The tomato is an edible, often red, fruit/berry of the nightshade Solanum lycopersicum, commonly known as a tomato plant. The plant originated in the South American Andes. Tomatoes used as a food originated in Mexico and expanded throughout the world after the Spanish colonization of the Americas. While it is botanically a fruit, it is considered a vegetable for culinary purposes. The versatile berry also possesses many nutritional advantages.
Here are the 7 health benefits of tomatoes.
1. Tomatoes can help you fight cancers.
Tomatoes contain the antioxidant lycopene, which is effective against prostate cancer, stomach cancer, rectum cancer, and cervical cancer. According to Harvard School of Public Health, tomatoes also protect against breast cancer and mouth cancer. Antioxidants seek and neutralize cancer-causing free radicals.
2. Tomatoes can reduce cholesterol levels and protect the heart.
Lycopene protects the body against cardiovascular diseases by preventing serum lipid oxidation. Also, regular consumption can decrease the levels of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels and triglycerides in the blood.
3. Tomatoes could help your fight depression
The folate, a B-vitamin, in tomatoes could help people fight against depression by preventing excess homocysteine from interfering with the production of neurotransmitters responsible for better mood, well-being, and appetites like serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine.
4. Tomatoes can help improve vision.
Tomatoes are loaded with vitamin A, which could help prevent night blindness and macular degeneration.
5. Tomatoes can help improve digestive health.
Tomatoes have a significant amount of fiber, which can reduce constipation. Also, fiber can stimulate the release of stomach juices and smooth muscle movement, causing normal bowel actions.
6. Tomatoes can help manage type 2 diabetes.
The Journal of the American Medical Association reported that daily consumption of tomatoes reduces the oxidative stress of type 2 diabetes. Also, the fiber found in tomatoes can help the body manage the blood sugar levels.
7. Tomatoes can help prevent gallstones.
Regular consumption of antioxidant-rich foods like tomatoes can dissolve gallstones.
- Tomatoes, red, ripe, raw, year round average [Includes USDA commodity food A238, A233] Nutrition Facts & Calories. (n.d.). Retrieved July 11, 2017, from http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2682/2
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