Tomatoes: Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

Tomatoes: Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

Overview

Tomatoes are among the most popular ingredients in many cuisines all around the world.

In general, tomatoes are considered as a type of vegetable, rather than a fruit.

The most common type of tomatoes has a red skin, but in fact, the color of tomatoes vary from yellow to even purple.

Despite the fact that tomatoes appear with high frequency in Italian cuisine, from pizza to pasta, Italy is not its hometown.

Its first cultivation is claimed to have appeared in Aztec civilizations and South America.

When Spanish explorers came to this continent, tomato seeds were brought back to Europe. Then, tomatoes became popular there although there were those who were concerned about its adverse effects.

Nowadays, tomatoes are everywhere in the world and its annual production reaches up to 130 million tons. China is the leading producer of tomatoes, surpassing the United States and Italy.

Nutrition Facts

Tomatoes - Nutrition Facts

Nearly 95 percent of tomatoes is water and the rest belongs to carbs and fiber (1).

100 grams of tomatoes provide only about 16 calories, which makes it a low calorie vegetable.

The majority of carbohydrates content in tomatoes is simple sugars, namely, fructose and glucose.

Meanwhile, the amount of fiber in tomatoes is regarded as considerable and most of them are insoluble.

One of the most outstanding features in tomatoes nutrition facts is its richness of vitamins and essential minerals.

These substances are responsible for most health benefits of tomatoes.

The amount of vitamin C in a medium-sized tomato is sufficient to meet 28 percent of your body’s daily need.

Potassium, folate and vitamin K1 play a beneficial role in a wide range of situations.

Last but not least, despite the difference among types, tomatoes contain a number of plant compounds, such as Lycopene or Beta-Carotene.

They also contribute to the improvement of human health.

Health Benefits of Tomatoes

Here are top 10 health benefits of tomatoes which have drawn public attention for ages.

1. Vision

Tomatoes - Vision

One of the best-known health benefits of tomatoes is to enhance your vision.

Tomatoes are abundant in vitamin A, which has positive effects on eyes.

Moreover, beta-carotene plays an essential role in the conversion of vitamin A in our body.

Tomatoes are a substantial source of this plant compound (2).

Therefore, a diet including tomatoes will help us prevent many problems related to eyes, especially at higher ages, such as macular degeneration.

Bottom Line: With its high content of vitamin A and beta-carotene, tomatoes are beneficial for your vision and eye health.

2. Anti-Cancer

Cancer will occur when the development of abnormal cells goes beyond the body’s control.

Until now, there is still no effective cure to get rid of cancer completely.

However, people can start from little things in their daily life to prevent cancer development.

This objective is also one of the most important health benefits of tomatoes.

According to several observational studies, tomatoes are associated with a number of cancers (3) (4).

To dig deeper into the explanation for this quality, some trials occurred.

The results revealed that it might be because of lycopene in tomatoes (5) (6).

Besides, in a study with female participants only, the risk of breast cancer was lower thanks to the considerable amount of carotenoids in tomatoes (7).

Bottom Line: Tomatoes have been considered as one of the best parts of an anti-cancer diet, preventing a wide range of cancers.

3. Skin

Tomatoes is popular in not only cuisine, but also skin care.

In fact, one of the best health benefits of tomatoes that attract much attention is its effects on our skin health.

In particular, tomatoes provide a great amount of lycopene, along with many other plant compounds, to protect your skin from bad effects of sunburn (8).

It is also undeniable that tomatoes are common in daily life to supply moisture for the skin.

Tomato masks are one of the easiest ways to enhance the condition of your skin at home, thanks to its abundance of iron, potassium, and vitamins.

Tomatoes - Skin Health

If you want to prepare a tomato mask for your face, simply follow these steps:

  • Get a ripe tomato squeezed in a bowl.
  • Mix it with 2-3 spoons of cucumber juice that you should get from squeezing a cucumber.
  • Pour 1-2 spoons of raw honey and then, stir them very well.
  • The mixture should be applied on the face for 20 minutes.
  • After that, use warm water to clean your face and use a soft towel to pat it dry.

