Tomatoes are actually considered as both fruits and vegetables, which grow in all parts of the world, especially in the Mediterranean regions. Botanical researchers say that tomatoes were originally a traditional Mexican plant, which spread to the European regions soon after Spanish colonisation. Tomatoes are a flexible food product that can be used in vegetable or fruit salads, curries, noodles, soups, and many other recipes. These tiny red “bombs” are extremely healthy because they contain lots of fibre, antioxidants, vitamins A, B6, C, and K, and minerals like folate, thiamine, magnesium, manganese, potassium, copper, and lycopene.
Some of the central nutritional values of tomatoes are discussed below:
Aids digestion: Tomatoes contain a good amount of vitamin B complexes, vitamin C, several minerals like folate, magnesium, potassium, and lycopene, and fibre. All of these ingredients are excellent for boosting the process of digestion. Fibre, vitamin B6, and vitamin C, in particular, are helpful in breaking down the complex food into a simple form so that it passes through the digestive tract easily. As a result, this helps maintain a good level of metabolism.
Prevents constipation: As tomatoes are excellent for digestion, they also act as a central food that helps prevent constipation. Due to the high concentration of fibre, folate, magnesium, potassium, lycopene, and vitamins B6 and C in this fruit cum vegetable, tomatoes help in a smooth bowel movement on a regular basis. A toxin-free bowel leads to an overall improved metabolism, BMI, and immunity! Try to include tomatoes in your regular curries and eat them raw as salad.
Protects your heart: The fibre, antioxidants, and multivitamins present in tomatoes are greatly helpful in promoting cardiovascular health due to improved metabolism and blood flow. Lycopene is present in a high concentration in tomatoes, which prevents oxidation of the serum lipid, which is vital to the heart’s ability to pump regularly. Tomatoes are also well known to help in reducing the levels of LDL in the blood, thereby keeping bad cholesterols from multiplying. Two raw tomatoes each day are enough to do the job of maintaining a happy heart!
Prevents cancer: The seeds present in tomatoes are extremely rich in antioxidants and fibre. Apart from that, the skin of this vegetable; also considered as fruit; contain vitamins B6 and C, and lycopene, which kill the cancer-causing free radicals in your body. Hence, eating at least a couple of tomatoes daily; preferably raw; reduces the risk of contracting cancer of the stomach, prostate, cervix, pharynx, oesophagus, liver, intestines, bladder, and rectum.
Controls blood pressure: As you know by now that tomatoes are great for maintaining a healthy heart, they also result in controlling your blood pressure. The seeds on tomatoes are extremely rich in antioxidants and fibre, along with the regular vitamins and minerals, which regulate the flow of blood and reduce bad cholesterols. Potassium, in particular, reduces the tension in the blood vessels and arteries, thereby regulating the flow of blood. A controlled range of blood pressure also results in reduced rates of hypertension.
Controls blood sugar: A detailed research conducted by the American Medical Association reveals that daily consumption of tomatoes results in proper burning of glucose and reducing the possibility of diabetes mellitus. The antioxidants, lycopene, and fibre present in high concentration in this vegetable (fruit) helps in controlling blood sugar levels.
Protects eyes: Tomatoes; if eaten regularly; can immensely help in delaying the process of macular degeneration and decaying of the optic nerve. Vitamin A present in tomatoes acts as a powerful antioxidant that prevents the generation of free radicals that have negative effects on your vision. Eating a small bowl of tomato salad regularly can reduce the risk of blindness by nearly 30%!
Prevents urinary tract infection (UTI): Tomatoes contain high levels of water, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants; all of which stimulate the bladder to produce appropriate quantities of urine. These ingredients in tomatoes act as a diuretic, promoting the cleansing of the bladder regularly. This results in ridding the body of excess toxins, uric acid, and harmful salts, which might cause infections in the urinary tract. Eat a bowl of tomato soup or salad daily to prevent frequent UTI.
Tomatoes are a wonderful source of multivitamins, minerals, proteins, and fibre. One of the advantages of tomatoes is that it is an extremely versatile food, which can be added to most other vegetables and fruits to enhance their flavour. Therefore, eating tomatoes regularly shouldn’t be a difficult task after all! Eat your way through good health!