A tomato is a nutrient-packed superfood that renders benefit to the entire body. The nutrients derived from tomatoes are known to improve heart health and promote weight loss and healthy skin development.
In terms of popularity, only potatoes, onions, and lettuce rank higher than tomatoes as long as fresh-market vegetables are concerned. Let me outline the potent health benefits of eating tomatoes, types of tomatoes, nutrients contained in tomatoes, benefits of eating tomatoes in cooked and uncooked form, and the various parts of the body they impact positively.
Here are the health benefits of eating tomatoes:
Immense Source of Vitamins
Tomatoes are a great source of various vitamins such as A, C, and K. Studies have revealed that a single tomato can supply the body with over 30% of vitamin C. Tomatoes are also rich in vitamin A which beefs up immunity, vision, as well as skin health. Additionally, tomatoes also provide the body with vitamin, which is responsible for bolstering your bones. Other nutrients extracted from tomatoes include potassium, an essential nutrient for nourishing heart, enhancing muscle contractions, and sustenance of healthy blood pressure.
Fosters Heart Health
The tomato nutritional content such as vitamin C, fiber, and potassium all fosters heart health.
A rise in potassium intake, coupled with a drop in sodium intake, is the most effective dietary change a person can adopt to minimize the risk of contracting cardiovascular disease.
Tomatoes are also rich in folate. Folate plays a crucial when it comes to moderating homocysteine levels. Homocysteine is an amino acid that is formed after protein breakdown. It’s reported that homocysteine intensifies the prospect of contracting heart attack and stroke. Folate regulates homocysteine levels mitigating the risks for heart disease.
Increased potassium consumption is known to stem the risk of cardiovascular disease, muscle degeneration, production of kidney stones, and many more.
Aids in Diabetes Management
Since my family of prone to diabetes, I also found out that according to studies, tomatoes are a protective food for people living with type 2 diabetes. Based on the latest study’s findings, diabetic patients who opted for cooked tomatoes for 30 days experienced a significant decline in lipid peroxidation. In this chain reaction, free radicals target fat, resulting in damage that heightens the risk of heart disease. This is especially critical since diabetes intensifies the risk of stroke and heart attack.
Cancer is the rampant growth of bizarre cells that proliferate past their normal boundaries, often spreading the rest of the body parts. Studies have established that tomatoes and tomato products stem the risk of contracting stomach, lung, and prostate cancers. Though immense lycopene content is thought to be responsible for all this, top-notch research is yet to be carried out to ascertain its benefits. Studies have also found that high content of carotenoids found in tomatoes can mitigate the risk of contracting breast cancer.
Taking foods with a high water and fiber content like tomatoes can foster hydration and stimulate healthy bowel moments. Tomatoes are dubbed as a laxative fruit.
Fiber adds weight to poop and is beneficial when it comes to alleviating constipation. However, a lack of fiber in diet triggers constipation.
Improves Eye Health
Tomatoes are densely packed with lycopene, beta-carotene, and lutein. These are vigorous antioxidants that have demonstrated to safeguard eyes from light-induced damage, the emergence of cataracts, and macular degeneration, a disorder associated with age.
According to Age-Related Eye Disease Study, people who took tomatoes often both raw and cooked form had plenty of carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin in their bodies, which reduced the risk of neovascular AMD by over 30%.
Promotes Skin Health
According to a recent skin study, tomato paste coupled with olive oil is capable of protecting the skin against UV damage, while at the same time enhancing the secretion of pro-collagen. This molecule renders the skin its shape and keeps it stable and youthful. Lycopene contained in tomatoes is believed to be the driving factor. It’s is found in high concentrations when tomatoes are cooked. On the other hand, olive oil facilitates its absorption from the digestive system into the bloodstream.
Cooked or Uncooked?
Tomatoes are an excellent source of lycopene, a plant chemical, liable for the amazing red color of the tomatoes. They are also rich in lycopene, an effective antioxidant responsible for keeping cancer at bay. Researchers have found that the concentration of lycopene is higher when tomatoes as cooked as opposed to raw. In simple terms, eating tomatoes in cooked form has plenty of health benefits compared to natural form.
Fresh tomatoes contain 0.88-7.74 milligrams of lycopene per 100 grams, whereas cooked tomatoes contain 9.9-13.4 milligrams of lycopene per 100 grams of tomatoes.
Cooking tomatoes leads to a loss of water, which in turn boosts the lycopene concentration. Cooking tomatoes is the only way to reap optimal benefits. However, overcooking or processing can lead to a loss of lycopene.
Always cook tomatoes to reap the maximum benefits. Keep in mind to combine with foods that are densely packed with fat, such as avocado.