Contrary to popular belief, tomato is actually a fruit and not a vegetable and there are multiple tomato health benefits which make it an absolute essential for our daily diets. The world of tomato health benefits can be accessed by a variety of mean be it in raw or cooked form or as ketchup or homemade tomato juice. It has been scientifically proven that the tomato benefits are not reduced with heat processing which is why then equally good as cooked too.
The key element that is responsible for the numerous tomato health benefits is Lycopene which is an antioxidant. This is one of the elements that cannot be naturally produced by the human body and hence needs to be supplemented through diet. Tomato being loaded with Lycopene thus comes as the ideal source for this antioxidant which is vital in our body’s fight against cancerous cells and several other ailments. It combines with the free radicals and is extremely powerful in flushing them out of the human system which is why tomatoes are highly recommended by doctors across the globe. On an average 550 ML of liquid tomato is ideal for accruing the benefits of Lycopene and this corresponds to a glass of tomato juice every day.
10 Key Tomato Health Benefits
Tomato Benefits for Skin
The presence of high levels of antioxidants is the key to the skin benefits of tomato which make it an important ingredient of most of the commercial face wash products available in the market. The antioxidant elements act on the dead cells and help revive the surface cells to provide a glowing look on the skin. Placing peeled tomatoes directly on the skin for about 10 minutes is sufficient to derive the tomato health benefits for skin. Various formulations of tomato juice are useful for acne treatment and filling surface pores on the facial skin.
Tomato Benefits for Bones
The abundant quantities of Calcium and Vitamin K contained in tomatoes help in formation and strengthening of bones. The benefits are more prominently visible in growing children who require additional calcium to keep up the growth rate. These elements additionally help in repair of damaged bone structures.
Tomato Benefits for Blood
The Vitamin A and C along with beta-carotene contained in the tomatoes act as antioxidants in blood stream to purify them of the free radicals which are known to damage the blood cells. The redder the tomato, the more is its beta-carotene content. In addition to these benefits the tomatoes also contain Vitamin K which is essential for preventing haemorrhages.
Tomato Benefits for Liver
One of the more recently discovered tomato benefits is its ability to prevent the congestion of the liver. For people who consume excessive alcohol. Tomatoes are a boon in warding off liver cirrhosis. The very chemical composition of the tomato juice is ideal for dissolving gallstones from the liver which are a common phenomenon these days. Thus regular intake of tomato in sufficient quantities is a smart way to deal with the ill effects of alcohol.
Tomato Benefits for Hair
Tomatoes are rich in Vitamin A which is helpful in the growth of healthy and naturally shinning hair. Dermatologists rely on various kinds of tomato extracts for reducing hair fall and regenerating new growth on the scalp. Alopecia treatment is another of the several tomato health benefits known to mankind.
Tomato Benefits for Heart
Tomato has high levels of vitamin B and potassium which help reduce the bad cholesterol level. This has a direct bearing on the blood pressure which can be effectively reduced through regular intake. Thus tomatoes are useful in preventing strokes, heart attacks and various other cardiac complications. In order to reap the real health benefits of tomato in this aspects one must consume at least 2 glasses of liquefied tomato every day.
Tomato Benefits for Kidneys
The chemical composition of tomato as discussed earlier is helpful in dissolving gallstones and hence is useful for people who are prone to formation of gallstones in the kidney. Additionally by aiding the process of blood purification the ingredients of tomato have the benefit of reducing the load on the kidneys and helping them in functioning more efficiently.
Tomato Benefits against Ill Effects of Smoking
Though tomatoes can in no way reduce the craving for smoking and do not contribute in attempts to quit, they can be helpful in reducing the harmful effects of smoking. Smoking produces carcinogens in the blood stream which are the root cause of most of the damage done by nicotine. Tomatoes contain coumaric acid and chlorogenic acid which are ideal ingredients to protect the body from harmful effects of carcinogens.
Tomato Benefits for Eyes
Being rich in Vitamin A which is the most powerful tool for maintaining and improving eyesight, tomatoes are useful for the eyes too. Regular intake of tomato is considered great for having a good night vision also.
Tomato Benefits for Diabetics
Another of the wonderful tomato health benefits is the presence of abundant quantities of chromium in its pulp. Chromium is essential in reducing the blood sugar level and thus keeping diabetes under control. Due this property, tomatoes are highly recommended part of the diet for diabetics.
Tomato Health Benefits in Ketchup
Ketchup is probably one of the few processed products that in many ways offer better benefits than the natural source. The method by which the tomatoes are processed to make ketchup split the Lycopene containing cells thereby facilitating their release into the body. The splitting also aids the process of absorption of Lycopene into the body thereby actually increasing the tomato health benefits that are accrued from the ketchup. The same benefits are also found in heat processed tomato purees which have Lycopene in readily absorbable forms. Thus a dollop of tomato sauce is equal to one of the five portions of vegetables recommended by nutritionists for consumption on daily basis.
Even homemade tomato juice is full of health benefits and can be prepared easily in superb tastes to excite everyone in the family to have a glass regularly. Having a glass of fresh homemade tomato juice can be an effective means of building up a good immunity system for the kids. The natural roughage content of the tomato juice is helpful in improving the digestive functions and helps increase appetite.
Consumed in any convenient manner, the tomato health benefits have the potential to make a crucial difference to the overall well being of any human being. Traditionally tomatoes have been accorded great importance as an essential fruit to be consumed on a regular basis in almost all parts of the world. Especially in places which experience lower temperatures tomato health benefits are multiplied manifolds. Due to the host of health benefits associated with the tomatoes, they are often categorized under super foods which nourish as well as protect. There are innumerable ways in which tomatoes are prepared all over the world, but its advantage lies in the fact that in most of the cases the nutritional value is either retained or enhanced after cooking.