The Benefits of Tomatos
I have been on a recent tomato kick...a raw, fresh off the vine tomatoes with some salt kick...and I decided it would be interesting to look up a few of the benefits of eating raw tomatoes. While not an exhaustive list, here is some of what I found.
Let's start with the basics. According to nutritiondata.com a serving of tomatoes is usually about 150 grams (a little larger than 5 ounces). There are only 26.8 calories and 5.8 carbs per serving, with each also containing fiber, protein and a large variety of beneficial vitamins and nutrients. Some nutrients in each standard serving of raw tomatoes include:
- Vitamin A: 25 percent of the recommended daily allowance (RDA)
- Vitamin B6: 6 percent of the RDA
- Vitamin B9 or folic acid: 6 percent of the RDA
- Vitamin C: 32 percent of the RDA
- Vitamin K: 15 percent of the RDA
- Manganese: 8 percent of the RDA
- Potassium: 10 percent of the RDA
Considering the low amount of calories, tomatoes are stacking up to be a great snack!
Helps Your Vision and Boost Your Antioxidants
A medium tomato contains approximately 1025 IUs, or international units, of Vitamin A, which is at least one-third of the daily recommendation for adults. In addition to Vitamin A, a serving of tomatoes contains a large amount the antioxidant lycopene (which has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer) and about a third of your daily recommended intake of Vitamin C (around 20 mg). Vitamin C and lycopene have an extensive list of health benefits but by tomatoes containing both, tomatoes without a doubt prove to boost your immunity!
Tomatoes are a superfood when it comes to promoting and maintaining healthy skin, and the main reason for this is those large amounts of Lycopene they contain. According to one study, people who ingested 40 grams of tomato paste — providing 16 mg of lycopene — with olive oil every day for 10 weeks experienced 40% fewer sunburns. While this was not a massive study, the beneficial effects Lycopene has on one's skin has been widely touted in Nutrition and Medical circles. This just gives us one more reason to chomp in to a juicy tomato on a day in the sun.
On Average I Eat This Many Tomatoes in a Week
Keep Your Hearth Healthy and Promote Strong Bones
Because of the B vitamins found in tomatoes, you can rest assured that those delicious fruits are reducing cholesterol levels and lowering your blood pressure, in turn aiding in the prevention of heart attacks and strokes. The considerable amount of calcium and Vitamin K found within tomatoes will also aid in strengthening and performing minor repairs on both your bones and bone tissue. The Italian favorite keeps proving better and better.
This one kind of blew my mind. A 2016 study in the Journal of Food Bioscience assessed 38 different fruits and vegetables and found that the highest levels of serotonin were found in cherry tomatoes. Wow! Serotonin is a neurotransmitter I'm sure many of you are familiar with that has so many benefits to our physical and mental health, including helping to regulate our mood, pain management, and digestion. If this is something you are wanting to increase in your body naturally, this study says you should increase your intake of tomatoes.
If (serotonin) is something you are wanting to increase in your body naturally, this study says you should increase your intake of tomatoes.
What Are You Waiting For?
Simply the fact that they are so juicy and tasty, especially with a small dab of salt or in the right dish, is enough for me to daily eat these delicious fruits. But now, with an increased awareness of their enormous health benefits both internally and externally, I hope we can chew away with confidence that we are doing more good than just pleasuring our tastebuds. As is often the case with articles like these, this is just scratching the surface of the benefits you will gain by incorporating tomatoes into your diet. That said, I do hope this has inspired you to do so if you weren't already and to increase your intake if you have been. If you found this helpful, have any questions or simply want to share your own advice, please comment below as I'd love to hear from you. Bon Appetit!