Top 10 Tomatoes Health Benefits and Nutrition Facts
Tomatoes belong to the most popular group of vegetables, such as potatoes, onions, and lettuce, and they are used as the main ingredient in ketchup, spaghetti sauces, and other famous dishes. Doctors and nutritionists recommend eating tomatoes because they are considered as a superfood. This means that they are nutrient-dense and has a long list of health benefits. Some of the most common health benefits of tomatoes include improving your eyesight, reducing cholesterol levels, detoxifying the body, fighting cancer, and preventing premature aging. Tomato nutrition can really improve your overall health because of its wealth of vitamins and minerals.
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Health Benefits of Tomatoes
If you’re not getting enough tomato nutrition in your diet, then you should definitely start right now. Here are some of the best and most popular health benefits of tomatoes, proving that this food deserves to be called a superfood. Let’s get started!
Good for Your Heart Health
Tomatoes are synonymous to heart health. Tomato is rich in lycopene and beta-carotene, which is essential in maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system. A study regarding middle-aged men discovered that heart attack and stroke is closely linked to low levels of beta-carotene and lycopene. There is also evidence showing that lycopene can help lower LDL cholesterol in the body. Other nutrients contained in tomatoes that support heart health includes vitamin C, potassium, and choline. If you are at risk of having cardiovascular disease, doctors suggest increasing your intake of potassium and reducing sodium in your diet. Tomatoes are rich in folate, which helps control the homocysteine level. Studies have shown that homocysteine can increase the risk of heart attack and stroke. Folate can help manage the homocysteine level, which keeps you safe from heart disease.
Cancer is one of the most dreaded diseases in the world, but there are many ways to keep you strong and healthy against cancer. Tomatoes are known to be an anti-cancer food because it is very rich in antioxidants and vitamin C that fight free radicals. These harmful free radicals in the body must be eliminated because they can cause cancer. Aside from antioxidants, tomato contains lycopene, which is a compound that can prevent the development of prostate cancer, stomach cancer, and colorectal cancer. Lycopene is very effective in slowing down the growth of cancer cells. Also, carotenoids in tomatoes were found to protect women against the development of breast cancer.
Normalize Blood Pressure
Having a diet with high potassium and low sodium intake is known to provide a healthy and normal blood pressure. Researchers discovered that increasing potassium levels in your body can help widen the arteries, thus preventing high blood pressure.
Promotes Healthy and Beautiful Skin
If you want a glowing and younger looking skin, all you have to do is eat more tomatoes. Lycopene plays a huge role in keeping your skin healthy because it contains high levels of vitamin C. Without enough vitamin C in your body, the skin is prone to sun damage, which can lead to premature wrinkling, blemishes, and skin sagging. The production of collagen, which is an important component of the skin, is extremely dependent on vitamin C. This means that vitamin C deficiency can have a negative effect on the production of collagen, which leads to poor skin health. Tomatoes are also rich in lycopene, which is always used as a major ingredient in some facial cleansers. You can put the peel of the tomato on your face with the inside touching your skin for 10 minutes. This will make your skin look shinier and feel cleaner. Lycopene can also protect the skin from sunburn.
Tomatoes are very good for your eyesight since they contain powerful antioxidants such as lycopene, beta-carotene, and lutein. These antioxidants can help protect your eyes from developing cataracts and macular degeneration. There is a study proving that high intake of lutein and zeaxanthin, which are both found in tomatoes, can reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration by 35%.
Support Normal Bowel Movement
Tomato is rich in water and fiber. This means that tomato can normalize your bowel movement and keeps you hydrated as well. Fiber is effective in adding more bulk to your stool, which can help prevent constipation.
Good for Pregnant Women
Most experts agree that tomatoes are good for pregnant women. Tomatoes contain folate, which can prevent neural tube defects in babies. Tomatoes are also recommended for women who are planning to become pregnant in the coming months.
Good for Your Hair
Aside from helping you get smooth and young-looking skin, tomatoes can also improve the condition of your hair. Tomatoes are rich in vitamin A, which can always keep your hair strong and shiny. If you want to maintain a youthful image with flawless skin and silky hair, you better include more tomatoes into your diet.
