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Is Tomato a Superfood?

Updated on July 10, 2017

Tomato Is Rich in Essential Nutrients

Tomato is a round red fruit that can be consumed cooked or raw. There is more to eating tomatoes than good taste, they are great for your health. They are loaded with many essential nutrients like vitamin C and biotin. Various health benefits of tomatoes have been known to human beings since ancient times.

Is tomato part of your daily diet?

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Tomato Is a Superfood

Source

100 g of Raw Red Tomatoes Contain:

Nutrient
Quantity
Carbohydrates
3.9 g
Fat
0.2 g
Proteins
0.9 g
Vitamin A
42 μg
Vitamin B1
0.037 mg
Vitamin B3
0.594 mg
Vitamin B6
0.08 mg
Vitamin C
14 mg
Vitamin E
0.54 mg
Vitamin K
7.9 μg
Magnesium
11 mg
Manganese
0.114 mg
Phosphorus
24 mg
Potassium
237 mg
Water
94.5 g
Lycopene
2573 µg
Source: https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/search/list?qlookup=11529&format=Full

Tomatoes are low in calories, (about 25 calories per one medium-size tomato) yet filled with nutrition.

Heather Mangieri, a Pittsburgh-based registered dietitian and nutritionist, health author and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

Is Tomato Part of Your Diet?

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Health Benefits of Tomato

There are many reasons why you should always have tomatoes in your kitchen. Here are a few of them.

Tomatoes Prevent Cancer

Unhealthy diet contributes to developing cancer in the body. High fat diets have been linked cancer of the uterus, the breasts, the prostate gland, and the colon. Regular consumption of excessive calories is also associated with cancer of the gallbladder and the endometrium.

Unexplained Weight Loss Is an Indication of Cancer

One of the main indicators of cancer is unexplained weight loss. Tumour cells use nutrients taken by the host for their own metabolism and development. This usually leads to loss of muscle tissue, and hypoalbuminaemia with anaemia.

Due to decreased digestive secretions, people affected by cancer become satiated earlier than normal, thereby contributing to further weight-loss.

Cancer Treatments May Damage Healthy Cells

Treatments for cancer are designed to kill the cancerous cells, but unfortunately this can also damage healthy cells, which causes problems like loss of appetite, change in sense of taste and smell, constipation, diarrhoea (which may be caused by radiation therapy), bloating, cramps, dry mouth (which may be the result of chemotherapy and radiation therapy that often lead to dryness of the mouth), and lactose intolerance.

Cancer Treatment Side Effects

Nausea, sore mouth, sore throat, having trouble in swallowing, weight gain, or weight loss are other known side effects.

Tomato Reduces the Risk of Cancer

Tomato is a non-starchy fruit that is rich in vitamin C, carotenoids and other antioxidants. Non-starchy fruits and vegetables convincingly reduce the risk of mouth cancer, pharynx cancer and larynx cancer.

Lycopene in tomato reduces the risk of prostate cancer. Carotenoids also prevent various cancers. Tomatoes protect the DNA in the cells from damage, thereby reducing the risk of cancer.

Tomato Is the Top Choice Among Experts with Respect to Stomach Cancer

When one talks or writes about superfoods that help treat or manage cancer, tomato is the top choice among experts with respect to stomach cancer. A research study conducted in 2013 and published by the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health suggests that eating large quantities of tomato products was found to be associated with a reduced risk of gastric cancer. The study called for further research for validation of the findings.

Stomach cancer is the growth of cancerous cells in the inner lining of the stomach. If not treated on time, it can result in the formation of a tumour which needs surgical removal or other form of intervention depending on the condition or the stage of the condition.

While the exact causes of cancer is still not known, experts point at few factors that enhance the risk of developing stomach cancer, some of which may include a prolonged history of anaemia, severe gut inflammation, ulcers, polyps growth and infection with a common bacteria called H. pylori.

Another research study published in the Oxford Academic's Journal of National Cancer Institute studied twelve case-controlled studies that examined stomach cancer cases and consumption of lycopene - commonly found in tomatoes - in various parts of the world.

"Inverse associations between tomato consumption and risk of gastric cancer were observed in all these diverse populations," noted the study. As per an ecology study in Japan, population with highest plasma lycopene reported lesser instances of gastric cancer as compared to areas where population had lesser plasma lycopene. "The consistent inverse association observed in diverse populations strongly suggests a protective effect of tomato or lycopene consumption on gastric cancer," noted the study.

A team of Italian experts studied the correlation between tomato consumption and reduced risk of stomach cancer. They found that tomato extracts can inhibit the growth and multiplication of stomach cancer cells.