This mask is safe for any kind of skin.

4. Digestion

When it comes to health benefits of tomatoes, it is hard not to mention the digestive health.

With a high content of fiber, tomatoes play an important role in adding more bulk to your stool.

This helps you prevent and deal with constipation more easily (9).

Besides, the use of tomatoes in diet will reduce the possibility of suffering from diarrhea and jaunice.

You can even get rid of several serious digestive problems, such as colorectal cancer, with the support of tomatoes which can control the bowel movements effectively.

Bottom Line: Containing much fiber and other nutrients, tomatoes are beneficial for the digestive health.

5. Diabetes

To help patients with diabetes regain the control over their health condition is one of top health benefits of tomatoes.

Known as an abundant source of antioxidants, tomatoes can limit the development of oxidative stress (10) (11).

6. Hypertension

The recommendation is that eating tomatoes on a daily basis help you prevent hypertension, or high blood pressure.

Hypertension is one of the main causes for heart disease which triggers thousands of death every year (12).

When digging deeper into tomatoes nutrition facts, scientists believe that potassium is mainly responsible for this quality.

This element serves as a vasodilator, which fosters your blood circulation and reduces the pressure on your heart.

In one study with diabetic patients, the use of tomatoes made positive changes in the risk of cardiovascular disease in these people (13).

Bottom Line: Daily use of tomatoes can be beneficial for the flow of blood and protect you from high blood pressure.

7. Urinary Tract Infections

One of the most common health benefits of tomatoes is to protect you from urinary tract infections.

Thanks to its watery content, tomatoes are powerful enough to stimulate the urination, which makes this vegetable considered as a diuretic.

This will contribute to the lower risk of bladder cancer (14).

Furthermore, this also has positive influence on the eradication of toxins, such as salt, acids or even fat.

8. Tissues and Cells

Tomatoes contain folate, or vitamin B9, which is one of the best nutrients for the growth of tissues and cells (15).

This is also one of the best health benefits of tomatoes that you should remember.

Additionally, folate is crucial to women during pregnancy (16).

9. Lungs

The health benefits of tomatoes on the lungs are particularly useful for those who want to fight against bad effects of smoking.

Nitrosamines are present much in cigarettes and do harm to our lung health.

Some compounds in tomatoes, such as chlorogenic acid, can contain the catastrophic impacts on nitrosamines (17) (18).

On the other hand, the amount of vitamin A found in tomatoes is also another deciding factor to have protective effects against lung cancer (19).

10. Heart Health

Tomatoes - Heart Health

Last but not least, you had better be well aware of tomatoes health benefits on the heart to stay away from cardiovascular disease.

The content of lycopene in tomatoes may fight against serum lipid oxidation which leads to heart disease (20) (21).

Besides, when you use tomatoes regularly, the number of LDL cholesterol which is harmful will experience a significant reduction (22).

Bottom Line: Tomatoes can prevent effectively serum lipid oxidation and limit LDL cholesterol, protecting you from heart disease.

Side Effects

Despite various health benefits of tomatoes, some people should not use this vegetable if they are allergic to it (23).

Even though tomato allergy is not common, you had better not underestimate its consequences.

Sufferers might experience itchiness or swelling if using tomatoes.

Another worth-concerning issue is contaminated tomato.

As a result of the exposure to fluoride from the air or soil, your body might absorp a certain amount of fluoride, which is harmful for your health.

We have just examined the advantages of lycopene carefully above.

However, if you use too much lycopene, it will damage your immune system. As a result, it is easier for bacteria or virus to attack your body.

Besides, there is a considerable amount of oxalate compounds and calcium in tomatoes and their seeds.

Thus, tomatoes are not suitable for those who have problems with the kidney.

Tomatoes might worsen the situation and support the formation of kidney stones.

Disclaim: The effectiveness from using these foods on certain problems and diseases will be depended on the body condition of the applicant.

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