10 Surprising Health Benefits of Tomatoes

Title that reads 10 Surprising Health Benefits of Tomatoes and image below of two hands and a bowl of cherry tomatoes

 

It’s no surprise that tomatoes are good for your health, but did you know that tomatoes also improve your vision?  This low-calorie (22 calories) and low-carb (5 grams) vegetable that’s technically a fruit is chock full of nutrients and a variety of astounding health benefits.  I’ve written before about the health benefits of avocados, but tomatoes are surprisingly versatile.  You can incorporate tomatoes into your diet in a number of ways– fresh, dried, or as sauce, salsa, or paste.  For your viewing benefit I’ve compiled 13 surprising health benefits of tomatoes that will make you want to head to your nearest farmer’s market.

Title that reads 10 Surprising Health Benefits of Tomatoes and image below of two hands and a bowl of cherry tomatoes

TOMATOES PROTECT YOUR HEART

Tomatoes contain an antioxidant called lycopene, which is responsible for their red color and protects against cardiovascular disease.  Research suggests that in terms of heart health benefits, it’s more effective to eat tomatoes and tomato products than to even take lycopene supplements.  Wow!

PROTECT AGAINST CANCER

In addition to preventing cardiovascular disease, lycopene is a natural antioxidant that works effectively to slow the growth of cancerous cells.  Observational studies have even found links between lycopene and fewer incidences of prostate, ovarian, lung, and stomach cancers.  Nature really is the best medicine!

PROMOTE SKIN HEALTH

You’re probably aware that vitamin C protects our skin from harmful UV rays and sun damage.  However, did you know that one cup of tomato juice has around 45 mg of vitamin C, or about 74% of your recommended daily intake!  Additionally, tomatoes boost the production of pro-collagen, a molecule that gives the skin its structure and keeps it firm and youthful.  It’s no surprise that many anti-aging products include nutrients found in tomatoes!

close-up of red tomatoes splashed with water

IMPROVE YOUR VISION

When you have low levels of vitamin A it means your eyes have a hard time detecting light and sending visual information to your brain.  Vitamin A is abundantly present in tomatoes that aids in improving vision and preventing night-blindness and macular degeneration.

BOOST DIGESTIVE HEALTH

Forget prune juice – a tomato keeps the digestive system healthy by preventing both constipation and diarrhea.  According to the USDA, one large tomato contains 6 ounces of fluid, and 1.5 grams of fiber.   Plus, tomatoes also prevent jaundice and effectively removes toxins from your body.

HELP WITH DIABETES MANAGEMENT

A study conducted by the Journal of the American Medical Association shows that daily consumption of tomatoes reduces the “oxidative stress” of type 2 diabetes.  This is particularly important because diabetes doubles your risk of stroke and heart attack.

COUNTER THE EFFECTS OF SMOKING

According to research from the University of Toronto, the acid found in tomatoes fights against carcinogens that are found in cigarettes.  In addition, the presence of vitamin A found in tomatoes also has been shown to reduce the effects of carcinogens.

dozens of red tomatoes in a pile

LOWER HYPERTENSION

Consuming a tomato daily reduces the risk of developing hypertension, also known as high blood pressure.  This is partially due to the impressive levels of potassium found in tomatoes.

REDUCE KIDNEY STONES

The Journal of the American Society of Nephrology posted a study stating that when 5,000 men consumed more than 4,000 mg of potassium per day, they were half as likely to develop kidney stones.  One large tomato contains 431 milligrams of potassium, which is almost 10 percent of your daily requirement.  In addition, tomatoes are rich in antioxidants that maintain healthy kidneys.

FORM STRONG BONES

Tomatoes contain a considerable amount of calcium and vitamin K.  Both of these nutrients are essential in strengthening and performing minor repairs on the bones as well as bone tissue.

As you can see – tomatoes are amazing! They are nutritious and filled with flavor.  No matter whether they’re whole, cooked, chopped, or made into a sauce, this disease-fighting super food needs to be part of your diet.  How do you start?  Well, here’s a link to some delicious tomato recipes.

Do you have any tomato recipes you’d like to share?  What’s your favorite vegetable?  I’d love to hear from you and share your responses on my social media channels.  Please feel free to reach out at hello@heartandsoulblog.com.  Also, please sign up for my newsletter at the bottom of this page to receive new posts directly to your email.

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