Tomatoes are native to South America and belong to the nightshade family, which also includes white potatoes, eggplant, and bell peppers. Worldwide it is the most cultivated plant for its fruit but to the people of the United States it is considered a vegetable. The most commonly consumed ones are the yellow, orange, green, and red tomatoes, but there are ornamental colors like white pink, purple, and black with patterns. Tomatoes are a very versatile vegetable that you can eat cooked, raw off the vine, drink, in salads, etc. They are used not only for their flavor, color, and taste but also for their many health benefits they can offer you. To get the most health benefits of tomatoes choose the brightest reddest ones.
1. Excellent source of vitamin C and A
Just one medium tomato can provide you almost one half of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C that your body needs. Although it is a vitamin, it acts like an antioxidant in your body by helping to access iron, keep your capillaries and gums healthy, and helps your body form connective tissue. Vitamin A helps to keep your skin and hair healthy, aids in teeth and bone development, helps to maintain normal cellular growth, immune system and reproduction function, and helps to promote the correct vision. Together these vitamins travel throughout your body to help neutralize the dangerous free radicals that can damage your cell membranes and the cells.
2. Tomatoes contain many other vitamins and minerals your body needs
In addition to vitamins A and C, tomatoes also contain calcium, proteins, and vitamin E. It is also a good source of chromium, which is a mineral that can help a diabetic keep their blood sugar levels under control. The fiber, vitamin K, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, and potassium in tomatoes can help to lower your blood sugar and cholesterol levels, enhance blood-clotting abilities, and reduce the risk of developing kidney stones. If you are one that suffers from migraine headaches, the riboflavin in tomatoes can help reduce the frequency of having these headaches.
3. Helps to prevent heart related diseases
Tomatoes are rich in antioxidants, which play a major role in helping to reduce the risk of your arteries and veins narrowing referred to as atherosclerosis along with helping to prevent heart diseases. Tomatoes are also rich in niacin, folate, vitamin B6, and potassium which helps to lower your high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels. Lowering both of these will greatly reduce the risk of developing heart-related conditions. Vitamin B6 can help to convert homocysteine, a dangerous chemical, into molecules that are benign. This will help to prevent damage to your blood vessels and lower your risk of strokes and heart attacks.
4. Can help prevent certain cancers
Tomatoes contain an antioxidant and carotenoid called lycopene. It also gives the tomato its red color. It has been shown in studies that some people who have a diet that are rich in tomatoes have a lower risk of developing certain cancers like prostrate, lung, or stomach cancers. Lycopene will also help to neutralize the free radicals that can damage the cells in your body. In addition to helping to lower your risk of developing certain cancers the lycopene is also a powerful inhibitor of these cancers plus endometrial, colon, and breast cancers. Many consider tomatoes a natural cancer fighter.
5. Protect your body against thrombosis
Thrombosis is when a person has developed blood clots in their blood vessels but drinking eight ounces of tomato juice or eating a medium size tomato each day can help reduce the clumping of platelets which causes blood clots to form.
6. Can give you a healthy digestive system
Eating tomatoes can encourage digestion and are often used for medical conditions such as a diminished appetite, constipation, anorexia, indigestion, and food retention. Eating tomatoes can help to prevent the occurrence of diarrhea also. Tomatoes are also a natural blood purifier and will help detox your body of all impurities, keeping your digestive system healthy.
7. Can help you to lose weight
Tomatoes are mostly water so they will help you feel fuller longer. You can eat tomatoes by themselves, in salads, in sandwiches, as a snack, etc. Tomatoes also contain a lot of fiber that can help you keep your appetite under control. Weight Watchers refer to tomatoes as a “filling food” without adding a lot of fat and calories to your diet plan.
8. Can help to reduce chronic pain
Eating tomatoes can help give relief to people who deal with mild to moderate chronic pain from medical conditions such as fibromyalgia, arthritis, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, back pain, etc. Tomatoes contain two known anti-inflammatory agents carotenoids, and bioflavonoids. This is a natural way to help with the pain without having to take prescription or over-the-counter inflammatory medications.
9. Strengthen your bones
The lycopene in tomatoes can help improve your bone mass and help to fight osteoporosis. The calcium and vitamin K will help to strengthen and repair your bones, especially in older women who seem to be more prone to falling and breaking bones like their hips.
10. Helping to prevent vision diseases
It has always been said that eating carrots will help improve and give you good vision but tomatoes can also do this. Both contain vitamin A which helps to improve vision. Eating tomatoes can help to prevent night blindness, and reduce your risk of developing macular degeneration which is a serious, irreversible eye disease.
11. Can help protect your skin
In many sunscreen and anti-aging products tomato pulp and juice are part of the ingredients although they may not be mentioned. Eating tomatoes can help to reduce pre-mature wrinkles, soothe and heal sunburn, help to improve overall skin tone and texture, and help to protect your skin against the harmful UV rays. The lycopene in tomatoes can also help boost a molecule in your body called pro-collagen, that will give you a youthful look and keep your skin firm. This molecule can also help to keep you from getting a sun burn. Lycopene will also make your skin less sensitive to the damage from UV light.
Did we miss any other health benefits of tomatoes? If you know more good use and benefits of tomatoes, let us know. We will update the article.