Tomatoes are of immense health benefits that you have overlooked and never paid attention to.
“A tomato a day keeps the doctor away”- Doctor Tom
It is of popular note that an apple a day keeps the doctor away hence, much attention is drawn to the health benefits of apple and conscious effort is made towards its consumption. However, this is not the case for tomatoes. People go to the market every day to buy tomatoes out of the need of inclusiveness in recipes rather than its health benefits. In fact, do you know any health benefit of tomato? Or do you think that when you eat tomatoes, they just go to our stomach, get digested and zoom off to the large intestines where they get passed out as excreta? Well, No!
Tomatoes are of immense health benefits that you have overlooked and never paid attention to. Further reading of this article will show you these benefits, get you wowed and give you reasons why you should become more conscious of your tomatoes intake just like you do with apple. In this article, you will see reasons why you should not just buy rotten tomatoes often called “esa” in the Yoruba markets but, rather go for fresh tomatoes.
Tomatoes as a Vegetable
Vegetables are a group of plant based food that contain less protein and carbohydrate than the grains and legumes. They contribute significant amounts of vitamins, minerals, soluble and insoluble fiber to our diets. Among the various vegetables of the world is tomato. Tomato, a vegetable (and a fruit) forms a considerable part of cuisines where it is served as side dish or is included among ingredients needed for the preparation of any part of a meal except dessert.
It is one of the most popular garden vegetables across the globe. Although, vegetables contain significant amounts of vitamins, minerals, soluble, insoluble fiber, and phytonutrients, these nutrients are available in unequal amount in different vegetables hence, the specific importance of individual vegetables vary.
Peculiar Health Benefits of Tomatoes
Tomatoes contain vitamin A which helps in improving vision, as well as prevents night-blindness. Lycopene; the pigment responsible for the vibrant red color of tomatoes is also an excellent carotenoid that boosts vision. Lycopene protects your tissues from free radical damage because it can neutralize free radicals before they oxidize and harm body cells.
A study, published in "Investigative Opthamology & Visual Science" in 2011, found that people with higher lycopene levels faced a lower risk of age-related macular degeneration and consumption of 10 milligrams of lycopene daily is immensely beneficial to the health.
Protects the heart from cardiovascular diseases:
Consumption of tomatoes reduces the risk of heart diseases, including hypertension which can otherwise be known as high blood pressure. Tomato contains fiber, potassium, vitamin C and choline which all help the heart health.
Improves functionality of the digestive system:
Tomato is known to contain a reasonable amount of fiber that asides its benefit to the heart health, helps in keeping the digestive system healthy by lowering the blood cholesterol, preventing constipation, diarrhea, and removing toxins from the body.
Reduce risk of blood clotting:
To stay healthy and keep the blood healthy, it is important to take foods that allow blood flow freely. Tomato juice reduces the risk of blood clots which can cause blockage for the bloodstream. Phytonutrients in tomatoes help prevent excessive clumping of platelet cells.
Triggers nucleic acid activation and maintains body weight:
Tomato juice contains potent PPARα activators that reduce menopausal symptoms and helps maintain steady weight. To enjoy this benefit, a daily portion of two cups of tomato juice is recommended for older women. Other importance of tomatoes include; improving the functioning of the digestive system and the liver, and prevention of constipation when mixed with spinach.
These enumerated benefits are reasons why it is necessary to make conscious effort toward increasing tomato consumption this year.
Written by Damilola Aladesuru.
Damilola Aladesuru is a content writer and food blogger at foodiedame.com.ng She has written on several platforms and enthusiastically writes to broaden her scope of knowledge and ability. All life and energy is what she is; willing to take up new adventures at every juncture. You can visit her blog to read some of her fabulous food posts and/ or connect with her on twitter @damytomy_