Tomatoes are extremely popular, as they are highly versatile and can be included in a wide range of recipes. They can be enjoyed as part of salads or soups, and they can be turned into a sauce for a delicious pasta meal. As it turns out, they are also very good for your health, promoting vital processes in your body and reducing your risk of developing a range of medical problems. Read on to discover the eleven most significant and interesting reasons why adding more tomatoes to your diet could help to improve and extend your life.
1) They can help to protect you from certain types of cancer:
The most famous health benefit of tomatoes is probably their ability to fight cancer. This is mainly because they contain lycopene, an antioxidant that seems to stop the growth of cancer cells. In particular, some recent studies suggest that regularly eating tomatoes can substantially lower a man’s risk of suffering from prostate cancer. Further research has also linked tomatoes to a reduction in the likelihood of developing cancers of the breast, colon, ovaries, mouth and stomach. In addition, tomatoes contain chlorogenic acid and coumaric acid, both of which have been proven to reduce the carcinogenic effects of cigarette smoke (thereby making you less likely to develop lung cancer).
2) They improve cardiovascular health:
There is strong evidence that regularly eating plenty of tomatoes reduces your risk of developing heart disease. A few different factors play a role in this reduction. Firstly, some studies have also shown that lycopene can play a role in reducing levels of LDL (i.e. ‘bad’ cholesterol). Secondly, tomatoes discourage the excessive clumps of platelet blood cells that can cause unwanted clots and blocked blood vessels. Finally, the potassium and vitamin B found in tomatoes makes them capable of slightly lowering your blood pressure.
3) They can reduce chronic pain:
If you suffer from something like arthritis or fibromyalgia, you probably experience a tiring level of chronic pain. Eating tomatoes may be able to help with this, as they are an excellent source of both bioflavonoids and carotenoids (both of which have been proven to have anti-inflammatory properties).
4) They can help to keep blood sugar levels under control:
A diet that is rich in tomatoes may help to make you less likely to develop type 2 diabetes, as there is a link between consuming tomatoes and having healthy blood sugar levels. Specifically, tomatoes are a great source of chromium, which is a mineral that helps to control blood sugar. This makes them ideal snacks for people who already have diabetes as well.
5) They promote healthy bones:
Tomatoes are a good source of vitamin K and calcium, and both of these nutrients can help to keep your bones strong. Some studies even suggest that they can help to heal small areas of damage in bone tissue. The lycopene in tomatoes also helps to improve bone mass, which will reduce your risk of developing osteoporosis. For example, one study has shown that removing lycopene from the diet of postmenopausal women leads to negative changes in bone tissue and to an increased risk of bone fractures.
6) They promote healthy hair:
Tomatoes are an excellent source of vitamin A, which helps to keep hair looking strong, shiny and attractive. Some studies also show that tomatoes can help to improve the condition of your nails.
7) They can help to keep your eyes healthy:
The fact that tomatoes provide you with plenty of vitamin A means that they can boost your visual acuity and also reduce your risk of losing your sight. This is because they are particularly good at reducing your risk of suffering from macular degeneration.
8. They can help you to lose weight:
Tomatoes are low in calories and contain no fat, but they provide you with plenty of water and fiber. This means that they can help you to stay motivated during a diet, as they help you to feel fuller for longer.
9) They may help to maintain cognitive function:
One interesting area of future research concerns the link between tomatoes and neurological diseases. At present, a few different studies show that regularly eating tomatoes reduces your risk of developing several forms of dementia (including Alzheimer’s disease).
10) They may make you less likely to suffer from gallstones and kidney stones:
Some intriguing scientific studies have shown that people who eat tomatoes without the seeds are slightly less likely to develop gallstones and kidney stones. The correlation is yet to be satisfactorily explained, but in the mean time tomatoes are a good addition to your diet if you are concerned about developing either of these medical conditions.
11) They are a useful addition to your skincare routine:
The high amounts of lycopene in tomatoes means that they can be added to your beauty routine in a useful way. Try peeling about ten of them, and then place the tomato skins on problem areas of your face and body for around ten minutes. Many people find that this routine promotes a cleaner, dewier complexion. In addition, there is some evidence that the beta-carotene in tomatoes can improve your skin’s ability to protect itself from harmful UV rays (which will reduce your risk of skin cancer and premature aging).
As is obvious from the above health benefits, tomatoes are an excellent addition to your diet if you want to improve your intake of fruits and vegetables. It is also worth noting that cooking tomatoes can lead to an even higher intake of lycopene, as cooking them actually encourages the release of lycopene from the tomato cells.