Health Benefits of Tomato
Tomatoes have been a part of the human diet for so long that they were eaten by the Aztecs and it’s believed that there are now over 7,500 different species of tomato. While people still argue over whether tomatoes are a fruit, vegetable, or berry, no one is going to argue that they aren’t incredibly beneficial to your health. The following health benefits of tomato will convince you to eat more of this fabulous fruit, vegetable, or berry. Whichever one it is.
Tomatoes are a great natural source of antioxidants, which have been proven time and time again to fight several cancers. People who eat plenty of tomatoes are far less likely to suffer from prostate cancer; the most common cancer that affects American men. It’s especially effective when you cook tomatoes in olive oil because it unlocks more of the lycopene; the source of this cancer fighting ability. Lycopene, and the foods that contain this wonderful natural cancer remedy, have been studied since the 90s and the evidence is in; eating tomatoes fights cancer. Five studies have supported the idea that tomatoes can reduce your risk of developing cancer by up to 40%.
One reason that health experts like to preach the idea of “eating the rainbow” is because these deep colored foods, such as tomatoes, are so rich in antioxidants; specifically zeta-carotene, phytoene, and phytofluene. These reduce inflammation and have a number of positive effects such as preventing heart disease, cancer, diabetes, arthritis, and they also keep your brain healthy. There is one drawback to consider however; while cooking tomatoes does increase the availability of these antioxidants it also damages or destroys the other nutrients in tomatoes. As such it’s important that you eat a nice mix of raw and cooked tomatoes to get the best of both worlds.
The antioxidants in tomatoes, particularly the lycopene, get rid of free radicals in the body and keep your heart safe from oxidative stress. This reduces your risk of developing heart disease, heart attacks and strokes. Tomatoes can also be used to bring down your blood pressure and provide a natural remedy for high cholesterol. Eating tomatoes reduces your levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol, while bolstering your levels of HDL (good cholesterol). Oxidation is accepted as one of the most common causes of the arteries to thicken and harden, which leads to a number of health conditions. Antioxidants, of which tomatoes contain plenty, fight this oxidation.
Tomatoes are rich in a compound known as lutein. This compound works to protect your eyes; specifically our retina. A healthy retina means healthy vision. When you get older your retina becomes particularly vulnerable because of all the accumulated damage from UV light and oxidative stress. Even though there are many of these carotenoids in the body only two of them have been found in the part of the eye where the lens focuses the light. Those carotenoids are zeaxanthin and lutein. The lutein in tomatoes has also been shown to help fight against age-related macular degeneration; the number one cause of blindness in elderly people. Macular degeneration is the reason that you lose your vision as you get older and it can get so bad that you go completely blind. Tomatoes help prevent and treat that condition.
Tomatoes are packed with vitamin K and calcium. These ingredients are crucial for the process of bone strengthening and regeneration and recovering after bone injuries. They are also good for the bone tissue.
Increased level of antioxidants
What is interesting is that tomatoes are rich in vitamin C and vitamin A too. This is very important because these vitamins together with beta-carotene act as strong antioxidants that have the ability to eliminate free radicals from the blood. When these free radicals are found in the blood stream they can be quite harmful because they can damage the cells. Keep in mind that the red color of tomatoes is closely related to the level of beta-carotene in it. So, the redder the better. Don’t forget that cooking eliminates vitamin C, so you must always consume raw tomatoes to reap these health benefits.
Repair the respiratory system
Of course, eating tomatoes can’t help you stop smoking, but if you eat tomatoes you will be able to decrease the level of damage caused by this unhealthy habit. These veggies are rich in chlorogenic and coumaric acid that keeps the body safe from carcinogens that comes as a result of smoking.
This delicious vegetable is loaded with lycopene too. Lycopene is a compound can be found in many costly and popular skincare products (facial cleansers). In case you want to use tomatoes to improve your skin, you will need about 12 tomatoes. Peel them and apply them directly on the face. The internal content should touch the skin. Stay like this for ten minutes and use lukewarm water to clean the face. You will get smooth and shiny skin.
Nutrition Facts Tomatoes (1)