10 Reasons Why You Should Be Eating More Tomatoes

10 Reasons Why You Should Be Eating More Tomatoes

6/13/2011 – There is more to eating Florida tomatoes than good taste, they are great for your health! 10 good reasons to eat more! Tomatoes are full of health enhancing properties, read on to discover how the humble tomato can improve your health.
Tomatoes are loaded with many, many health benefits. In fact, they are incredibly versatile and can be prepared in a seemingly endless number of dishes, as well as being great to eat alone. Keep reading to find out why you need to stop neglecting tomatoes as a part of your regular balanced diet.
10 Health Benefits from Eating Tomatoes

1. Tomatoes are good for your skin.

Tomatoes contain a high level of lycopene, which is a substance that is used in some of the more pricy facial cleansers that are available for purchase over-the-counter.
If you want to try tomatoes for skin care, you need to start with about eight to twelve tomatoes. Peel the tomatoes and then place the skin on your face with inside of the tomato touching your skin.
Leave the tomatoes on your face for a minimum of ten minutes, then wash. Your face will feel clean and shiny. Some redness may occur, but should fade with time.

2. Tomatoes help prevent several types of 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, so go ahead and cook up a batch of your mom’s famous tomato soup.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. 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.

8. 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.

9. 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.
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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.
Everything you need to know about tomatoes
A tomato is a nutrient-dense superfood that offers benefit to a range of bodily systems. Its nutritional content supports healthful skin, weight loss, and heart health.
Despite the popularity of tomatoes, it was only 200 years ago that they were thought to be poisonous in the United States (U.S.) This is likely to be because the plant belongs to the toxic nightshade family.

Tomatoes are now the fourth most popular fresh-market vegetable behind potatoes, lettuce, and onions. This article will examine their powerful health benefits, nutritional content, ways to include more tomatoes in the diet, and the risks of tomato consumption.
Fast facts on tomatoes

• Including tomatoes in the diet can help protect against cancer, maintain healthy blood pressure, and reduce blood glucose in people with diabetes.
• Tomatoes contain key carotenoids such as lutein and lycopene. These can protect the eye against light-induced damage.
• Eat more tomatoes by adding them to wraps or sandwiches, sauces, or salsas. Alternatively, eat them cooked or stewed, as these preparation methods can boost the availability of key nutrients.
• Tomatoes are in the top ten fruits and vegetables for containing levels of pesticide residue. Wash tomatoes before eating.
Benefits
Tomatoes are an intensely nutritious plant food.
The benefits of consuming different types of fruit and vegetable are impressive, and tomatoes are no different. As the proportion of plant foods in the diet increases, the risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, and cancer decreases.
There are different types and sizes of tomato, and they can be prepared in different ways. These include cherry tomatoes, stewed tomatoes, raw tomatoes, soups, juices, and purees.
The health benefits can vary between types. For example, cherry tomatoes have higher beta-carotene content than regular tomatoes.
High fruit and vegetable intake is also linked to healthy skin and hair, increased energy, and lower weight. Increasing the consumption of fruits and vegetables significantly decreases the risk of obesity and overall mortality.
1) Cancer
Tomatoes are an excellent source of vitamin C and other antioxidants. With these components, tomatoes can help combat the formation of free radicals. Free radicals are known to cause cancer.
A recent study in the journal Molecular Cancer Research linked the intake of high levels of beta-carotene to the prevention of tumor development in prostate cancer.
Tomatoes also contain lycopene. Lycopene is a polyphenol, or plant compound, that has been linked with one type of prostate cancer prevention. It also gives tomatoes their characteristic red color.
Tomato products provide 80 percent of dietary lycopene consumed in the U.S.
A study of the Japanese population demonstrates that beta-carotene consumption may reduce the risk of colon cancer. Fiber intake from fruits and vegetables is associated with a lowered risk of colorectal cancer.
Diets rich in beta-carotene may play a protective role against prostate cancer.
Further human-based research is needed to explore the possible roles of lycopene and beta-carotene in preventing or treating cancer.
2) Blood pressure
Maintaining a low sodium intake helps to maintain healthful blood pressure. However, increasing potassium intake may be just as important due to its widening effects on the arteries.
According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), fewer than 2 percent of U.S. adults meet the recommended daily potassium intake of 4,700 milligrams (mg).
High potassium and low sodium intake are also associated with a 20 percent reduced risk of dyingfrom all causes.

