Whether you’re eating a cherry tomato bruschetta or a homemade marinara sauce, you’re doing your body a favor. Tomatoes are a delicious and versatile superfood loaded with antioxidants and numerous vitamins. It doesn’t matter if you call tomatoes a fruit or vegetable (although they’re definitely fruit). At least 1 of the 3,000 species of this superfood should find its way into your diet. Here are the top 10 health benefits of tomatoes.
Lowers cancer risk
Tomatoes contain antioxidants that target free radicals and oxidative stress contributing to cancerous tumor growth. Lycopene is a notable, well researched antioxidant present in tomatoes that is linked to preventing colon, prostate, and even lung cancer.
Decreases stroke risk
Blood clotting should occur when needed, but excessive blood clotting leads to a snowball-effect resulting in arterial damage and stroke. 75% of people older 65 years old experience a stroke in their time. Luckily, lycopene has anti-inflammatory and anti-clotting properties to prevent and digest plaque build up.
Reduces blood pressure
High blood pressure suggests long-term impairment in heart health. Especially if you have diabetes, hypertension, and/or a history of cardiovascular disease. A study found that tomato consumption helps lower blood pressure to a healthy range in type II diabetic people.
Maintains glucose levels
Prolonged blood sugar levels hurt major organs such as the brain and kidneys. If you’re battling diabetes, eating more tomatoes is a great way to incorporate more low glycemic foods to your diet to stabilize high blood glucose.
Strengthens your mental health
Daily ingestion of tomatoes is associated with treating depression and Alzheimer disease. In a prospective study, researchers listed tomatoes as a beneficial fruit to enhance the nutritional diversity of your diet. Tomatoes add vitamins B and E, which can limit neural degeneration.
Good for eye health
Beta-carotene and lycopene are readily available in tomatoes and serve a dual function as an antioxidant and vitamin A precursor. These carotenoids aid in the filtration of harmful light entering the eyes.
Provides healthier skin
Biotin and vitamin C upregulate protein production including collagen for skin repair, scar regression, and anti-aging properties. You can enjoy this benefit by utilizing fresh tomatoes in your beauty regime or as part of your diet.
Supports bone health
Tomatoes are have two essential minerals for humans. Magnesium functions as a cofactor for calcitonin, which is a hormone that redirects calcium from blood into bones. Potassium is another important mineral that prevents metabolic acidosis of bones, which prevents calcium loss as you age.
Reduces risk of birth defects
During pregnancy, It is recommended to increase one’s intake of vitamins. This prevents the risk of both birth complications and defects. Scientists from the University of Florida developed a way to engineer folate-dense tomatoes, which in turn can protect the mother and fetus from developmental problems. Folic acid is a B vitamin that is used to supplement pregnancy for protection against neural tube defects.
Tomatoes can also protect against anemia. The high amount of vitamin C in tomatoes is essential for the absorption of iron. Not to mention, consuming up to one cup of sun dried tomatoes provides you with ⅓ of your daily recommended iron intake.