Tomato Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits
Tomato health benefits are multiple. It is one of the best known and also healthiest fruits in the world. It helps reduce the risk of stroke, in addition to preventing cardiovascular disease by significantly reducing bad cholesterol and prevent hardening of the arteries and veins.
It is rich in lycopene, a substance that studies show can help prevent some types of cancer, including cancers of the colon, breast and prostate. Its anti-cancer properties are so effective that certain oncologists recommend their patients to frequently consume it.
In addition to improving our health tomatoes provide us with energy and vitality. It is rich in antioxidant.
Tomato Nutrition Facts
Antioxidants – Among tomato nutrition facts include carotenoids. This fruit is rich in antioxidants, especially carotenoids; the most abundant is lycopene, the pigment that gives it its bright red color. The antioxidant activity of this healthy fruit is also ensured by various phenolic compounds, a group of chemicals that plays an important role in cancer prevention and treatment. Its powerful antioxidants would protect the cells of the body from damages caused by free radicals, and reduce premature aging.
Tomatoes (and its by-products) are the main sources of lycopene in the North American diet, providing 85% of this carotenoid. Lycopene is found in particularly high concentration in the prostate tissue. According to several studies, this compound helps to prevent prostate cancer. Its high concentrations in the blood were associated with lower incidences of this type of cancer the researchers found.
By cons, taking lycopene supplements was not associated with the same effects in the body, which makes the researchers believe other compounds may be associated with lycopene to produce these effects. That is, to obtain the health benefits it is crucial to eat the fruit instead taking supplements.
Tomatoes contain different amounts of lycopene according to the transformation process they have undergone: cooking, grinding, homogenization, etc. It would be therefore better that you buy your fresh tomatoes to get all the benefits. Tomato nutrition also includes vitamins and minerals.
Tomato Health Benefits
Tomato health benefits are numerous. In addition to antioxidants, it has many beneficial properties: cholesterol-lowering, anti-inflammatory, as well as the ability to prevent the proliferation of certain types of cancer cells.
However, you need to consume at least 6 mg of lycopene per day (about 2 raw tomatoes or ½ tomato juice glass) to get these benefits.
Prostate cancer. Prostate cancer is one of the most frequently diagnosed cancers in men. So far, there is no sign of improvement. Several studies have shown that frequent or regular consumption of tomato (or derivatives) could have a protective effect against this serious disease. The compounds in tomatoes increase the resistance of the prostate gland to oxidation cells, and thus would prevent the development of this cancer.
According to the results of a meta-analysis, the biggest consumers of tomatoes and its derivatives decrease by up to 20% their risk of developing prostate cancer compared to men who ate little. Other studies, however, have shown the preventive effects are only observed in people most at risk of this cancer.
Other Cancers. It is not only prostate cancer. About twenty studies show that high consumption of tomatoes would be linked to a lower incidence of lung cancer and stomach and cancer. Consumption of tomatoes and lycopene also has a protective effect on the incidence of cancers of the pancreas, colon, rectum, esophagus, oral cavity, breast and cervix.
Cardiovascular Diseases. Two main other health benefits of tomatoes are prevention of cardiovascular disease and reduction of bad cholesterol. A large study in women found that the more they consume this healthy fruit, the more they reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease. Tomato products, consumed daily, decrease the oxidation of blood lipids and reducing the incidence of coronary heart disease.
Another study shows tomato extracts and various tomato products decrease Platelet aggregation (adhering of platelets to each other at sites of vascular injury) and therefore, the formation of blood clots which can block arteries. In addition, high blood levels of lycopene are associated with a lower incidence of cardiovascular disease. The results of these studies demonstrate that the cardiovascular protective effects of tomato could be provided not only by lycopene, but also by other antioxidants and vitamins which act in synergy.
You can buy tomatoes very cheap or you can grow in your backyard. Unlike some other fruits, cooking it does not reduce its beneficial effects. So adding it in your diet is easy. The only precaution would be to avoid GMO tomatoes. Enjoy all the tomato health benefits by consuming it daily!