Everything you need to know about blueberries
Looking to use the diet to manage hypertension? Blueberries can also lead to improvements in blood pressure. Click here to learn more.

3) Heart health
The fiber, potassium, vitamin C, and choline content in tomatoes all support heart health.
An increase in potassium intake, along with a decrease in sodium intake, is the most important dietary change the average person can make to reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease.
Tomatoes also contain folate. This helps to balance homocysteine levels. Homocysteine is an amino acid that results from protein breakdown. It is said to increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes. The management of homocysteine levels by folate reduces one of the risk factors for heart disease.
Not only is high potassium intake also associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, but it is also known for protecting the muscles against deterioration, preserving bone mineral density, and reducing the production of kidney stones.
4) Diabetes
Studies have shown that people with type 1 diabetes who consume high-fiber diets have lower blood glucose levels, while people with type 2 diabetes may have improved blood sugar, lipids, and insulin levels. One cup of cherry tomatoes provides about 2 grams (g) of fiber.
The American Diabetes Association recommends consuming around 25 g of fiber per day for women and an estimated 38 g per day for men.
5) Constipation
Eating foods that are high in water content and fiber, such as tomatoes, may help hydration and support normal bowel movements. Tomatoes are often described as a laxative fruit.
Fiber adds bulk to stool and is helpful for reducing constipation. However, removing fiber from the diet has also demonstrated a positive impact on constipation.
More research is needed to confirm the laxative qualities of tomatoes.
6) Eye health
Tomatoes are a rich source of lycopene, lutein, and beta-carotene. These are powerful antioxidants that have been shown to protect the eyes against light-induced damage, the development of cataracts, and age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
The Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) recently found that people with high dietary intake of the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, both present in tomatoes, had a 35 percent reduction in the risk of neovascular AMD.
7) Skin
Collagen is an essential component of the skin, hair, nails, and connective tissue.
The production of collagen in the body is reliant on vitamin C. A deficiency of vitamin C can lead to scurvy. As vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant, a low intake is associated with increased damage from sunlight, pollution, and smoke.
This can lead to wrinkles, sagging skin, blemishes, and other adverse health effects of the skin.
8) Pregnancy
Adequate folate intake is essential before and during pregnancy to protect against neural tube defects in infants.
Folic acid is the synthetic form of folate. It is available in supplements but can also be boosted through dietary measures.
While it is recommended that women who are pregnant take a folic acid supplement, tomatoes are a great source of naturally-occurring folate. This applies equally for women who may become pregnant in the near future.
Nutrition
Tomatoes are packed with nutrients.
One cup of chopped or sliced raw tomatoes contains:
• 32 calories (kcal)
• 170.14 g of water
• 1.58 g of protein
• 2.2 g of fiber
• 5.8 g of carbohydrate
• 0 g cholesterol
Tomatoes also have a wealth of vitamin and mineral content, including:
• 18 mg of calcium
• 427 mg of potassium
• 43 mg of phosphorus
• 24.7 mg of vitamin C
• 1499 international units (IU) of vitamin A
Tomatoes also contain a wide array of beneficial nutrients and antioxidants, including:
• alpha-lipoic acid
• lycopene
• choline
• folic acid
• beta-carotene
• lutein
The cooking of tomatoes appears to increase the availability of key nutrients, such as the carotenoids lycopene, lutein, and zeaxanthin. Stewed tomatoes provide more lutein and zeaxanthin than sun-dried tomatoes and raw cherry tomatoes.
Diet
There are easy ways to include the nutritional value of tomatoes in any diet.
Be sure to store fresh tomatoes at room temperature and avoid refrigeration, as this causes tomatoes to lose their flavor.
Incorporate more tomatoes into the diet using the following tips:
• Dip grape or cherry tomatoes in hummus or plain yogurt dip and consume them as a side or a snack.
• Add sliced tomato to sandwiches and wraps.
• Add diced, low-sodium canned tomatoes to homemade or jarred marinara sauces when making pasta.
• Used canned, diced, or stewed tomatoes in soups.
• Eat a piece of toast with avocado and tomato slices.
• Make a quick salsa with diced tomatoes, onion, jalapeno, cilantro, and freshly squeezed lime.
• Dice fresh tomatoes and add them to rice and beans, quesadillas, or tacos. Add them to omelets or scrambles for breakfast.
• Drizzle freshly sliced tomatoes and sliced mozzarella with balsamic vinegar, and top with chopped basil.
• Make a bruschetta as an appetizer.
