Native to South America, tomatoes are one of the most nutritious vegetables that belong to the nightshade family. Even though technically, tomato belongs to a fruit family, it is widely known as a vegetable. This round reddish vegetable is common across all cuisines, and there will hardly be any kitchen devoid of this vegetable. You will be surprised to know that this commonly found vegetable in your kitchen pantry is packed with a plethora of nutrients. Such is the versatility of tomatoes that you can add to your salads, pasta, curries, and pastes. Tomatoes not only add mouth-watering flavors to our meals but also have several health benefits.
The health benefits of tomatoes are not one, but many because of the huge amount of nutrients it contains. The health benefits of tomatoes are primarily because of the presence of lycopene in tomatoes. The health benefits of tomatoes range from preventing tomatoes to protecting the cells from damage. Your eagerness to learn the health benefits of tomatoes must definitely have risen, and therefore, to ease your curiosity this article briefly talks about the several miraculous health benefits of tomatoes:
One of the topmost and essential health benefits of tomatoes is cancer prevention. The major cause behind the growth of cancer cells is free radicals that trigger the oxidative process. Tomatoes are rich in antioxidants that prevent the development of free radicals and minimize the effect of oxidative stress. Moreover, the health benefits of tomatoes in preventing cancer are also due to the presence of plant constituents, lycopene, and polyphenol. These active ingredients in tomatoes help in the prevention of prostate cancer and colorectal cancer.
Also Read: Top 7 Cancer Causing Foods to Avoid
Inadequate fiber and fluids often result in constipation. The health benefits of tomatoes also lie in the prevention of constipation. Tomatoes are high in fluid and fiber content. One whole medium-size tomato contains one and a half grams of fiber and more than four ounces of fluid. The dietary fibers and high water content in tomatoes ensure healthy bowel movement. Tomatoes are an excellent source of insoluble and soluble dietary fibers. While soluble fiber forms a gel-like texture during digestion, insoluble fibers add a bulk element to stool. This forms wastes in the intestines that are easier to pass. Moreover, pectin fibers, cellulose, and hemicellulose present in tomatoes aid the digestion process, forming healthy stool and relieving constipation, thus accounting for the excellent health benefits of tomatoes.
Regulates Blood Pressure
The incredible health benefits of tomatoes include regulating blood pressure. Tomatoes are rich in a mineral content known as potassium that helps reduce blood pressure levels. This happens because potassium minimizes the effect of sodium in the body. In simple terms, the more potassium you consume, the more sodium you will lose through urination, thus maintaining a low sodium level in the body. Moreover, potassium also helps ease tension in the blood vessel walls, further reducing blood pressure. Lycopene in tomatoes improves the functioning of the blood vessels, lowering blood pressure.
Also Read: Importance of Potassium
Supports Healthy Vision
Tomatoes are an excellent source of vitamin A, a crucial eye nutrient. The retinas require vitamin A for their functioning, and its deficiency can result in several eye problems, even blindness, in extreme cases of deficiency. One of the excellent health benefits of tomatoes is their ability to improve vision. Lycopene present in abundance in tomatoes minimizes free radical damage of the eyes and lowers the risk of age-related tissue degradation. Tomatoes also contain copper and vitamin C that, accelerates the production of melanin in the eyes and fight age-related cataract issues. Tomato contains a certain type of phytochemical known as lutein that helps improve vision. In other words, the nutritional value of tomatoes is quite high, which supports and improves healthy vision.
Enhances Digestive Health
The miraculous health benefits of tomatoes are attributed to the high chloride content of tomatoes. Chloride is an essential component that regulates digestive juices, improving digestion. The high fiber and lycopene in tomatoes improve gut health, further improving digestion.
Tomatoes contain a high amount of beta carotene, which, when ingested, converts into Vitamin A, which is essential for strengthening bones. Moreover, vitamin C in tomatoes is a crucial element for the formation of connective tissues that results in bone formation. The vitamins in tomatoes promote collagen production that boosts bone formation and health.
Tomatoes contain three main antioxidants: phytoene, zeta-carotene, and phytofluene. These three antioxidants together fight inflammation and other associated ailments such as arthritis and cancer. Lycopene found in tomatoes also acts as an anti-inflammatory agent, thus accounting for the health benefits of tomatoes.
Improves Immunity System
A tomato-rich diet can potentially increase the white blood cells, effectively fighting infection and lessening the damage caused by free radicals.
Enhances Brain Power
The human brain is vulnerable to damage caused by the free radical cells. Beta-carotene, antioxidants, and lycopene in tomatoes combat these free radicals. Moreover, it also prevents severe ailments such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. To reap the maximum health benefits of tomatoes to enhance brain functioning, it is always advisable to consume them raw.
Helps Manage Diabetes
Tomatoes are rich in Vitamin E and C, which helps reduce the symptoms of diabetes. They possess a low glycemic index, which acts as a great benefit for diabetic patients.
Tomatoes are considered one of the most popular vegetables in the market, holding an important and permanent place in our kitchen pantry. Attributing to its highly versatile nature and nutritional value, tomatoes have a huge demand worldwide. This vegetable forms a major part of our primary diet, boosting health in various fascinating ways. The health benefits of tomatoes are multi-dimensional because of the huge plethora of nutrients and minerals it contains. They have anti-carcinogenic properties, rich in antioxidants, Vitamins A, K, and C, folate, and potassium. The several health benefits of tomatoes include the prevention of cancer, and type 2 diabetes, reduction in inflammation, strengthening bones, regulation of blood pressure, and many more. To obtain the maximum health benefits of tomatoes, they can be consumed in raw and cooked form.