Tomatoes are a fruit (yes, a fruit) that often don’t get the attention they deserve. Many people maybe add a slice here and there to their burgers or sandwiches, and maybe even sprinkle some on their salads. However, relegating tomatoes to this “supporting cast member” role is just not right. Not only are they delicious, but tomatoes are also full of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that are crucial to keeping you healthy.
Health Benefits of Tomatoes
Read on to learn about the many ways in which eating more organic tomatoes can improve your health, and you may want to start adding these red gems to all of your meals.
1. Lowers Cholesterol and Protects the Heart
There’s a nutrient in tomatoes called lycopene, and this little guy has long been recognized for his cardiovascular benefits. Consistently including tomatoes in your diet has also been shown to decrease the bad cholesterol and triglyceride levels in your blood. This prevents cholesterol from sticking to the arterial walls, which can lead to a stroke or heart attack.
2. Full of Vitamins and Minerals
Not only do tomatoes target specific ailments, but they are also fight against many chronic diseases and types of cancer. That lycopene that’s been talked about so much already is also a good free radical head-hunter, eliminating these microscopic threats to your health. Lycopene has been shown to be especially useful in protecting against breast, cervical, prostate, stomach, and esophageal cancers.
Tomatoes are also high in vitamin C, which is crucial in supporting your immune system and is another key ingredient in eliminating free radicals from the body. Potassium and vitamins A and K are all found in tomatoes and contribute to healthy blood circulation, in addition to the benefits already mentioned.
3. Protection from Cigarette Smoke
Nitrosamines are the main carcinogenic byproduct of smoking cigarettes, and two acids in tomatoes (coumaric and chlorogenic) help fight again these carcinogens. The high amounts of vitamin A in this fruit further helps protect you from cigarette smoke and may give you protection from lung cancer. Even if you are not a smoker, if you live with a smoker or work in a smoky atmosphere you should especially be sure to add more tomatoes to your diet.
4. Improves Vision
The same vitamin A that can help protect you from carcinogens also helps protect your eyes and keep them healthy. An increase in vitamin A can help protect your eyes from problems such as cataracts and macular degeneration.
5. Digestive Health
Tomatoes can help address both a leaky faucet and a blocked-up drain, if you get what I’m saying. This is mostly due to the high fiber content of tomatoes, which helps solidify things that need to be solidified, as well as provide support to the digestive muscles. In addition to treating digestive malfunctions, tomatoes also help remove harmful toxins from the body, thanks to their high doses of many vitamins and minerals.
6. Lowers Hypertension
Studies have suggested that eating tomatoes on a daily basis may reduce hypertension and high blood pressure. Potassium is the main ingredient that is responsible for this positive effect, thanks to its ability to reduce tension in the blood vessels throughout the body. By increasing circulation without stressing the heart, tomatoes are able to effectively address this cardiac issue.
7. Diabetes Management
A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that oxidative stress of type 2 diabetes was reduced in those subjects that consumed tomatoes on a daily basis. Since tomatoes are also low-carb and low-cal and contain very little sugar, they are a healthy snack for diabetics that will not mess with the blood glucose levels of diabetic sufferers.
8. Glowing Skin
Tomatoes are effective in protecting the skin from sun-related damage and are well respected for their anti-aging abilities. Tomato juice can even be applied topically to address severe sunburns. Thanks especially to the lycopene, when tomatoes are eaten consistently you will notice smoother, brighter, fresher-looking skin.
9. UTI Protection
If you’ve ever experience urinary tract infection, you know that they are not fun and are very uncomfortable. To reduce your risk of falling victim to another UTI, as well as bladder cancer, increase your tomato intake.
Hopefully by now the benefits of eating organic tomatoes are obvious. By aiming to incorporate just one tomato into your diet every day, you can protect yourself from cancer, maintain healthy skin, boost your immune system, and regulate your digestive tract. Tomatoes are also full of vitamins and minerals that support your heart.
If you can’t chow down on a tomato the way you would an apple, simply try to add the diced or sliced fruit into more of your favorite dishes, such as omelets, sandwiches, salads, and more. No matter how you eat them, it’s important to add more organic tomatoes into your diet. After all, a tomato a day may just keep the doctor away.