Tomato is considered both as fruit and vegetables and form an integral part of cuisines across the globe especially in the Mediterranean region. Daily consumption of tomatoes provides a great boost to the health along with improving the flavor of food.
The scientific name of tomatoes is solanum lycopersicum and they are believed to be native to Mexico. Tomatos are the major dietary source of the antioxidant lycopene, which has been linked to many health benefits including reduced risk of heart disease and cancer. They are also a great source of vitamin C, Potassium, Folate, and vitamin K.
Nutritional Facts About Tomatoes
The health benefits of tomatoes can be attributed to their wealth of nutrients and vitamins, including an impressive amount of vitamin A, vitamin C, and also vitamin K as well as significant amounts of vitamin B6 , folate and thiamine. They are also good source of potassium, manganese, phosphoros and copper. They have dietary fiber and protein, as well as a number of organic compounds like lycopene that contribute to their health benefits.
Health Benefits of Tomatoes
Tomato contain a large amount of lycopene, an antioxidant that is highly effective in scavenging cancer causing free radicals. This benefit can even be obtained from heat processed tomato products like ketchup. The lycopene in tomatos defends against cancer and has been shown to be effective in fighting prostate cancer, cervical cancer, cancer of the stomach and rectum as well as pharynx and esophageal cancer.
Rich Source of Vitamins and Minerals;
A single tomato can provide about 40% of the daily vitamin C requirement. vitamin C is a natural antioxidant which prevents cancer causing free radicals from damaging the body systems. It also contains abundant vitamin A and potassium, as well as iron. Potassium plays a vital role in maintaining normal blood circulation and Vitamin K, which is essential for blood clothing and controlling bleeding is also abundant in tomatoes.
Vitamin A present in tomatoes, aids in improving vision and preventing night blindness and macular degeneration. Vitamin A is a powerful antioxidant that can be formed from an excess of beta- carotene in the body. A lot of vision problems occurs due to the negative effects of free radicals and vitamin A being a powerful antioxidant can help prevent them.
Counter the Effect of Smoking Cigarette;
The coumaric acid and chlorogenic acid, in tomatoes, fight against nitrosamines, which are the main carcinogens found in cigarettes. The presence of vitamin A in high quantities has been shown to reduce the effects of carcinogens and can protect you against lung cancer.
Tomatoes aid in maintaining healthy teeth, bones, hair, and skin. Topical application of tomato juice is even known to cure severe sunburns. Daily consumption protects the skin against UV-induced erythema. They rank high in the preparation of anti-aging products.
Prevent Urinary Tract Infections;
Tomato intake reduces the incidence of urinary tract infections, as well as bladder cancer. This is because tomatoes are high in water content, which can stimulate urination; hence, they are a diuretic. This increases the elimination of toxins from the body, as well as excess water, salts, uric acid, and some fats as well!
Aid in Digestion;
Tomatoes keep the digestive system healthy by preventing both constipation and diarrhea. They also prevent jaundice and effectively remove toxins from the body. Furthermore, they have a large amount of fiber, which can bulk the bowels and reduce symptoms of constipation.
A healthy amount of fiber helps stimulate peristaltic motion in the smooth digestive muscles and release gastric and digestive juices. This can regulate your bowel movements, thereby improving your overall digestive health and helping you avoid conditions like colorectal cancer.
Folic acid is the synthetic form of folate. Adequate folate intake is essential before and during pregnancy to protect against neural tube defects in the fetus. Tomatoes are a great natural source of folate but it is recommended that pregnant must be on Folic acid supplementation.