Tomato – sources, health benefits, nutrients, uses and constituents at NaturalPedia.com

Wednesday, June 21, 2017 by

The tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) is the berry of the tomato plant, a member of the nightshade family native to Mexico and South America. Tomatoes are scientifically classified as fruits, however nutritionists and cooks consider tomatoes to be vegetables. They are grown all over the world and come in different varieties and cultivars. In general, tomatoes are regarded as healthy foods that provide an array of benefits when consumed daily.

List of known nutrients

Tomatoes are rich in plant compounds, especially lycopene. This highly abundant carotenoid gives the tomato its signature shade of red and boosts its nutritional value. Lycopene scavenges cancer-causing free radicals, halts serum lipid oxidation to protect the heart, and contribute to overall bone health. Tomatoes have a wealth of nutrients that extends beyond lycopene, and some of these are:

  • Antioxidants, including chlorogenic acid and naringenin
  • Carotenoids, including beta-carotene and lutein
  • Choline
  • Copper
  • Dietary fiber
  • Magnesium
  • Manganese
  • Pantothenic acid
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium
  • Protein
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin B3 (Niacin)
  • Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)
  • Vitamin B9 (Folic acid)
  • Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid)
  • Vitamin H (Biotin)
  • Vitamin K

Medicinal uses for tomatoes

By keeping the heart healthy, tomatoes decrease the possibilities of cardiovascular diseases like heart attack and stroke. Tomatoes support the heart with their great amount of nutrients, specifically lycopene, vitamin C, vitamin B9, potassium, fiber, and choline. Apart from heart disorders, tomatoes can defend the body from a wide score of health ailments, namely:

  • Acne
  • Anorexia
  • Arthritis
  • Bladder stones
  • Breast cancer
  • Cataracts
  • Cervical cancer
  • Cholecystitis
  • Colon cancer
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Erythema
  • Free radicals
  • Gallstones
  • Gout
  • Immune system deficiency
  • Jaundice
  • Lung cancer
  • Macular degeneration
  • Night blindness
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Skin disorders, including skin cancer

Body systems supported by tomatoes

Tomatoes contain a fair amount of vitamin A, a vitamin and antioxidant that improves vision and combats eye-related problems like night blindness and macular degeneration. In addition to supporting healthy eyesight, tomatoes are capable of boosting:

  • Bones
  • Digestive system
  • Heart
  • Immune system
  • Liver
  • Skin
  • Stomach

Ways to use tomatoes

Tomatoes come as an ingredient or a flavor element on all kinds of foods like pastas, ketchup, and pizzas. This can be advantageous in some cases since lycopene is more bioavailable in cooked tomatoes, and tomato paste has five times more lycopene than raw tomatoes.

Those who wish to prepare their own tomato dishes are more than welcome to do so and are spoiled for choice since there are tomato recipes all over the Internet. A simple recipes involve roasting then seasoning tomatoes to be used for salads, sauces, or salsas.

As a bonus, tomatoes 95 percent water so they relieve thirst and keep the body well hydrated; this makes them nice additions to healthy smoothies and juices.

Where to learn more

Summary

The antioxidants in tomatoes assist in the maintenance of healthy skin, teeth, bones, and hair.

Tomatoes can even be turned into a topical application for severe sunburns.

With a high water content and decent amount of fiber, tomatoes can make bowel movements more regular and reduce constipation.

The water content in tomatoes gives them a diuretic effect as well and prevents urinary tract infections.

Thanks to their great quantities of potassium, eating tomatoes daily can lower hypertension.

Sources include:

WHFoods.com
MedicalNewsToday.com
OrganicFacts.net
Health.com
AuthorityNutrition.com

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