It’s everyone’s favorite (cooked if nothing else) and everyone knows how healthy it is, but do you know why? Here are some reasons why eating tomatoes often is a good choice.
Raw, red and ripe tomatoes are an excellent source of vitamins C and K, potassium and folic acid, but are low in sodium. It also contains thiamine, niacin, vitamin B6, magnesium, phosphorus and copper, all of which are necessary for good health.
One serving of tomatoes (about 150 grams) contains about 2 grams of fiber, which is 7% of the recommended daily allowance. Due to its high water content, eating plenty of tomatoes helps the body to avoid high blood pressure, protects against high cholesterol, and prevents strokes and heart disease. Tomatoes are also part of the Blue Zone Diet.
Good for the skin
Tomatoes are also good for your skin because the beta-carotene they contain helps protect it from the sun’s harmful rays. That’s why it’s good to eat lots of tomatoes (and carrots and sweet potatoes) in the summer. Lycopene, which is the coloring agent in tomatoes, is a powerful antioxidant and its concentration in tomatoes is very high (3.9-5.6 mg/100 g), which makes the skin more resistant to harmful UV rays.
Strengthens the bones
Lycopene has even been shown to improve bone mass, helping to fight the common disease of today, osteoporosis. Likewise, the vitamin K and calcium in tomatoes strengthen bones.
Protects against cancer
Numerous studies have shown that tomatoes are high in antioxidants, which reduce the risk of several types of cancer, including prostate, colon, rectal and stomach cancer. Again, lycopene is responsible for this, by effectively slowing down the growth of cancer cells. The lycopene content of tomatoes is increased by cooking, something to watch out for if you’re eating them just for this carotenoid.
Helps repair the damage caused by smoking
Quitting will not help, but tomatoes can reduce the damage to the body caused by smoking. This is because of its coumaric and chlorogenic acid content, which help protect the body against the carcinogenic effects of cigarette smoke.
Beautifies the hair
Because of its vitamin A content, tomatoes keep hair shiny and healthy. Vitamin A is also good for the eyes, skin, bones and teeth.
Protecting the kidney
Several studies show that eating tomatoes without seeds reduces the risk of developing kidney stones.
Because of its chromium content, it helps to keep blood sugar levels in check, which makes it very useful for people with diabetes. However, it is important to know that some of the effects of tomatoes are best when eaten raw, while others are best when cooked.
So those who consume it for its vitamin C benefits should know that vitamin C is degraded by heat. However, if it’s the lycopene effects that are important to you, it’s useful to eat it cooked, as this will increase the lycopene content of the tomato.