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Health Benefits of Eating Tomatoes

Updated on April 7, 2014

If you have any idea about the health benefits of tomatoes then you may be surprised knowing that our ancestors thought tomatoes to be poisonous and toxic. However, now-a-days tomatoes are considered to be an essential part of our diet and everyone knows that. But, do you know why this is so healthy and how? Most of you will answer that tomatoes have low calories, vitamin C and free of fat. But, is this all for which tomatoes are given such health value? Not at all, tomatoes have so many other health values which have made this an automatic choice for all. Let’s dig a bit deeper and find out more about the health benefits of tomatoes.

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Lycopene

Lycopene is the element responsible for those red pigments in tomatoes. Lycopene is highly recommended and praised for the presence of cancer preventing properties and antioxidant in it. Studies show that people who consume mentionable amounts of fresh tomatoes are less likely to be affected by various types of cancer compared to those who don’t consume tomatoes regularly. It is also proven that lycopene prevents the growth of cancer cells and thus helps the cancer affected people to live longer. On top of this benefit of cancer prevention, Lycopene is also crucial for the antioxidant defense of the skin. Lycopene acts as the internal natural sun block and increases the SPF (sun protection factor) by 33% which works great for both men and women.

There is a fact you should know is that lycopene is fat soluble and therefore needs some sort of dietary fat so that it can be transported through the bloodstream. So, tomato based food with some kind of oil will be the perfect idea to get the benefit of lycopene. While thinking of consuming tomatoes you should always go for organic tomatoes as it contains three times more lycopene compared to those non-organic tomatoes available in market.

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Vitamins

Vitamins are essential for our internal diseases prevention system and tomatoes help us providing lots of vitamin A, C and K. Only 150g of fresh tomatoes can fulfill our daily requirements of these vitamins while we are also being provided folate and minerals potassium. For maintaining healthy bones vitamin K of tomatoes plays a vital role by activating a protein called osteocalcin in the bones. On top of these, tomatoes also contain – thiamin, niacin, phosphorus, cooper, magnesium and vitamin B6 which are vital for our organ systems.

Cardiovascular Protection:

Besides lycopene, beta-carotene and vitamin C are also considered to be very powerful antioxidants. Cell membranes are preserved by these antioxidants from inflammatory damage that creates difficulties in atherosclerosis progression. A study in Germany showed that people who had experienced heart attacks had a comparatively lower level of lycopene than those who had never experienced a heart attack.

Folate, vitamin B6, niacin and potassium of tomatoes are very crucial for heart health. Potassium helps in reducing the systolic blood pressure which is very important for all. Niacin reduces the chance of heart attack by increasing our HDL cholesterol and decreasing the level of LDL. Higher level of homocysteine is often responsible for higher risk of stroke and heart attack but folate and vitamin B6 of tomatoes help in lowering the level of homocysteine in our body.

Weight Loss Benefits

Being sweet, tasty and delicious but low in calories tomatoes are always a great choice for health conscious living. While thinking of weight loss, organic raw tomatoes along with some other raw vegetables like celery, turnips and carrots can be a smart way to go. These foods will stay longer in our stomach and thus will keep our craving in check.

DNA Damage Prevention:

Tomatoes contain highly important antioxidants like Vitamin A and Vitamin C which work to fend of DNA damage from free radicals. As a result the habit of eating tomatoes has been proved to be good for age related diseases like diabetes and atherosclerosis.

Consuming tomatoes on a regular basis you can get rid of these following diseases as well – intestinal disorder, constipation, morning sickness, indigestion, jaundice, liver disorder, infection of the urinary tract, night blindness and eye disorder.


These are some key health benefits of tomatoes and more are being discovered through research and studies. So, if you are not eating tomatoes, it’s high time you change your food habit to some extent and include tomatoes in your daily food list. If raw and fresh tomatoes are not readily available in your local stores, you can go for tomato based processed foods which are also rich in health value and nutritional benefits.

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  • john000 profile image

    John R Wilsdon 

    4 years ago from Superior, Arizona

    I did not know that eating tomatoes with some kind of oil helps to carry lycopene through the blood. I have read that tomatoes and its lycopene in particular are helpful in preventing prostate cancer. It's summer and I am eating a lot of my beautifu Early Girl tomatoes here in Arizona. Voted up.

  • Faith Reaper profile image

    Faith Reaper 

    4 years ago from southern USA

    I love tomatoes and eat them every so often, but now I will try to on a daily basis! What an informative hub here. I knew they were good for you, but did not exactly know why. I am a breast cancer survivor ...well, the Lord healed me. I will increase the tomatoes just for the cancer-preventing benefits!

    Great hub. Voted up, tweeting, pinning and sharing

    Blessings

  • adrienne2 profile imageAUTHOR

    Adrienne F Manson 

    5 years ago from Atlanta

    Hi Tebo love it that you have a garden! I love fresh vegetables and fruit from a garden.

  • tebo profile image

    tebo 

    5 years ago from New Zealand

    I have lots of tomatoes in the garden at the moment so am eating plenty each day. You have included lots of interesting information on the benefits of eating them - the internal sunblock is an interesting one. Thanks for all this information. Voted up and useful.

  • adrienne2 profile imageAUTHOR

    Adrienne F Manson 

    5 years ago from Atlanta

    thanks torrilyn, appreciate the vote up!

  • petenali profile image

    Pete 

    5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

    I've always loved tomatoes - raw, grilled, diced... however. Have them most days in my salad! Didn't know how good they were for me really, other than that they were better than eating processed junk!

  • torrilynn profile image

    torrilynn 

    5 years ago

    adrienne,

    I've figured that tomatoes had health benefits

    along with other vegetables and fruits

    thanks for the read.

    it was quite useful

    Voted up and shared

  • adrienne2 profile imageAUTHOR

    Adrienne F Manson 

    5 years ago from Atlanta

    Hi Kasman! Love it! I was adding tomatoes to my recipes way before I knew the health benefits. Now I am aware put an extra effort into buying tomatoes at the supermarket.

  • Kasman profile image

    Kas 

    5 years ago from Bartlett, Tennessee

    I'm a huge fan of tomatoes! My wife is from Italy and she puts them into so many recipes we make. I knew the health benefits were enormous but I honestly didn't know the scale. Good hub, I'm voting up!

  • adrienne2 profile imageAUTHOR

    Adrienne F Manson 

    5 years ago from Atlanta

    Wow! I love tomatoes, and love to eat them diced on the side especially with some of my favorite dishes. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

  • Just Ask Susan profile image

    Susan Zutautas 

    5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

    Very useful hub. I've always loved tomatoes and eat them daily.

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