Tomato, a bright red colored fruit, is an essential ingredient of various foods globally. Although it is a fruit, yet it is used most often as a vegetable. In this article, we will discuss the ten proven health benefits of tomatoes.
You must have seen it in the raw fresh form or as ketchup, dried tomato, purée, etc. Loads of antioxidants, like lycopene, and vitamins, like vitamin K, C, folate, etc., make it an extremely healthy food item for every type of person.
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Proven Health Benefits of Tomatoes:
1. Cancer Prevention:
Many studies have proven that tomatoes have cancer prevention components. Since tomatoes are rich in lycopene and other antioxidants including carotenoids, it enables the body to keep a check on the cellular division more effectively.
Various researches have shown that tomato consumption is associated with reduced chances of developing cancers, particularly of that of prostate and breast (1, 2, 3).
2. Healthy Heart:
Studies have revealed that the lycopene, if present in the right amount in the blood, can lower the chances of a person having a heart attack and a stroke (4, 5). Tomatoes decrease the harmful cholesterol levels in the blood and also protect the inner lining of blood vessels, thus reducing the chances of atherosclerosis (6, 7).
Tomatoes not only contain lycopene, fiber, vitamin C, and folate, but they are high in potassium which, when combined with lowering sodium in the blood. For this reason, tomato considers as one of the best food for a healthy heart.
3. Skin Protection:
Lycopene has antioxidant as well as an anti-inflammatory effect. Lycopene in tomatoes has protective effects against sunburn. A study revealed that eating tomato paste with olive oil protects you from sunburns (8).
Tomatoes also consider as a home remedy to remove dark spots on the face. Rubbing a tight, red tomato on your skin daily can remove the awful tan from your skin caused by the daily exposure to the sun.
4. Improves Bone Health:
Tomatoes have lycopene, calcium, and vitamin K in them; all of these compounds have a strengthening effect on bones.
Tomatoes have some protective effect against fractures (9). Tomatoes, because of the lycopene, prevent bone loss in postmenopausal women as well (10, 11).
Vitamin A and C are present in tomatoes in significant quantities and protect against the free radicals, which can harm the cell and its components. Since cooking destroys vitamin C, it is better to eat raw tomatoes.
Because of the tomatoes, antioxidative properties it considers as an anti-aging food. It can help fight with skin aging in a variety of ways, from keeping your skin free of blemishes to protecting your skin from further damage.
Studies have shown that tomatoes have the ability to affect moods and diminish depression (12, 13). This is probably because of the folic acid content of the tomatoes, which controls homocysteine production in the body which directly controls mood hormones.
Tomatoes also have generous amounts of carotenoids, lycopene, and Beta-carotene a class of nutrients that are known for boosting mood and brain health.
7. Controls Hypertension:
Because of their richness of potassium, tomatoes are an excellent food to control blood pressure levels. Tomato juice, when unsalted, has the capacity to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels (14).
8. Strengthens Immunity:
When you need to fight against the common cold and minor infection; tomatoes come very usefully. The compound in tomatoes are very beneficial for boosting the immune system. Studies also have proven these health benefits of tomatoes.
It is very well known that vitamin C prevents the common cold and even minor infections because it has a boosting effect on the immune system (15).
Tomatoes have a large amount of vitamin C in them along with other antioxidants, which promotes the immune function of the body.
9. Good for Eyes:
Vitamin A is a major component of retinal pigments which makes vision possible. Eating something rich in vitamin A is good for eyes’ health, and one of such foods is tomato. In addition to vitamin A, carotenoids are also present in tomatoes, which can also improve vision.
10. Better Digestion:
Tomatoes are rich in fibers and hence they are good for digestion. They inhibit the absorption of toxic substances in the gut and improves any inconsistency in bowel movements.
Besides all these advantages, tomatoes are rich in minerals like chromium, zinc, etc. This power-packed fruit is easily available throughout the world in various forms and sizes, which can be consumed in a variety of ways such as raw, cooked, baked, ketchup, etc.
Also, tomatoes are an essential component of the diet because of its flavor. Tomatoes give another reason to eat salad and make it an essential part of our meals as it is healthy as well as makes you feel full soon.