A variety of tomato products are available to purchase online.
Risks
Including tomatoes in the diet has certain risks.
Every year, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) compiles a list of fruits and vegetables with the highest levels of pesticide residue. These foods are known as the Dirty Dozen.
For 2017, tomatoes are number 10 and cherry tomatoes number 14 on the list. Though it has not been proven that eating organic foods has overall health benefits, the EWG suggests that people should buy organic tomatoes where possible.
Buying organic minimizes pesticide exposure, though this has not been definitively proven to prevent disease.
Remember to wash tomatoes before eating.
Beta-blockers, a type of medication most commonly prescribed for heart disease, can cause potassium levels to increase in the blood. High potassium foods such as tomatoes should be consumed in moderation when taking beta-blockers.
Consuming too much potassium can be harmful to people with impaired kidney function. Failure to remove excess potassium from the blood can be fatal.
Those with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) may experience an increase in symptoms such as heartburn and vomiting when consuming highly acidic foods such as tomatoes. Individual reactions vary.
The nutrients of one food type do not give a complete picture of how to achieve a healthful diet. It is better to eat a varied diet than to concentrate on individual foods.
Celebrating the health benefits of tomatoes for British Tomato Week
It’s a classic ingredient that is a daily staple for many, and this May it even has its own week to celebrate it! The tomato is a classic fruit (not vegetable), that we can grow here in the UK and is a much-loved food used in many recipes.
British Tomato Week takes place throughout this week. Help make the tomato a triumph by learning more about the incredible health benefits of tomatoes!
Health benefits of tomatoes
1. They’re a great energy source
Like many fruits, tomatoes are a natural source of carbohydrate which are essential for giving the body energy. While you might need to watch your intake on a low-carb diet, they are low in fat and make an excellent ingredient in many dishes.
2. They’re high in nutrients
Tomatoes are a great source of vitamins and minerals, helping your body to get what it needs to stay healthy. Among the vitamins and nutrients found in tomatoes are calcium, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin A-producing beta-carotene and some B vitamins. It’s much healthier to get your vitamins from natural food sources over supplements, so adding some tomatoes to your lunchtime salad or sandwich can help you boost your intake.
3. They have antioxidant properties
Antioxidants are able to help the body fight off illnesses and diseases such as cancer. Lycopene is often mentioned in studies and is related to preventing cancer. It’s found in high quantities in tomatoes and is what gives them their red pigment. Even ketchup has been shown to contain quantities of lycopene, as well as other tomato-based products.
4. They can improve heart health
Eating a balanced diet is important for your heart health, and eating the right foods can offer extra protection. Tomatoes can help to reduce cholesterol levels, while their high potassium content also means they could be helpful in lowering the risk of a stroke. As a low fat, low-calorie ingredient, they can help you keep your weight down and avoid the problems associated with obesity.
5. They can improve your eye health
Your eye health is important, especially as you get older. Some fruits and vegetables contain phytochemicals which are known for protecting against age-related eye conditions, and tomatoes are one of them. Carotenoids (lutein, lycopene and beta-carotene) are essential for boosting your eye health alongside carrots, sweet potato and other vibrant fruits and vegetables.
6. They can help prevent sun damage
Our skin is sensitive to UV rays, and overexposure to the sun can lead to skin cancer and other conditions. Studies have shown that an increased intake of carotenoids can reduce sensitivity to the sun, but that shouldn’t give you a reason to ditch the sun protection!
7. They can aid with blood clotting
Tomatoes are rich in vitamin K, which helps the body to repair wounds while also helping the blood to clot. A healthy intake of vitamin K will help to boost your body’s defences and help it to repair itself when needed.
8. They can boost digestion
Fibre is important for keeping our digestive systems in good working order, and tomatoes are packed with fibre. They can help ward off both diarrhoea and constipation to keep you regular.
Tomatoes are an affordable and versatile food to form a part of a healthy diet. You can have them for breakfast, lunch and dinner or even as a snack – so they’re always worth having in fresh and tinned form in your home. As a key ingredient for many dishes, it’s easy to enjoy the many health benefits of tomatoes.
For more useful information about diet and nutrition, visit the NHS Choices website for some excellent recipes and healthy eating tips.