Tomatoes are often treated as vegetable. But it is actually a type of berry. That’s why its called ‘Love Apples’. Today, this lovely fruit is fast becoming as Super food! Juicy and sweet, fresh ones are a delicious taste to salads. Delicious sauces for pasta dishes, stews and curries. Nutrients of tomatoes are very beneficial to your health in many ways. Raw or cooked, they are low in calories and rich in vitamins, minerals etc. Like potatoes, eggplants, this fruit belongs to nightshade family. Different kinds of tomatoes are packed with vital nutrients and antioxidants that help you combat several diseases and keeps your health in good shape.
Tomatoes contain carbohydrate with some dietary fiber. But they are best known for their vitamin and mineral contents. These include calcium, copper, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, folate, biotin, niacin, molybdenum, vitamins C, vitamin E, some B vitamins and vitamin K.
What health benefits are they give you?
Tomato contains a group of phyto-chemicals called carotenoids, lutein & beta-carotene (in the form of Vitamin A). These chemicals helps improve eye health, prevent night-blindness and may protect you against age-related macular degeneration.
Studies show that tomatoes contain a large amount of the antioxidant called lycopene. Lycopene is effective in lowering the risk of cancer, especially lung, breast, stomach and prostrate cancers. Lycopene is also found in pink grapefruits & watermelons, but it is mostly concentrated in tomato paste.
Research suggests that a single piece of it can provide about 40% of the daily vitamin C requirement. It also contains vitamin A, potassium, and iron that are essential for maintaining normal blood health. Vitamin K in tomatoes controls bleeding, blood clotting, and blood circulation.
Tomatoes can protect you from the risk of cardiovascular disease with presence of lycopene in it. Consumption of this miracle fruit on regular basis will help you decrease bad cholesterol (LDL) and triglyceride in the blood. It helps reduce the deposition of fats in the blood vessels. It also helps keeping your digestion system healthy as it prevents both, constipation and diarrhea. It also prevents jaundice and effectively removes toxins from your body.
It is estimated that a hundred grams of tomato food or nutritious tomatoes would provide you with approx 6% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of potassium for adults. Research shows that higher dietary potassium intake is associated with lower rates of stroke and lower rates of heart disease. The best way to get lycopene from tomatoes is through in their processed form i.e. sauce, paste, juice, and even catch-up. Research suggests that processing and cooking of tomatoes can increase their nutritional value. They can add antioxidant activity and lycopene compounds, but destroys vitamin C at the same time.
Many health professionals encourage you to eat nightshade vegetables like tomatoes. This is because of their high nutrient density and the best nutrients for tomatoes. And always remember, the redder the tomato you eat is, the more beta-carotene it contains.
What are the side effects?
There are many side effects for consuming tomatoes. These are 1. Acid Reflux/Heartburn, 2.Allergies and infections, 3.Kidney Problems, 4.Irritable Bowel Syndrome, 5.Diarrhea, 6.Excessive Sodium, 7.Lycopenodermia, 8.Urinary Problems.
Of course, fresh ones are still beneficial, and packed with wonderful nutrients. But just remember not to put them in the refrigerator. The refrigerator destroys not only the flavor, it also destroys the nutrients.So, go ahead, do something good for your health and have lots of these fruits for grabbing other health benefits as well.