Tomato is categorized under fruits, yet it is consumed like a vegetable. It is fruit because of the seed-bearing and develops from the ovary of a flowering plant. Tomato Solanum Lycopersicum comes from the nightshade family, native to South America. The benefits of tomatoes include good stomach health, reduced blood pressure, skincare, eye care and helpful in diabetes and urinary infections also. They further help and stimulate circulations and reduce cholesterol and protect the kidneys. A tomato is a nutrient-dense food that offers benefits to our body systems. Tomatoes are major dietary sources of the antioxidant lycopene, which has been liked to many health benefits including reduced risk of cancer and heart disease. They are one of the most popular fresh vegetables in the world after potatoes and onions. Before we discuss the benefits let us know the nutrition and vitamin contents of tomatoes
Nutrition, vitamins, and minerals
Tomatoes are packed with nutrition, they contain 95% of water and the other 5% is filled with carbohydrates and fiber. 4% carbohydrates are present in raw tomatoes, whereas they are rich in fiber providing 1.5 grams in medium-sized tomato.
Tomatoes are a good source of vitamins like vitamin C, which is an essential nutrient and antioxidant present in a tomato, vitamin K1 also known as phylloquinone and is important for a blood clot and bone health. Vitamin B9 also known as folate is important for cell growth and functioning of tissues, which is important for pregnant women. Tomatoes also contain potassium which is an essential mineral and is beneficial for heart conditions and blood pressure control.
Benefits of tomatoes
The benefits of consuming different types of vegetables are impressive and tomato is no different There are several benefits of tomatoes some are mentioned bellow
Tomatoes help improve the digestive system and liver. They keep the digestive system healthy by preventing constipation and diarrhea, as they have a good amount of fibers which help in proper digestion of food and reduce constipation. Due to irregular food patterns and no exercise the acid level gets disturbed in our body. Tomatoes flesh and seeds contain a high amount of essential bases (potassium and vitamins) also help in maintaining the pH value of our body.
Lowers blood pressure
According to research tomato seeds bring in a significant drop in blood pressure. The seeds and berry itself contain an antioxidant called lycopene which helps in controlling the blood pressure both systolic and diastolic just like low sodium intake is suggested for high blood pressure potassium is also important as it has widening effects on the arteries. High potassium and low sodium intake are also associated with 20% of the reduced risk of dying from many causes.
Protects our heart
Tomatoes are rich in antioxidants like lycopene, which is also responsible for its red color. Research suggests that it is more effective and beneficial to eat tomatoes and tomato products instead of lycopene supplements for improving heart health. They also show an effect on the layers of the blood vessels and also reduce the risk of blood clotting. Tomatoes contain folates which balance homocysteine levels that also increases the risk of heart attacks and strokes. The potassium present in tomatoes also reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease but also protects muscles by maintaining the bone density and also helpful in reducing kidney stones.
Studies show that people with type 1 diabetes have a lower blood glucose level, if they take tomatoes regularly in their diet, while people with type 2 diabetes have improved blood sugar, insulin, and lipids level. According to a study, a cup of cherry tomatoes (cooked) can help decrease in lipid peroxidation which is responsible for heart disease. This is important as diabetes doubles the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
Tomatoes prevent cancer
Cancer is an uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in our body beyond their boundary, often invading and damaging other parts of the body. A study in women shows that a huge amount of carotenoids present in her body (carotenoids are found in tomatoes ) may protect her from breast cancer. Also, observational studies have noted the links between tomatoes and tomato products, fewer incidences where they saw a decrease in lung, stomach, and prostate cancers.
Tomatoes for eye health
Tomatoes and their seeds contain a high amount of vitamin A, which is excellent for eye health. They are a rich source of lycopene, lutein, and bêta- carotene, which is antioxidant and protects our eyes from the development of cataract, light-induced damages and also age-related muscular degeneration. Researchers have recently found that people with high dietary intake of carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, both present in tomatoes helps in lowering the age-related eye diseases in people by 35% which is quite good for our eyes.
Tomatoes for skin
Tomatoes are super beneficial for our skin. There are several ways by which tomatoes can enhance your beauty some benefits of tomatoes are
For Glowing skin
Tomatoes are not just an important part of our diet but also help in increasing the glow of our skin. Applying tomato juice on the face and rubbing tomato halves can make your skin healthy and glowing. Biotin and vitamin C improves and regulates protein production including collagen for skin repair and anti-aging properties, and also helps brighten up the skin.
Acts as a natural sunscreen
According to various studies tomatoes contain lycopene, which is a very good antioxidant. Lycopene helps and protects our skin from the harmful UV rays of the sun and hence works as a sunscreen.
Tomato juice is used to remove the harsh suntan. And sunburns from your skin.
Helps in treating open pores
A very common problem of open pores can be reduced with the help of tomatoes. Open pores are a very big reason for pimples on your skin. You can lower them by doing the following remedy.
Add 4 to 5 tablespoons of tomato juice with half quantity of water and apply it on your face, with the help of the cotton ball. Keep it for 8-10 minutes and wash your face with normal water.
Regular application can reduce the size of the pores and slowly may treat the problem.
Works as perfect Astringent
The astringent properties of tomatoes are excellent for combination skin a combination of both dry and oily skin. One of the very effective and easy masks is
Mix 1 spoon of avocado and tomato paste and apply that mask on your face for about 15-20 minutes.
Wash your face with lukewarm water. Tomato contains natural oil reducing and astringent properties that cleanse the skin and makes it smoother than before.
Tomatoes for hair
You might have used shampoos and hair care products, which contain tomato extract. This is because tomatoes contain very good nutrients like vitamin A, B, C, and E. Which are responsible for good hair growth. Tomato juice and paste can be a very effective remedy for hair fall. They are also a very good conditioner for your hair and make them soft and shiny. Tomatoes also reduce dryness, itchiness, and dandruff on the scalp and hair. With this remedy, the quality of the hair also improves and makes them look healthier.
Tomatoes are indeed a very important part of Indian food and diet. And by the above-mentioned benefits and uses, surely it has become a very versatile fruit. And by following the remedies we can make our health better!!
DISCLAIMER: These remedies may not show results to the people having medical conditions. Results may vary from person to person.