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8 Health Benefits Of Eating Tomatoes
There has been an ongoing debate as to whether a tomato is a fruit or a vegetable. The truth is that a tomato is a fruit, and when it is in season it is one of the most delicious, juicy, and tasty fruits that you can find.
There are more and more types of tomatoes every year. During their season you will find regular tomatoes, vine-ripe tomatoes, grape tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, beefsteak tomatoes, and heirloom tomatoes, to name a few.
Tomatoes can be used to make pasta sauce, homemade bruschetta, salsa, and a tomato and cucumber salad. In addition, they can be added to other dishes to bring about more flavor, such as in salads, pasta dishes, on fish, and in an omelet. But besides their unique taste, there are a number of other benefits you should know about to make sure you add tomatoes to your daily diet. Here are 8 ways tomatoes can benefit your health.
1. They are antioxidants
Two of the primary components that make up tomatoes are vitamin C and vitamin A. The fact that they have a good amount of each means that along with beta-carotene, they are able to carry on their work as antioxidants in order to take on the harmful free radicals that can cause problems in the blood. The free radicals can create damage to the cells in the blood stream. Make sure that if you are eating tomatoes for this purpose, eat them raw so that the vitamin C is not destroyed through cooking.
2. They cut down on the risk of cancer
Tomatoes are brimming with lycopene which has been proven to limit specific kinds of cancer. Two of these types include pancreatic cancer and breast cancer. It was proven that those who had a diet that was brimming with tomatoes had a 31% less chance of developing pancreatic cancer. It was also found that when tomato and broccoli powder were eaten together, they were able to delay the tumors associated with prostate cancer. It was also found that women who consumed high levels of tomatoes with large concentrations of carotenoids were protected from developing breast cancer.
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3. Fight inflammation
When you eat tomatoes, you must try not to peel them as the skins contain kaempferol and quercetin. These two compounds are part of flavonoids which are major antioxidants. The flavonoids have been shown to eliminate inflammation.
4. Provide potassium
Another component that can be found in tomatoes is potassium. The 431 milligrams of potassium that a tomato has represents the 10 percent that you need for your daily requirement. A study showed that 5,000 men were tested and when they took in over 4,000 mg of potassium each day they cut their chances of getting kidney stones by half. Another thing that potassium does is keep you from having a stroke, keeps your blood pressure under control, relaxes your muscles, and eliminates the chances of getting cardiovascular disease.
5. Keep your eyes healthy
It is vitamin A that ensures that your eyes are able to detect light and make sure that this information is sent to the brain. Luckily tomatoes have tons of vitamin A and can help with the health of your eyes. In order to take care of your eyes, you need to have from 700 to 900 mcg of vitamin A each day. It only takes a cup of tomatoes cut up to provide you with 1,499 IU of vitamin A. This will give women 64% of their daily value and 50% for men. Also found in tomatoes are lycopene, zeaxanthin, and lutein which all work together to make sure you don’t get macular degeneration. The zeaxanthin and lutein in tomatoes make sure that rays that could be harmful never reach your eyes and eliminate the chances of getting any eye diseases. While we only need 12 mg of either of these carotenoids, one cup of tomatoes has up to 221 mg
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6. Protects your heart
Besides keeping you healthy and helping you to lose weight, the Mediterranean diet is able to help people reduce their chances of dying from heart problems. When you add tomatoes to your Mediterranean diet, along with olive oil, you have extra perks to help your heart remain healthy. Studies were conducted and found that when you eat plenty of tomatoes and tomato products, you can lower your bad cholesterol and bring down your blood pressure levels.
7. Improve your skin
The primary tissue that keeps your skin supple, firm, and renewed all the time is collagen. It is what makes keeps you looking young. Collagen does need vitamin c to produce these results as well as to make sure the skin doesn’t suffer from the dangerous UV rays of the sun as well as any free radical damage. Tomato juice can give you around 74% of the daily amount you need of vitamin C through the 45 mg that are in just one cup.
8. Keeps blood sugar levels even
There is an antioxidant known as alpha-lipoic acid that is able to turn glucose into energy. It gets rid of free radicals and can even get other antioxidants to attack them as well. Whenever you raise the level of alpha-lipoic acids in your body, their ability to get rid of free radicals help to reduce your blood sugar levels.