Eating tomatoes is great because this fruit /vegetable (whatever you may call it) has plenty of health benefits. Tomatoes are non starchy, low calorie and play such an important role in American diet today, that it is impossible to believe that till the 1800’s they were considered toxic.
Health benefits of Tomato
Tomatoes are one of the low-calorie vegetables containing just 18 calories per 100 g. They are also very low in any fat contents and have zero cholesterol levels. Nonetheless, they are excellent sources of antioxidants, dietary fiber, minerals, and vitamins. Becaus of their all-round qualities, dieticians and nutritionists often recommend them to be included in cholesterol controlling and weight reduction programs.
The antioxidants present in tomatoes are scientifically found to be protective of cancers, including colon, prostate, breast, endometrial, lung, and pancreatic tumors. Total -ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) in this vegetable is 367 µmol TE/100 g.
Lycopene, a flavonoid antioxidant, is the unique phytochemical present in the tomatoes. Red varieties are especially concentrated in this antioxidant. Together with carotenoids, it can protect cells and other structures in the body from harmful oxygen-free radicals. Studies have shown that lycopene prevents skin damage from ultra-violet (UV) rays and offers protection from skin cancer.
Zea-xanthin is another flavonoid compound present abundantly in this vegetable. Zea- xanthin helps protect eyes from "age-related macular related macular disease" (ARMD) in the elderly persons by filtering harmful ultra-violet rays.
The vegetable contains very good levels of vitamin A, and flavonoid anti-oxidants such as a and ß-carotenes, xanthins and lutein. Altogether, these pigment compounds are found to have antioxidant properties and take part in vision, maintain healthy mucus membranes and skin, and bone health. Consumption of natural vegetables and fruits rich in flavonoids is known to help protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.
Additionally, they are also good source of antioxidant vitamin-C (provide 21% of recommended daily levels per 100 g); consumption of foods rich in vitamin C helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful free radicals.
Fresh tomato is very rich in potassium. 100 g contain 237 mg of potassium and just 5 mg of sodium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure caused by sodium.
Further, they contain moderate levels of vital B-complex vitamins such as folates, thiamin, niacin, riboflavin as well some essential minerals like iron, calcium, manganese and other trace elements.
Some people may be allergic to tomatoes; their body cannot absorb and digest them. In some individuals eating tomatoes in salads can lead to itching, hives and breathing problems.
Lycopene intolerance can cause bloating of the stomach, pain and diarrhea. For some, eating tomatoes in any form can result in heart burn and reflux. When a person has a history of kidney stones, it would be wise to eat tomatoes in moderation as the high oxalate and calcium bind together and kidney stones are a result.
Those diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome will need to go slow on consuming tomatoes. Eaten in moderation, they will not be harmful in anyway. The nutritional benefits are many so there is no reason to avoid this simple, cost effective and widely available fruit /vegetable.
|Tomato, ripe, 1.00 cup|
|180.00 grams / 37.80 calories|
|Nutrient||Amount||DV(%)||Nutrient Density||World's Healthiest Foods Rating|
|vitamin C||34.38 mg||57.3||27.3||excellent|
|vitamin A||1121.40 IU||22.4||10.7||excellent|
|vitamin K||14.22 mcg||17.8||8.5||excellent|
|molybdenum||9.00 mcg||12||5.7||very good|
|potassium||399.60 mg||11.4||5.4||very good|
|manganese||0.19 mg||9.5||4.5||very good|
|dietary fiber||1.98 g||7.9||3.8||very good|
|chromium||9.00 mcg||7.5||3.6||very good|
|vitamin B1 (thiamin)||0.11 mg||7.3||3.5||very good|
|vitamin B6 (pyridoxine)||0.14 mg||7||3.3||good|
|vitamin B3 (niacin)||1.13 mg||5.6||2.7||good|
|vitamin B2 (riboflavin)||0.09 mg||5.3||2.5||good|
|vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid)||0.44 mg||4.4||2.1||good|
|vitamin E||0.68 mg||3.4||1.6||good|
Photo Gallery of Tomato: