9 Surprising Health Benefits of Tomatoes
They’re sweet, juicy, delicious – and they pack a powerful nutritional punch. Here, nine surprising benefits of the simple tomato.
One serving of red, ripe, raw tomatoes (one cup or 150 grams) is a good source of Vitamins A, C, K, folate and potassium. Tomatoes are naturally low in sodium, saturated fat, cholesterol, and calories. Tomatoes also provide thiamin, niacin, vitamin B6, magnesium, phosphorus and copper, all of which are necessary for good health.
On top of that, one serving of tomatoes gives you 2 grams of fiber, which is 7 per cent of the daily recommended amount. Tomatoes also have a relatively high water content, which makes them a filling food. In general eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, including tomatoes, confers protection against high blood pressure, high cholesterol, strokes, and heart disease.
One tomato packs one powerful punch of nutrition, but there’s much more!
Tomatoes make your skin look great. Beta-carotene, also found in carrots and sweet potatoes, helps protect skin against sun damage. Tomatoes’ lycopene also makes skin less sensitive to UV light damage, a leading cause of fine lines and wrinkles.
Tomatoes build strong bones.The vitamin K and calcium in tomatoes are both very good for strengthening and repairing bones.
Tomatoes can improve your vision. The vitamin A that tomatoes provide can improve vision and help prevent night blindness. Recent research shows that consuming tomatoes may help reduce the risk of macular degeneration, a serious and irreversible eye condition.
Tomatoes will even make your hair look better.The vitamin A found in tomatoes works to make hair strong and shiny. (Sorry, tomatoes cannot help much with thinning hair — but they will make the hair you have look better!)
Prevent kidney stones and gallstones
Tomatoes can help prevent kidney stones and gallstones. Some studies suggest that kidney and gall stones are less likely to form in people who eat tomatoes without the seeds.
Reduce chronic pain
Tomatoes can reduce chronic pain. If you are one of the millions of people who deal with mild to moderate chronic pain (such as from arthritis or back pain), tomatoes may be a pain-buster. Tomatoes are high in bioflavonoids and carotenoids, which are known anti-inflammatory agents.
Easy Ways to Eat More Tomatoes
· Add sliced tomatoes to sandwiches — from tuna to turkey
· Chop tomatoes in salad (leave them at room temperature, if possible)
· Use marinara or tomato sauces (canned, cooked, or homemade) on pasta; this can be big calorie savings when you swap out creamy sauces for tomato-based sauces
· Drink tomato juice or vegetable juice with tomatoes
· Tomatoes for breakfast? Top scrambled eggs with coarsely chopped tomatoes or add them to a breakfast taco
· Eat tomatoes as a mid-afternoon snack (my father used to eat them like an apple — but you can use a knife and fork)
· Make a tomato sandwich — this is a sandwich that stars the tomato. The classic dressing for this sandwich is mayonnaise, but I know some people who like tomatoes and mustard