Fun fact: The largest worldwide producer of tomatoes is China, followed by USA, Turkey, India and Egypt
Tomatoes are the small, round and pulpy fruits that come all year round. Eaten primarily as a vegetable more than a fruit, tomatoes is a wealth of several vitamins and minerals that are absolutely good for the body. Tomatoes are available in different colors according to its cultivar type such as yellow, green, and orange. But the most common cultivar type comes in red.
Fresh tomatoes are widely used in various dishes not only for its taste, but also because of its contribution to the human body.
When we say tomatoes, we think of lycopene. This is because tomatoes contain an incredible amount of flavonoid antioxidant called lycopene, which protects the body from harmful free radicals. Free radicals destroy the body’s cells resulting to certain chronic diseases. Aside from that, the 2573 µg of lycopene in every 100 grams of tomatoes prevents the ultraviolet rays from damaging the skin.
Tomatoes are also rich in other phytonutrients, other than lycopene, that include 123 µg of lutein-zeaxanthin, 101 µg of alpha-carotene, and 449 µg of beta-carotene. As a group, they maintain healthy vision, skin, and even bones. Beta-carotene particularly is helpful for normal growth and development and to improve one’s immune system.
Every 100 grams of tomatoes contain 28% of the daily-recommended allowance of vitamin A. This fat-soluble vitamin is essential for healthy eyesight, growth, and reproduction. It is also a good source of vitamin C with 21.5% DRA per 100g. Vitamin C is crucial to obtain body resistance against infectious diseases. Vitamins E, K, and B complex are also found in tomatoes.
Tomato holds a significant amount of potassium with 5% DRA per 100g. Potassium functions to regulate blood pressure and to maintain acid-base balance. It also plays an important role in carbohydrate metabolism and muscle contraction. It also assists in the circulation of blood from the heart to the body.
Tomatoes are beneficial to supply or replenish necessary minerals in the body including manganese, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus. Manganese (6.5% DRA per 100g) works to metabolize carbohydrates, fats, and protein as well as in the development of the skeletal system. The benefits one can get from iron (4% DRA) primarily rests on its function in the blood cells as it produces hemoglobin and myoglobin. Magnesium (3% DRA), usually found in bones, aids in the metabolism of cholesterol in the body as well as the conversion of sugar into energy. Phosphorus (3% DRA) serves as a component of DNA. It controls the entry and exit of of nutrients and waste to and from the cells.
The Amazing Health Benefits of Tomatoes
Elevates Bone Health
Tomatoes are considerably high source of Vitamin K and calcium that are known to support overall health of the bones. These minerals are very important to keep your bones strong and healthy. Intake of foods rich in Vitamin K and calcium assures that you are less exposed to fracture and bone disorders like osteoporosis. They are essential in the bone tissue development and repair to keep your bones strong and flexible. Eating tomatoes is of great help especially to those who always engage themselves in extreme physical activities. Part of ageing is the deterioration of the bones so if you want to keep them in good condition, always consume foods rich in calcium and Vitamin K. They will help preserve your bones even as you grow old.
Negate Effects of Smoking
Cigarette smoking is addicting. Some smokers attest that despite how they badly want to stop smoking, it is not that easy. We all know that smoking is bad for the health. It damages the body in many aspects. Primarily, smoking inhibits the production of carcinogens that cause the bad health effects. Fortunately, tomato has the ability to reduce the damage caused by cigarette smoking in the body. This fruit has chlorogenic acid and coumaric acid that negate the presence of carcinogens in the body due to smoking.
Promotes Cardiovascular Health
Tomatoes are very popular because of its power to maintain desirable heart health. Reducing risks of heart ailments is really the forte of this fruit. Tomatoes contain very strong and effective antioxidants that are very needed by the cardiovascular system. They have carotenoid lycopene that avoids lipid peroxidation. Lipid peroxidation is the process where oxygen damages the cell membrane fats in the bloodstream. If lipid peroxidation is not managed it can cause atherosclerosis or easily understood as the blood vessel blocking. Blood vessel blocking can lead to blood clots or worst stroke or heart attack. On top of that, this fruit also helps in normalizing fats located in the blood. It decreases LDL cholesterol in the body that leads to a reduced fat storage.
Keeps your Skin Healthy
Because of its abundance in lycopene, regular consumption of tomatoes positively affects the condition of the skin. In fact, this is a primary ingredient for skin care products. It is also good to place tomatoes directly to your skin especially on your face. Tomato is also high in Vitamin C that stimulates collagen production. If your body has an ample amount of collagen, this will result to a glowing and nourished skin. Your skin will stay firm through the years. This will reduce possibilities of wrinkles and other age-related skin issues. Vitamin C is an effective antioxidant that protects your skin from the harmful effects of sun, smoke, and pollution.
Reduces Risks of Different Types of Cancer
Because of the high levels of antioxidants contained in Tomatoes, it is proven to reduce chances of different types of cancer such as prostate cancer, colorectal cancer, lung cancer, stomach cancer, cervical cancer and many more. Risk of cancer is alleviated by stress in chronic oxidation and inflammation. With the high antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of tomatoes, eating them supports in stopping risks of cancer. Among all types of cancer, this fruit is known to greatly prevent prostate cancer because of its alpha-tomatine .
Thwarts Off Urinary Tract Infection
Tomatoes contain mostly water thus avoiding urinary tract infection. Fruits that are mostly water are diuretic that stimulated urination. Urination helps in removing toxins from the body. Urination is also known to remove uric acid, fats, and salt that is not needed by the body.
Discourages Development of Gallstone
Properties of tomatoes are proven to relief diseases and abnormalities in the gall bladder. This is because of its high water content and its powerful antioxidants. Accumulation of free radicals and mass tissues in your system especially in the gall bladder is avoided.
Improves Digestive Process
This fruit is also rich in fiber that optimizes the entire digestive process. Eating tomatoes will lessen experiencing constipation and diarrhea. It promotes proper breakdown of food and body’s nutrient absorption ability. It also helps in regulating bowel movement through bulking up your stool. It is important to eat foods that are great sources of fiber to regulate peristaltic movement in the sensitive parts of the digestive muscles. This can lead to an overall healthy digestive system
Healthy for Pregnant Women
When pregnant, intake of food with high Folate content is important. Tomatoes are also good sources of Folate. Folic acid is essential to protect the child you bear from neural defects. If you want to give birth to a healthy child, make sure to associate tomatoes in your diet.