Everyone loves tomatoes!
Whether they are to be considered as fruits or vegetables is beside the point; after all, nobody seems to really care about their classification. The fact of the matter is that everyone loves ripe and juicy pieces of red tomatoes in their salads, stews, and even in their meat recipes.
Such is the love for tomatoes that it’s hard to imagine a world without them.
But do you also know that tomatoes carry plenty of health benefits that will make eating them well worth it? In some circles, tomatoes are even dubbed as the “wonder fruit” because they have plenty to offer to your palate and to your health.
Here are 10 health benefits that will leave you craving for tomatoes in your next meal.
1. Tomatoes help lower your risk towards many forms of cancer.
Tomatoes are rich in a variety of antioxidants but are particularly blessed with a lot lycopene. The red color of most tomato varieties is proof of this.
Medical research has shown that eating a diet rich in lycopene helps ward off cancers of the prostate, breast, stomach and those related to age-induced macular degeneration. It can also boost resistance against skin cancers because it fights off the effects of harmful UV rays.
Lycopene works because it is an aggressive free radical hunter. It seeks out damage-causing free radicals and neutralizes their effects before they damage the cells. When the action of these free radicals is inhibited, the risk for cellular mutations leading to cancer is dramatically reduced.
2. Tomatoes help fight off heart disease.
Lycopene also carries positive benefits for heart health. Lycopene helps lower the likelihood that lipids and cholesterol are deposited in the blood vessels around the heart. Keeping these blood pathways clean is a great way of protecting the well-being of your heart.
Studies show that women who are 7 to 10 servings of tomatoes per week have a 29% lower likelihood of developing heart ailments. This is crucial especially for people in their late 40s when the symptoms of heart ailments begin to manifest more regularly due to poor diet and lifestyle choices.
3. Tomatoes promote a healthy and rosy skin.
People nowadays go to great lengths to get the best skin care products they can lay their hands on. The skin-care cosmetics industry is big business around the world with multinational corporations jockeying for position in an ultra-competitive consumer market.
With a diet rich in tomatoes, you can get those same skin-care benefits without spending big amounts of money to buy the latest creams and lotions. Tomatoes are rich in beta carotene which works in tandem with lycopene to preserve the volume and health of skin cells making it more resistant to UV rays.
Tomatoes are also rich in water which makes them ideal fruits for continued hydration. Dry, patchy skin is often caused by lack of water in the body and regularly eating tomatoes will help reverse this trend leading to healthy, rosy skin.
4. Tomatoes boost immunity.
Tomatoes are rich in Vitamin C, providing as much as 40% of one’s daily dietary requirement in one serving. Vitamin C is a common antioxidant which the body uses to boost immunity to common diseases.
If you want to improve your resistance to diseases especially in the moments when you are stressed, tired and most vulnerable to an infection, increase your intake of tomatoes to give your body a fighting chance against colds, cough, flu and many other health threats.
5. Tomatoes improve gut health.
Your digestive tract is a very important system because it is the ultimate source of nutrients that nourishes all the other organ-systems. The main problem with your digestive tract is that it is very susceptible to attack coming from foreign contaminants, pollutants, and toxins from the food you eat.
Tomatoes boost gut health by preventing diarrhea and constipation. If your digestive system functions efficiently, it is able to convey all the pollutants and toxins out minimize the likelihood that these toxins affect your body for extended periods.
6. Tomatoes improve vision and reduce the risk for vision impairment illnesses.
Tomatoes are also rich in Vitamin A which is derived mainly from beta carotene. Vitamin A is crucial for vision health as it plays an active role in the repair and recovery of many of the sensitive parts of the eye.
Studies show that regular consumption of food rich in Vitamin A such as tomatoes lowers the risk for night-blindness, macular degeneration, and aids in improving vision performance.
7. Tomatoes lower the risk for Type II diabetes.
A study by the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that a diet which regular contains servings of tomatoes reduces the oxidative stresses indicative of Type II diabetes.
Type II diabetes is often caused by poor lifestyle choices particularly in dieting which leads to a phenomenon known as insulin resistance. When this happens, the body is no longer able to metabolize the sugars in the blood so the body is less able to benefit from the effect of insulin.
The natural sugars in tomatoes breakdown slower than the simple sugars present in many sweets that exacerbate the risk for Type II diabetes. These types of sugars are more attuned to the slow action of insulin in metabolizing excess sugars. Thus, regularly eating tomatoes trains the body how to properly metabolize fruit-based sugars and negates the effect of insulin resistance.
8. Tomatoes have anti-inflammatory effects.
Tomatoes aren’t the most impressive fruits in this department but their anti-inflammatory benefits remain superior so as to merit a quick discussion.
Studies conducted by many leading health institutions show that tomato juice reduces blood levels of certain compounds that promote inflammation. These compounds typically manifest in diseases like cancer, heart ailments, Alzheimer’s and also in various forms in arthritis. The anti-inflammatory benefits of tomatoes can help alleviate the pain from inflammatory diseases via natural means.
9. Tomatoes boost bone health.
Recent studies in the positive effects of antioxidants yielded significant advancements in the way we view the relationship between antioxidants and bone health. Specifically, the antioxidants in tomatoes are shown to employ the same oxidative stress-reducing traits that are at work in lowering the risk for Type II diabetes in calcium metabolism and bone health.
Regularly eating tomatoes may help negate the risk for osteoporosis and other bone-related diseases especially in post-menopausal women where calcium absorption is impaired due hormonal changes.
10. Tomatoes lower your risk for kidney stones and gallstones.
The effect of tomatoes in improving calcium absorption also leads to an unintended benefit in that it lowers the risk for kidney stones and gallstones.
Most gallstones and kidney stones in patients are composed of calcium crystals which fuse together when the body is not able to absorb those calcium crystals. Increased absorption of these minerals, conversely, reduces the availability of crystallized calcium thereby lowering the risk for kidney stones and gallstones.
Are you a big fan of eating tomatoes? How will your tomato-eating habits change in lieu of these tomato health benefits?