You probably already know that tomatoes are a healthy choice. They’re known for being high in vitamin C and their juicy good flavor.
You find them in soups, and as a base for other recipes, because of their versatile nature. The subtle sweetness complemented with an acidic taste brings out a mix of flavors to any dish.
What you might not know is that there is more to them than just being a ketchup or a soup base. Tomatoes can do amazing things for your health.
5 Reasons to Eat More Tomatoes
1. Heart healthy
A study found that the lycopene in tomatoes lowers high blood pressure.
According to the study, getting at least 25 mg of lycopene every day can bring your bad cholesterol down by 10%. This effect is close to taking a low dose statin! Pretty impressive.
Just half a cup of tomato sauce contains 20 mg. of lycopene.
Another heart healthy benefit is that tomatoes are a good source of betaine. Betaine converts homocysteine to methionine in your body. Studies show that high homocysteine levels cause heart conditions.
A cup of tomato sauce delivers 2.4 mg of betaine.
So, it’s a good idea to eat tomato soup for dinner with plenty of other vegetables.
2. Fights cancer
Tomatoes are one of mother nature’s best cancer preventing foods.Tweet
The carotenoid pigment lycopene, in tomatoes, shows strong anticancer effects. It’s this pigment that gives the red color to tomatoes.
Studies show that lycopene prevents cancers of the lung, stomach and prostate.
Another key nutrient, alpha-tomatine, helps to lower the risk of prostate cancer. It caused the automatic death of prostate cancer cells and non-small cell lung cancer.
3. Powerful antioxidants
Tomatoes store a bundle of antioxidants within their fleshy internal segments. They pack both a water-soluble antioxidant vitamin C and a list of fat-soluble antioxidants.
This is a vital combination as this works to protect the water filled inside and fat soluble cell walls in a cell. Other antioxidant carotenoids in tomato are beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin.
They also contain flavonoid compounds, which includes a unique variety of phytonutrients. Naringenin, chalco-naringenin, kaempferol, rutin and quercetin are some of them.
4. Supports bone health
You might be surprised to learn that tomatoes support bone health.
In order for your body to absorb calcium, you need certain key nutrients in your food. Tomatoes are an excellent source of those nutrients like vitamin K, chromium, molybdenum, and zinc. They’re also a good source of other nutrients like copper and magnesium.
These micronutrients play a role in building strong bones. Another interesting link to bone health is the lycopene.
According to a study, lycopene had an impact on the bone health of post menopausal women. When dietary sources of lycopene were absent in their diets, bones showed unwanted changes. In four weeks, there was signs of oxidative stress and damage to bone tissue. This suggests a bone protective effect of lycopene.
5. Great for your skin
Tomato slices on your face and in your mouth can benefit your skin. These compounds help reduce the damage done by the UV rays.
The antioxidants beta-carotene and lycopene help destroy free radicals. Free radicals can cause loss of elasticity to the skin leading to wrinkles.
Tomatoes are 90% water and rich in vitamin C, two things needed for great skin care.
Choosing your tomatoes
- Go for organic, rich colored tomatoes. Choosing tomatoes of all colors gives you a variety of antioxidants
- Store at room temperature for best freshness
- When buying canned tomato products choose BPA-free cans
The most delicious ones come in early summer and ripen from July through September. Now you have even more reasons to be excited about tomato season!
Yours in health,
P.S. Please share this with your tomato loving friends and I love reading your comments below! Do you grow your own?