Protects the Body from the Effects of Smoking
Smoking is bad for your health because it contains carcinogens that can do a lot of damage to your body. Tomatoes may not be able to stop you from smoking, but it can protect your body from carcinogens. Tomatoes contain chlorogenic acid and coumaric acid, which is effective in fighting these carcinogens that come from cigarette smoking. Tomatoes are rich in vitamin A, which can also reduce the harmful effects of the carcinogens. Plus, tomatoes are very rich in vitamin C, which strengthens your immune system. Smoking does a lot of damage to your immune system, which makes smokers vulnerable to colds, flu, cough, and other viral diseases.
Provides Stronger Bones
It may be surprising for you to know that tomatoes can promote stronger bones. Tomatoes contain vitamin K and a considerable amount of calcium that can both strengthen and repair bones and bone tissues.
Reduce the Occurrence of Urinary Tract Infection
Tomatoes are diuretic and contain high amounts of water to stimulate urination. This will help eliminate toxins, uric acid, salt, fats, and excess water, which can lower the incidence and risk of urinary tract infection and bladder cancer.
Tomato Nutrition Facts
Did you know that tomatoes were once thought to be poisonous in the United States? Today, tomato nutrition is considered as essential to everyone’s health. It is very popular because of its powerful health benefits. Here are the complete tomato nutrition facts showing why many people consider it as a superfood.
Nutrition profile for 1 cup or 180 grams of sliced tomato
- Vitamin C – 24.7 mg or 33% of DRI
- Vitamin K – 14.2 mcg or 16% DRI
- Vitamin A – 74.97 mcg or 8% DRI
- Vitamin B6 – 0.14 mg or 8% DRI
- Vitamin B3 – 1.07 mg or 7% DRI
- Biotin – 7.2 mcg or 24% DRI
- Molybdenum – 9 mcg or 20% DRI
- Copper – 0.11 mg or 12% DRI
- Potassium – 426.6 mg or 12% DRI
- Manganese – 0.21 mg or 11% DRI
- Fiber – 2.16 grams or 9% DRI
- Folate – 27 mcg or 7% DRI
- Vitamin E – 0.97 mg or 6% DRI
- Phosphorus – 43.2 mg or 6% DRI
- Vitamin B1 – 0.07 mg or 6% DRI
- Magnesium – 19.8 mg or 5% DRI
- Chromium – 1.26 mcg or 4% DRI
- Pantothenic acid – 0.16 mg or 3% DRI
- Protein – 1.58 grams or 3% DRI
- Iron – 0.49 mg or 3% DRI
- Choline – 12.06 mg or 3% DRI
- Zinc – 0.31 mg or 3% DRI
- Even though tomatoes are known for containing high amounts of lycopene, they also provide a variety of phytonutrients. Here are the powerful and helpful nutrients that you can find in a fresh tomato:
- Carotenoids – beta-carotene, zeaxanthin, and lutein
- Flavonoids – kaempferol, naringenin, chalconaringenin, and quercetin
- Hydroxycinnamic acids – ferulic, caffeic, and coumaric acid
- Glycosides – eucoloside A
- Fatty acid derivatives – 9-oxo-octadecadienoic acid
- Four percent of a tomato is made up of carbohydrates. An average sized tomato contains about 5 grams of carbs. The carbohydrate content is 70% simple sugars, fructose, and glucose.
- Tomatoes can provide you with a healthy dose of fiber. An average-sized tomato may contain about 1.5 grams of fiber. About 87% of the fibers in a tomato is insoluble, which is in the form of lignins, cellulose, and hemicelluloses.
- Tomatoes are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals.
- Vitamin C – an average sized tomato contains about 28% of the daily recommended intake.
- Vitamin K1 – this vitamin is important for bone health and blood coagulation.
- Potassium – this mineral is great for blood pressure and cardiovascular health.
- Vitamin B9 or Folate – this vitamin is important for normal growth of tissues and cell functions. Folate is also vital for a healthy pregnancy.
- Lycopene is the most popular and noteworthy plant compound that is present in tomatoes. Choose the ones that have a reddish color because they contain the highest amount of lycopene. Even though lycopene is present in tomato products, it is still better to consume fresh tomatoes.
- Tomato nutrition is linked to so many health benefits. The health benefits of tomatoes can definitely help strengthen your immunity against common and serious diseases. You should definitely include tomatoes in your diet. If possible, always use fresh tomatoes instead of tomato products that can be bought in groceries.