You might not think that a tomato contains a high amount of health benefits, but in fact they do. The health benefits of tomatoes are clearly showing in research, and they can truly improve your health. Plus, tomatoes are easy to cook with and to work into meal plans. Learn about their nutritional values and how tomatoes can benefit you.
Nutritional Facts of Tomatoes
A serving size is 240 grams, and provides no fat or cholesterol. It contains 7% of your daily fiber, and 10 grams of carbohydrates. There are also many vitamins and minerals, providing Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol), Vitamin K, Thiamin, Niacin, and Vitamin B6. There is also Folate, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Copper. Tomatoes are also a very good source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Potassium and Manganese. They provide a very low glycemic load, so blood sugar levels are not spiked from eating them. Tomatoes are also a mild anti-inflammatory.
Tomato Benefits for Health
Tomatoes are best known for their powerful antioxidant properties. These nutrients protect you in a few different ways. First, they stop damage that can happen to the cell walls, a process called reduced lipid peroxidation. It also causes better antioxidant enzyme function, which translates to better health for many major body organs, including the liver and kidneys. This high concentration of antioxidant power also supports a healthy cardiovascular system. Studies have been done on how tomatoes benefit bone health as well. A group of postmenopausal women in one study were asked to stop eating tomatoes for four weeks. Tests later revealed that the oxidative stress in their bones had spiked, along with other unwanted bone tissue changes. Tomatoes are great for men as well. Many studies have been done to show that tomatoes can indeed help lower the risk of prostate cancer.
Fitting Tomatoes Into Your Diet
Nearly everyone is familiar with the taste and texture of tomatoes. This makes fitting them into your diet much easier. They are also very versatile, so there are plenty of meal options. Use them for making brilliant pasta sauce, and enjoy the health benefits of garlic and olive oil in the process! Or include sliced tomatoes on your sandwiches for lunch.
Enjoy a classic Italian salad by topping your salad greens with sliced onions, tomatoes, and mozzarella cheese. Drizzle some extra virgin olive oil and/or vinegar for some extra flavor. You now have a healthy, exotic, and filling salad for lunch or as a side to dinner.
Use them in salsa by chopping up tomatoes, onions, and chili peppers. You can also add corn for a touch of sweetness. Salsa can be used to dip chips, vegetables, or in burritos and other Mexican-inspired dishes.
The health benefits of tomatoes make ignoring them impossible. They are a powerful antioxidant, which protects your body from damage. They can also improve bone health in women, and protect against prostate cancer in men. It is a food most people are familiar with, which makes incorporating it into meals easy.