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What would meals be without tomatoes? Used for everything from stews to salads, tomatoes may just be the most consumed fruit/vegetable anywhere. Unfortunately, tomato health benefits are usually taken for granted. Read about how these nutritious plants affect your body.
Tomato Nutrition Profile
Nutritionally, tomatoes have a bit of everything. They contain almost every nutrient you need daily for good health. Some of tomato’s prominent vitamins include A, B, C, E and K. It carries most essential minerals, moderate amounts of protein and fiber, and powerful antioxidants like lycopene.
Tomato Health Benefits
You know that healthy feeling you get after eating a salad? Tomatoes have that effect on the body because they are very healthy.
Kill Cancer Cells
Recent research studies have established a connection between lycopene and cancer prevention. Lycopene, together with other antioxidants, discourage cancer cells from spreading. Tomatoes are particularly effective at preventing prostate cancer in men.
Spoil Your Heart
Tomatoes are a source of well-known antioxidants like vitamin A and E and lesser known types. When all these antioxidants act together, they can eliminate toxic substances that poison the heart for better cardiovascular health.
Protect Your Body
The immune system shields the body from disease in two ways. Firstly, it builds a barrier to prevent bacteria and free radicals from entering. Secondly, it releases antibodies to control organisms that have taken over. Tomatoes can help your body do both by supplying vitamin C, K, and zinc.
Strengthen Your Skeleton
Your bones make up your skeleton and if they are weak, so will your mobility and agility. Luckily, adding density to your skeletal system is one of the tomato health benefits. With exceptional amounts of manganese and phosphorus, tomatoes can strengthen your frame.
Trim Your Figure
Your weight is a result of how well the body can use the food you eat. If you have a fast metabolism, it means your body breaks down and burns carbs, proteins and fat efficiently. If not, you might need B-vitamins to help you stay trim.
Tomatoes can help with weight loss because they are rich in vitamin B1, 3, 6 and biotin. One of the primary functions of these nutrients is to support metabolism. Another way tomatoes keep you in shape is through calories. 100 grams of chopped tomato contains as little as 18 calories.
How to Add Tomato to Your Diet
Tomatoes are best enjoyed either raw or cooked. Processed tomato products are not recommended. Pastes, sauces, flavored snacks and canned juices come packaged in salty solutions and sugars. They can rob you of tomato health benefits and even cause your health to deteriorate over time.
Ditch store-bought tomato products and make your own at home. You can make homemade paste to add to soups and stews. If you need a quick metabolism-boost, mix chopped tomatoes with jalapenos for a fiery salsa.
Serve grilled tomato slices with breakfast or juice them into a healthy, non-alcoholic Bloody Mary. Toss tomatoes into a salad, pasta or even on a homemade pizza. Tomatoes can be used in many ways. The choices are galore.