Tomatoes are actually a citrus fruit native to South America but have been in cultivation all over the world for hundreds of years. Recent studies have shown amazing health benefits of this versatile food.
Health Benefits of Tomatoes
1. Help lower cholesterol: Tomatoes provide a fair amount of dietary fibers that have been shown to help lower high cholesterol levels. Also, tomatoes are a good source of niacin (vitamin B3) which has been used for ages to lower cholesterol.
2. Put off cancers: A number of studies in recent years point to a significant fact that the more tomatoes a person eats the lesser the risk of developing certain cancers, especially lung, colon, breast and prostate cancers. Lycopene, the substance that gives tomatoes their deep red color is believed to be responsible for their cancer fighting properties! Cooked tomatoes have a higher absorbable content of lycopene and this can be enhanced by the consumption of fats. Quite the unwanted combination!
3. Reduces risk of heart diseases and lowers blood pressure: Potassium rich diets directly lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart diseases. Folates and vitamin B6 found in tomatoes help convert the harmful homocysteine chemical into other non-harmful molecules. High levels of homocysteine damages blood vessels and can be a cause for heart diseases and strokes.
4. Antioxidant properties: Experts all agree on the antioxidant nature of lycopene, which plays a major role in neutralizing dangerous free radicals in the body. High intakes of lycopene have been shown to reduce the severity of atherosclerosis, diabetic problems and asthma among others.
5. Boosts immunity: Lycopene and beta carotenes present coupled with plush amounts of vitamins help build up the body’s immune system. In males, tomatoes greatly reduce the effect of colds and flus.
6. Protect against thrombosis: Tomatoes low in sodium content help reduce platelet aggregation significantly according to a study, thus reducing chances of thrombosis.
7. Anti-inflammatory properties: A glass of tomato juice a day reduces levels of TNF-alpha, a cytokine involved in systemic inflammation and the promotion of atherosclerosis, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis and Alzheimer’s disease.
8. Help maintain an alkaline balance: Tomatoes contain good amounts of calcium, potassium, magnesium and sodium thus helps the body maintain an alkaline balance naturally!
9. Reduces migraines: Riboflavins found in tomatoes have been shown to reduce the frequency of migraine attacks.
10. Promote bone health: About 18% of the daily recommended intake of vitamin K is provided from a serving of tomato. Vitamin K helps osteocalcin perform its function more effectively, thus hardening calcium and making bones stronger.
11. Acts as a natural sunscreen: The lycopene in tomatoes provide protection from UV rays and studies have shown that people consuming tomatoes regularly absorb 40% lesser UV rays than is normal.
12. Promotes healthy eye sight: Vitamin A found in tomatoes help maintain retina health.
Nutritional Values of Tomatoes
Serving size- 100 grams
|Calories per serving 18
Calories from fat 2
% Daily Value*
|Total Fat 0 g 0%|
|Saturated Fat 0 g 0%|
|Cholesterol 0 mg 0%|
|Sodium 5 mg 0%|
|Total Carbohydrate 4 g 1%|
|Dietary Fiber 1 g 5%|
|Sugars 3 g|
|Protein 1 g|
Vitamin A 17%
Vitamin C 21%
*% Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Nutrition Values are based on USDA Nutrient Database SR18
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