Tomatoes and its nutritional benefits
Tomato is an edible, often red, berry of the nightshade Solanum lycopersicum, commonly known as a tomato plant. Despite technically being a fruit, the tomato is generally categorized as a vegetable. There are various species of tomatoes found in Western Africa, especially, Nigeria. The tomatoes found in Nigeria are known to be highly nutritious with a total water content of about 95%, while the other 5% consist mainly carbohydrates and fibre.
Tomato is a great source of vitamin C, potassium, folate and vitamin K and is a major dietary source of the antioxidant lycopene, which has been linked to many health benefits, including reduced risk of heart disease and cancer.
Vitamins and Minerals found in tomatoes
Tomatoes are a good source of several vitamins and minerals.
- Vitamin C: An essential nutrient and antioxidant. One medium sized tomato can provide about 28% of the recommended daily intake.
- Potassium: An essential mineral, beneficial for blood pressure control and cardiovascular disease prevention.
- Vitamin K1: Also known as phylloquinone, vitamin K is important for blood coagulation and bone health.
- Folate (B9): One of the B-vitamins, important for normal tissue growth and cell function. It is particularly important for pregnant women.
Health Benefits from Eating Tomatoes
- Tomatoes are good for your skin.
Tomatoes contain a high level of lycopene, which is a substance used to produce facial cleansers. It is mostly effective on the skin if it is directly applied on the skin of the face. By so doing, it leaves the skin clean and shiny.
- Tomatoes help to prevent cancer
A number of studies have been conducted that indicate that the high levels of lycopene in tomatoes works to reduce your chances of developing prostate, colorectal and stomach cancer. Lycopene is a natural antioxidant that works effectively to slow the growth of cancerous cells. Cooked tomatoes produce even more lycopene, therefore, it is advisable to cook tomatoes more often.
- Tomatoes help maintain strong bones.
Tomatoes contain a considerable amount of calcium and Vitamin K. Both of these nutrients are essential in strengthening and performing minor repairs on the bones as well as the bone tissue.
- Tomatoes help repair damage caused by smoking.
No, eating tomatoes is not the most recent fad to help you quit smoking. However, tomatoes can reduce the amount of damaged done to your body by smoking cigarettes.
Tomatoes contain coumaric acid and chlorogenic acid that work to protect the body from carcinogens that are produced from cigarette smoke.
- Tomatoes provide essential antioxidants.
Tomatoes contain a great deal of Vitamin A and Vitamin C. This is primarily because these vitamins and beta-carotene work as antioxidants to neutralize harmful free radicals in the blood.
Free radicals in the blood stream are dangerous because it may lead to cell damage. Remember, the redder the tomato you eat is, the more beta-carotene it contains. In addition, you also want to keep in mind that cooking destroys the Vitamin C, so for these benefits, the tomatoes need to be eaten raw.
- Tomatoes are good for your heart.
Because of the Vitamin B and potassium in tomatoes, they are effective in reducing cholesterol levels and lowering blood pressure. Therefore, by including tomatoes in your regular balanced diet you can effectively prevent heart attacks, strokes as well as many other heart related problems that may threaten your life.
- Tomatoes are good for your hair.
The Vitamin A in tomatoes works perfectly to keep your hair shiny and strong. In addition, it also does wonders for your eyes, skin, bones and teeth.
- Tomatoes are good for your kidneys.
Adding tomatoes without seeds to your diet has been proven in some studies to reduce the risk of kidney stones. Therefore, it should be prepared without including its seeds in our diets.
- Tomatoes are good for your eyes.
The Vitamin A found in tomatoes is fantastic for improving your vision. In addition, eating tomatoes is one of the best foods to eat to prevent the development of night blindness.
Tomatoes are packed full of the valuable mineral known as chromium. It works effectively to help diabetics keep their blood sugar levels under better control.