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Boost Your Health With Ripe Tomatoes

Updated on July 5, 2011

Choose the Reddest of Tomatoes for maximum Health Benefit

Tomatoes on bush
Tomatoes on bush
Ripe tomatoes ready for cooking
Ripe tomatoes ready for cooking

Ripe red tomatoes are the most beneficial among fruits and vegetables to the human body. Tomato is a fruit and not a vegetable and is loaded with health benefits for those who consume it cooked or raw. This versatile ingredient can be stewed, baked, grilled, cooked, puree'd,made into chutneys, ketchups,soups,or simply eaten raw in salads. It is used in different cuisines of he world in different ways to enhance the sweetness or sourness of a dish or to thicken a preparation and add some colour to it.

Nutritive value Of Tomatoes

Tomatoes are a rich source of Vitamin C and Vitamin A (betacarotene), calcium,potassium and iron. Both men and women can reap health benefits from tomatoes.

The redness of tomatoes are due to the presence of an antioxidant, lycopene,which prevents the formation of cancerous cells in the body. The risk of other health conditions such as heart disease and high cholesterol are also minimized when one eats tomatoes on a regular basis. High levels of Lycopene present in tomatoes flushes out free radicals from the body. This antioxidant is present in not so significant amounts in other fruits and vegetables.Many types of cancer are warded off by increasing levels of lycopene intake. Cervical cancer, prostate cancer, rectal cancer, colon cancer, lung cancer,cancers of the mouth, oesophagus, pharynx, and stomach have been staved off successfully by increased tomato intake.

How much tomatoes to ingest for maximum benefit ?

A glass of tomato juice every day will keep a person healthy for life,say researchers. Tomatoes can be consumed raw or cooked, and it is seen that though both forms are equally nutritious, the bioavailability of lycopene is increased when tomatoes are heat processed. Ketchup and sauces among other tomato products can be included in your daily diet for maximum benefit.

Research shows that lycopene from tomatoes are better absorbed by the body if cooked with a bit of oil particularly olive oil. Since this compound is located in the skin of tomatoes, it is fully released when cooked in a bit of oil. Nutritional value of tomatoes are not altered by heat processing, and so you can benefit as much from canned tomatoes and sauces as the fresh variety.

Always make sure to choose the freshest and reddest of tomatoes as they will be the richest in lycopene and betacarotene.

Since tomatoes are low in calories, they are included in weight loss diets as soups, salad as they tend to fill up the stomach providing essential vitamins and minerals.


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    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      We love tomatoes in all of their forms. Informative and colorful hub!

    • Angela Harris profile image

      Angela Harris 7 years ago from Around the USA

      I'm glad tomatoes are healthy because I eat some form of them everyday. Great hub with lots of excellent information!