Benefits and Nutritional Value of Tomatoes

Tomato is categorized as a fruit but It is considered as vegetable in the kitchen. This subject is still under debate but there is something we con not discuss about tomato, that is, It has numerous benefits for our body. The nutritional value of tomatoes is undebatable.

Tomato has South America origin and It hadn’t been known by the Ancient World (Europe, Africa, Asia) until 1600s. After the Spanish founded their first colonies in America, It became the most popular food of our meals. But we are possibly unaware of nutritional value of tomatoes.

Nutritional Value of Tomatoes

Nutritional Value of Tomatoes

Nutritional Value of Tomatoes

  • A tomato with an average size (122 gr.) has only 22 calories.
  • Tomato contains 1 gr. of protein and 4.8 gr. carbohydrate.
  • It meets %5 of our daily fiber needs.
  • It is very rich in vitamin C. You can satisfy %25 of your vitamin c needs by eating just one tomato daily.
  • You can get your %8 of your potassium needs by eating a tomato. It has 242 mg of potassium in it.
  • Thanks to the beta carotene, which is a form of vitamin a, you can get %20 of your daily vitamin A needs.
  • Tomato is also rich in antioxidant called lycopene. With its nutritional values we mentioned here, tomato must be included in every kind of diet.
Nutrition100 gr% Daily Need
Calorie17 kcal% 0.8
Carbohydrate2.6 g% 0.9
     Fiber0.9 g% 3.8
Protein0.9 g% 1.9
Fat0.2 g% 0.3
    Cholesterol0.0 mg% 0.0
Vitamin A84.0 IU% 1.7
Vitamin C24.5 mg% 40.9
Potassium242.0 mg% 6.9
Calcium14.0 mg% 1.4
Iron0.5 mg% 2.8

 

Benefits of Tomatoes

Tomato has numerous benefits to our health. It helps us protect from cancer. It is beneficial to our heart. It makes our skin more beautiful. It is even good for our eyes. Here is 12 benefits of tomatoes to our body.

Helps to prevent cancer

Tomato is rich in antioxidants and phytonutrient constituents. It is proved many times that these ingredients decrease the risk of cancer in humans. Tomato is effective against many cancer types but it is most effective against prostate cancer. Tomato contains a nutrient named  Alpha-tomatine. This nutrient has been proven in a laboratory environment  to stop the development of prostate cancer cells.

According to a study, eating five tomatoes a week decreases cancer risk by %40.  In addition, according to a study at Montreal University, the antioxidant called lycopene reduces the risk of pancreatic cancer. Guess what, there is plenty of lycopene in tomato.  Tomatoes also help to prevent lung cancer according too many research.

Rich in antioxidants

Tomato is rich in three most common and effective antioxidants; Vitamin C, vitamin A and beta carotene. In addition, It contains fair quantity of manganese and vitamin E.

Tomato contains abundant quantity of lycopene which can be considered as the star of antioxidants. So, we ca easily describe tomato as a super food.

Lycopene is a very popular antioxidant because It reduces the risk of heart diseases. It also lowers cholesterol, prevents inflammation and  diseases related to aging.

Good for heart

Lycopene, vitamin C and other antioxidants found in tomatoes are very effective in terms of cardiovascular health. It also improves blood circulation, reduces cholesterol levels and improves blood fat profile.

Good for bones

Some antioxidants like lycopene have a vital importance to keep bones healthy. Antioxidants prevent oxidative stress in bones.  In addition, potassium in tomato contributes positively to the bone health.

Prevents Inflammation

Thanks to the carotenoid it contains, tomato has an effect to remove or prevent inflammation. Foods that are rich in antioxidants are very beneficial to body’s inflammation system.

Rich in potassium

Tomatoes are rich in potassium and  potassium is missing in many people’s diets. Potassium deficiency is associated with high blood pressure, heart disease, paralysis,  cancer and digestive disorders.

Good for eye health

Studies show that the antioxidants found in tomatoes prevent degeneration of yellow dots, one of the fundamental parts of the visual system. Lycopene and vitamin A are the two most effective antioxidant in terms of eye health.

Protects against diabetics

It helps diabetes patients by regulating the blood glucose level thanks to the chromium mineral in the tomato content.

Protect against Alzheimer

Several research has revealed that tomato consumption reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and improves neurological functions. However, more we still need more research data  to ensure that this effect is fully proven.

Helps lose weight

A diet rich in tomatoes reduces the risk of obesity. We need more research to confirm the relationship between tomato consumption and weight loss. But we know that tomatoes are low-calorie and rich in nutritional values. This make tomatoes an important part of the weight loss programs.

Good for skin

It contains a high amount of lycopene (found as a basic ingredient in many facial cleansing creams), which makes skin healthy. The best way to use tomatoes for skin is to place the inner part of the tomato peel on your face and wait for 10 minutes. Then when you wash your face, you will notice that you have a cleaner and brighter look.

Lessens the harmful effects of smoking

It does not help you quit smoking but If you are already smoking, it may lessen the harmful effect caused by smoking. Some acids found in tomato fight the harmful substances caused by smoking.

When we consider the nutritional value of tomatoes and its countless benefits, It is clear that we must include it in our meals everyday.

Image source: Pexels

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