Tomatoes are great for you. Be sure to eat the skin as well, as the skin contains many essential nutrients.
A member of the nightshade family and once thought to be deadly, tomatoes are now one of the most common fruits in the United States. While seemingly most things that are popular are bad for you, such is not the case with tomatoes, which has a host of benefits. One of the most important benefits stares you right in the face every time you look at a tomato. The skin is full of a carotenoid called lycopene. Lycopene, responsible for giving bright red tomatoes their color, is a powerful antioxidant that is good for the skin and more importantly helps immune cells fight off dangerous free radicals that cause various forms of cancer. In fact, tomatoes contain all of the major carotenoids, the others being alpha- and beta-carotene and lutein). Also present is the flavonol zeaxanthin, which, along with vitamin A, helps protect eyes from age-related macular degeneration. Vitamin A also interacts with lycopene to help reduce asthma symptoms that result from exercise.
For diabetics, tomatoes are an especially important source of chromium, which has been found to help keep blood glucose levels in check. Other vitamins found in tomatoes include B-complex vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin K, and vitamin E. Also of importance is the fact that tomatoes contain potassium in abundance.
Cigarette smokers would do well to eat tomatoes regularly as well. Tomatoes contain coumaric acid and chlorogenic acid, which have been shown by studies to repair damage done by smoking. Tomatoes are also effective in helping prevent heart disease. One of the key factors in this is the tomato having salicylates, which have an anti-clotting effect on the blood.
One last interesting fact about tomatoes is that a study done on rats showed there is a level of cooperation between tomatoes and broccoli. When the rats were fed a powder of broccoli and tomato mixed together, a reduced risk of prostate cancer was discovered.
Possible short-term side effects
- acid reflux
- protects against heart disease
- protects against cancer
- promotes healthy skin
- promotes hair health
- regulates blood sugar
- helps repair "smoker's lung"
- protects eyes
- reduces risk of kidney stones
- helps prevent asthma
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Written by Jeff Volling | 12-28-2015
Written by Jeff Volling
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