The study suggests that tomatoes, as stomach cancer cell fighting agents, should be considered in their entirety and not only for a component that is found in them, namely lycopene.

"Their antitumoral effect seem not related to specific components, such as lycopene, but rather suggest that tomatoes should be considered in their entirety," said Daniela Barone, researcher at the Oncology Research Centre of Mercogliano (CROM) in Italy as reported by PTI. Experts are of the opinion that different species of tomatoes have varying effects in different stages of cancer.

Consistent inverse association observed in diverse populations strongly suggests a protective effect of tomato or lycopene consumption on gastric cancer.

— A research study report

Tomato Is a Heart-Healthy Food

"A tomato a day keeps the heart doctor away," says T. Jared Bunch, MD. Tomato reduces levels of oxidized LDL in the body. Oxidized LDL causes cholesterol accumulation, which forms plaques in the arteries. These plaques can cause a heart attack.

Tomato Is Good For the Skin

When skin is exposed to sunlight, free radicals are formed. These free radicals damage cells that produce collagen and elastin. Lycopene, a bright red carotene and carotenoid pigment and phytochemical in tomato, is a powerful antioxidant. It protects the skin from damage caused by free radicals. In fact lycopene is an ingredient in some pricy facial cleansers. You can buy them over-the-counter.

If you hate raw tomatoes, don't worry, because lycopene is absorbed better by the body when these tomatoes are cooked, especially in oil. So, that red tomato sauce in your pasta or pizza, is actually great for your skin, eyesight, and immunity! This is because lycopene protects the cells against damage done by light-especially ultraviolet radiation from the sun. This also means it helps prevent ageing, sun-damage related burns, pigmentation, certain forms of cancer, and numerous other ailments.

— Stuti Bhattacharya

Tomato Reduces the Risk of Eye Diseases

Vitamin A, lycopene and other nutrients in tomato reduce the risk of eye diseases like macular degeneration and cataracts. A research study conducted at the AIIMS (All India Institute Of Medical Sciences), a medical college and medical research public university based in New Delhi, India, suggests that lycopene prevents cataract.

Promotes Strong And Healthy Bones

Vitamin K and calcium in tomato are needed for strengthening the bones and for performing repairs on bones and bone tissues.

Tomato Keeps Your Nervous System Healthy

Potassium in tomato is crucial to the normal functioning of the nervous system.

Tomato Keeps Blood Healthy

Vitamin K in tomato plays a crucial role in blood clotting. It also prevents excessive bleeding.

Source

Tomato Is Good For the Digestive System

Tomato prevents constipation and diarrhea. It also reduces the risk of colorectal cancer and jaundice. Fiber in tomato stimulates peristaltic motion in the digestive muscles, and also releases gastric and digestive juices. Tomato keeps your digestive system robust and healthy.

Tomato Controls Hypertension

A research study conducted in 2009 suggests that adding tomato extract to the diet of people with hypertension but on a low dose of ACE inhibitor drugs, calcium channel blockers and the combination with a low dose of diuretics, shows a significant reduction in the BP (blood pressure) levels. During the study BP reduced by more than 10 mmHg (systolic) and more than five mmHg (diastolic). Also, there were no side effects to the treatment. The study was published in Cardiovascular Drugs and Therapy.

Another study published in the American Heart Journal indicates that a short-term treatment with antioxidant-rich tomato extract reduces blood pressure in patients with grade-1 hypertensive patients, people without any secondary illness and who do not require antihypertensive or lipid-lowering drug therapy.

Tomatoes are rich in carotenoids like lycopene and beta-carotene, which are powerful antioxidants. Enhancing the intake of tomatoes in diet slows down the progression of atherosclerosis, lowers oxidative stress and aids in managing your blood pressure.

Potassium in tomato plays a key role in maintaining the fluid-electrolyte balance in the body. It keeps your blood pressure in control. Increase your intake of tomatoes if you are at risk of hypertension.

Provides Relief From Symptoms of Cold and Flu

Cold and flu season accounts for more physician visits and absenteeism. Tomato soup and tomato tea, when consumed hot, provides relief from flu symptoms like cough, throat irritation, etc.

Summary

  • Tomato belongs to the nightshade family Solanaceae.
  • Tomato can be consumed raw or cooked.
  • Tomato is 94.5 percent water.
  • Tomato prevents cancer.
  • Tomato promotes healthy skin.

It's difficult to think anything but pleasant thoughts while eating a homegrown tomato.

— Lewis Grizzard

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    • tiniewinne profile image

      tiniewinne 2 months ago from world

      nice and informative

    • srirad0675 profile image
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      Srikanth R 2 months ago

      Thank you.

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