Tomatoes are something almost everyone uses in their households. They’re used in pretty much every dish or even if not used in a dish they are consumed widely by the majority of the world including Indians. They originated from South America and they belong to the nightshade family of fruits. Therefore, they’re not considered vegetables. The nightshade family of fruits includes chili peppers, potatoes, eggplant & other familiar vegetables.
Even though tomatoes are botanically considered a fruit, they are commonly consumed and served as a vegetable. They are typically red when fully mature but can sometimes be yellow, orange, green or purple. They are a primary source of lycopene which is an antioxidant that has numerous health benefits.
Health Benefits Of Tomatoes
Could Help Prevent Cancer
The antioxidants present in tomatoes are shown to prevent the development of free radicals which are highly reactive molecules responsible for cancer growth. These free radicals are unstable and cause oxidative stress. This oxidative stress can be mitigated by Lycopene (an antioxidant) which could help prevent cancer. This also gives tomatoes their distinctive reddish colour.
Blood Pressure Control
Tomatoes are rich in potassium. Potassium intake helps lower blood pressure and help promote a healthy blood pressure level. Potassium also has other significant effects as they widen the artery walls which relieves increased and accumulated tension from blood vessel walls, which further reduces blood pressure.
Lowers Heart Disease Risk
Tomatoes are rich in fiber, potassium, Vitamin C & choline. All of these are beneficial to heart health. An essential dietary change to minimise cardiovascular disease risk is raising potassium consumption and decreasing salt intake. Potassium prevents calcium accumulation in smooth muscle cells located within arteries, thereby lowering the risk of heart diseases.
Can Improve Vision
Tomatoes are rich in Vitamin A. Vitamin A is the most essential vitamin needed for good vision. Low amounts of this vitamin can lead to blindness over time. Vitamin C and copper are two additional eye friendly substances found in tomatoes.
It Helps Heal Damage Done By Smoking
Smoking causes the body to produce an excessive amount of free radicals. The vitamin C present in tomatoes helps neutralize them and eliminate artery blockage that affects proper heart functioning. It also has antioxidant properties that protect cells and other vital molecules of the body from getting oxidized and damaged.
These are just a few benefits but tomatoes also have many other benefits like being great for the skin, preventing constipation, diabetes and so on.
Tomatoes being so nutritious is the third most popular fresh vegetable in the market and has always been in demand worldwide. They are a part of people’s primary diet and boost health in numerous ways. So, if you don’t include tomatoes in your diet, now would be a good time to start.