Food & Diet

Why Is The Humble Tomato So Good For Your Health?

Tomatoes are an integral part of nearly all Indian dishes. They not only taste great, but they're also good for your health too!

Tomatoes
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Tomatoes are technically fruit because they fit the botanical definition: they are the fleshy parts of a plant that surround the seeds. As far as nutritional and culinary purposes are concerned, tomatoes are classified as vegetables because of their flavour, use in meals, and nutrient content (USDA, 2019).

Often overlooked as something your mom adds to our everyday meals, let's introduce you to tomato's health benefits.

 Benefits

The use of tomatoes in various forms, including fresh, cooked, and juice, has been shown to protect against chronic diseases and promote physical activity.

1. Helps prevent metabolic syndrome:

Metabolic syndrome is a collection of conditions that raise the risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and other serious health issues. It entails having three or more of the following criteria: (NIH, 2022)

  • A wide waistline

  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)

  • High blood sugar levels

  • High levels of fats in the blood

  • The level of 'good' HDL cholesterol is low.

2. Tomatoes can aid in the prevention of cancer: Having A cup of hot tomato soup every day can help prevent cancer. Tomatoes and tomato products have been shown in studies to reduce the risk of prostate, lung, and stomach cancer. In fact, it was highlighted in a study by Harvard Medical School that tomato-based products can lower cancer risk.

3. Tomatoes can help keep diabetes away: Tomatoes contain chromium, a mineral that helps to keep blood sugar levels in check. It also contains lycopene, beta-carotene, potassium, vitamin C, flavonoids, folate, and vitamin E, all of which help prevent the development of type 2 diabetes. So it's a good idea to include it in your daily meals if you have diabetes or a family history of it.

4. It can prevent constipation: Tomatoes are loaded with fibre which helps prevents constipation and improve the digestive system. When you've had a meal that's been too spicy or a bit too much, eat a small ripe tomato at the end!

5. Skin also benefits from tomatoes: Because tomatoes contain lycopene, they are extremely beneficial when applied to the skin to prevent sunburn. It's also great for getting rid of oily skin and fighting signs of ageing.

6. Tomatoes are good for your eyes: According to experts, tomatoes are high in lutein and beta-carotene, which supports vision and protect against cataracts and macular degeneration.

7. Tomatoes have anti-oxidants: Tomatoes are high in vitamin A and vitamin C, which help the body rid itself of harmful free radicals in the blood.

8.  It is good for your heart health: Tomatoes may not be able to mend a broken heart, but the vitamins A, B, and potassium in them can help lower cholesterol and prevent heart disease.

9. Boosts your immunity: Fresh tomato juice, which is high in vitamin C, is an excellent way to boost your immunity. It also contains vitamin C, which helps your body stay energised and healthy by controlling the release of stress hormones.

10. Good for your bones: Did you know tomatoes are high in vitamin K and calcium? The United States Department of Agriculture reports that 100 grammes of tomatoes contain 110 mg of calcium. This means that as long as you eat tomatoes, your bones will remain strong.

The bottom line

There are several research-backed benefits associated with tomatoes, including brain, heart, and gut health protection. In addition to being juicy and sweet, the vegetable, also considered a fruit, contains good amounts of vitamin C, potassium, and antioxidants, and it may even aid in the fight against a variety of diseases.

Don't peel the tomato, regardless of whether you are cooking or eating it raw. Most of the tomato's health benefits come from the skin. Don't forget that cherry tomatoes are delicious as well, so add them to your healthy diet every day too!

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