muscle movement, learning and memory. Choline also helps to maintain the structure of cellular membranes, aids in the transmission of nerve impulses, assists in the absorption of fat and reduces chronic inflammation.
Cooking tomatoes appears to increase the availability of key nutrients such as the caroteinoids lycopene, lutein and zeaxanthin. Stewed tomatoes provide considerably more lutein and zeaxanthin than sun dried tomatoes and raw cherry tomatoes.