Five Health Benefits of Tomatoes
Health Benefits of Tomatoes
Tomato is an edible, typically red fruit. This fruit is known to have originated from America but it is now cultivated in most parts of the world. There is a debate whether tomato should be called a fruit or vegetable, but let us take it as a fruit for the purpose of this article. Tomato is consumed in its raw form and its cooked form. It is also an important constituent in many sauces and drinks. Apart from the flavour that tomato provides, it also has many health benefits and some of them are discussed below.
- 1. Tomato is rich in lycopene.
Lycopene has many health benefits and it has been studied to establish its various roles. Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant. Being an antioxidant, lycopene has been indicated in the preventing cancer. According to a research done by Harvard University 48,000 men were observed for 6 years, it was showed that men who ate 10 or more servings of foods per week containing tomato sauce or tomatoes decreased their chances of developing prostate cancer by 45 percent. Men who ate four to seven servings per week decreased their chances by 20 percent. The heat used in cooking tomato has been shown to increase the amount of lycopene content of the fruit but on the other hand this heat affect the vitamin C content of this fruit.
- 2. Tomatoes help prevent heart diseases.
The lycopene has been shown to be able to reduce oxidized low-density lipoprotein (LDL) known as bad cholesterol. In a research published in British Journal of Nutrition, 21 healthy subjects followed a diet free tomato product for 3 weeks, these subjects then followed a high tomato diet. At the end of the tomato diet period, the subjects’ total cholesterol level had dropped an average of 5.9%, with LDL (bad) cholesterol reduced by 12.9%. This shows the ability of tomatoes to reduce the risk of developing heart diseases associated with bad cholesterol.
- 3. Tomatoes is a rich source of vitamin C.
For someone to get the maximum amount of vitamin C in tomato fruit, one should take it in its raw form. This is because the heat use in changing a raw tomato into a cook one can reduce the amount of vitamin C present in the fruit. In fact, the longer the tomato is heat processed, the more vitamin C is lost.
The vitamin C presents in this fruit helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents and therefore boost the body immune system. Also the body requires the presence of vitamin C during the production of collagen in the body. Collagen is one of the structural proteins present in the body and it is required in the maintenance of structural integrity of the skin, bone, organs and blood vessels.
- 4. Tomatoes consumption help improve skin texture and color.
If you are looking for a natural way to increase the skin colour and texture then please take more of tomatoes. Lycopene presents in tomato makes the skin to be less sensitive to UV light damage—a leading cause of fine line and wrinkles.
- 5. Tomato is a good source mineral like potassium and calcium and vitamins like vitamin E and vitamin A. These vitamins and minerals are important in maintaining a healthy life.
Nutritive Values of Tomato : Per 100 gm. Is given below
Vitamin A : 1,000 I.U.
Vitamin B : Thiamine .06 mg.;
Vitamin C : 23 mg.
Vitamin K : amount uncertain
Calcium : 11 mg.
Iron : .6 mg.
Phosphorus : 27 mg.
Potassium : 360 mg.
Protein : 1.0 gm.
Calories : 20
With all these health benefits, tomatoes represent one of the most important constituents of any soup. One can say your soup is not complete without a tomato fruit.