Tomatoes are considered both as fruits and vegetables. And we all know that eating fresh vegetables and fruits can be highly beneficial for your overall health and well being. Tomatoes are exceptionally good because it can easily transform the taste of many dishes, and there are many health benefits of eating tomatoes every day. Tomatoes are rich source of nutrients and vitamin, including Vitamin A, Vitamin C and folic acid. And today in this post, we are going to discuss about various health benefits of eating tomatoes and everything else worth knowing about eating tomatoes.
Tomatoes are easily available throughout the year and can be consumed in various ways. You can make tomato puree, use in sauce, slice and add it in salad or simply make tomato juice. But, the best way to enjoy the nutritional benefits of tomato is to have it raw. Nothing can surpass the positive effects for having raw whole tomatoes.
Various health benefits of eating tomatoes
If you love tomato only in the form of tomato sauce, then it is high time that you need to change your view. Tomatoes contain antioxidants, polyphenols, lycopene, vitamins, calcium, minerals and also water. The anti-oxidizing and anti-inflammatory properties make tomatoes a super food.
Control blood pressure
National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey was conducted in USA, which showed that blood pressure can be controlled by potassium. Tomatoes are densely rich in tomatoes; hence eating tomatoes can help you to prevent high blood pressure.
The high blood pressure is caused when heart has to beat faster and pump the blood harder to let it pass through the arteries and blood vessels.
Good for heart
Tomatoes can cure high blood pressure, as mentioned in the previous point, and if the blood pressure is normal then you can avoid many cardiovascular diseases from occurring. Tomatoes can help in reducing cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and thus keep your heart healthy.
Cholesterol can lead to several heart related fatal illness like stroke, heart attack, heart blockage etc. If you are having tomatoes on a daily basis, then you can avert the cardiovascular complications.
Make bones stronger
Tomatoes are rich in calcium, potassium and vitamins, the most important compounds needed for maintaining the bone strength. The compounds can prevent the bones from getting damaged with age. The calcium and potassium and other compounds will make the bones tighter and thus prevent damage.
When you are having tomatoes, the compounds are absorbed by the blood, and this is how the bones can be saved from getting weak and breaking. Not just bones, but your teeth become stronger too. The teeth enamel can be strengthened by daily intake of tomatoes.
Tomatoes help cure constipation and indigestion
Tomatoes can promote healthy digestion by curing constipation and diarrhea. Tomatoes are rich in fiber and can contribute in the production of bulk stool. If you are suffering from constipation, then tomatoes can help in a great way.
The lycopene present in the tomatoes also help in producing digestive and gastric juices to promote better digestion of the food. The tomatoes smoothens the colon passage and also the large intestine for easy bowel movements.
Type 2 diabetes is a disease when the insulin level is low in comparison to the glucose level in the blood. Tomatoes contain flavonoids and polyphenols which help the pancreas to create more and more insulin. Insulin will lower down the sugar level in the blood, thus eating tomatoes help check type 2 diabetes. The regular consumption of tomatoes can reduce oxidative stress in the body and fight against diabetes.
Good for eye health
Tomatoes are richest in Vitamin A, which make it best for improving eye health. Vitamin A is the component which improves the eye health. Tomatoes can help you prevent diseases like poor vision, macular degeneration, glaucoma, cataracts etc.
Lots of free radicals can damage the body and also the retina. Tomatoes are rich in anti-oxidants that can remove the free radicals, and thus improve the eye health.
Prevents urinary tract infections
Tomatoes are rich in lycopene which can prevent the urinary tract infections; it can flush the toxins from the body. Tomatoes are rich in water, which acts as a detoxifying agent to the body. Daily consumption of tomatoes can help you to prevent bladder cancer and urine infection.
Tomato benefits for skin
Due to the scorching heat of the sun, my skin was affected very badly resulting in dark tan, blemishes and pigmentation. One of my friends recommended the application of tomato on skin. I followed her suggestion, and applied thick layers of tomato juice on the skin for a month regularly.
I could see that the dark spots and tan were gradually lightened, and with each passing day my skin started glowing. So tomatoes are not just good for health, but skin too.
The tomatoes act as a natural bleaching agent which can remove the tan from the skin. Take a slice of tomato, and rub it on your skin. You can sprinkle some sugar on the tomato and then rub it. The sugar acts as a natural scrub, which can remove all the impurities from the skin.
Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, which increases the elasticity of the skin by increasing the collagen level of the skin. Your skin will be glowing and will also look younger. Tomatoes can remove the ageing signs from the skin, and you can prevent the wrinkles from occurring.
Tomatoes may help fight cancer
The lycopene and the antioxidants prevent the free radicals to cause any damage to the body. The anti-oxidizing nature of tomato plays the major role in preventing and fighting cancer. A study was conducted by Harvard School of Public Health’s Department of Nutrition, which showed that tomatoes can prevent and fight cancer.
The lycopene present in the tomatoes can prevent the cell mutation, thus preventing the spreading of the cancer in the body. Researchers have found out that tomatoes play a special role in fighting prostate cancer due to the presence of the compound lycopene.
Nutrition in tomatoes
Tomatoes are much more than just tomato sauce. You can have it daily and it is better to have it raw.
According to USDA, 100 grams of raw tomato will have:
Sodium: 5 mg
Potassium: 237 mg
Carbohydrates: 3.9 grams
Fiber: 1.2 gram
Sugar: 2.6 grams
Protein: 0.9 gram
Vitamin A: 16%
Vitamin C: 22%
Calories: 18 kcal.
Best ways to eat tomatoes for maximum benefits
It is said that eating edible fruits and vegetables in its raw farm is probably the best way to eat them. The fruits and vegetables can retain their nutrients when they are eaten raw, rather than deep cooked or fried.
Raw tomatoes can be added in salad, or you can make tomato juice or use the sliced tomatoes to garnish your dishes. Tomato puree can also be used in curries and other dishes. Avoid having packaged tomato sauce, especially when you have the option to use the fresh tomatoes.
You can keep the tomatoes in cool and dry place. If you have to refrigerate it then use Ziploc.
Over to you
Tomato is a fruit as well as a vegetable, and consuming it on a regular basis will give you many health benefits, including
- Heart problems
- Skin darkening and blemishes
Eating tomatoes regularly can help you to prevent several health related issues, including weaker bones, poor vision, skin related issues, type 2 diabetes, blood pressure and bad cholesterol. Tomatoes should must be in your daily fruit and vegetable intake.
Do you eat tomatoes, share your experience of having tomatoes and benefits you think you get.
Eliana the chief editor at bodyandbeans is a professional yoga instructor and a fitness freak. She has done her master’s in history from Kolkata University. She is passionate about healthy eating and living practices.