4 Amazing Health Benefits of Tomatoes
When you think of tomatoes, which foods spring to mind? For many, we associate tomatoes with salads, as toppings for burgers, and of course, that winter comfort food staple, tomato soup. Whereas the aforementioned are all great ways to use tomatoes, in reality there are so many other uses for this delicious fruit, and yes, tomatoes are a fruit.
Tomatoes are very easy to grow with the right gear and in the right conditions, and if you do grow your own, the taste will be so much better than the mass produced, GMO filled tomatoes you find on grocery store shelves.
As delicious as tomatoes are, they also happen to be extremely good for you and are surprisingly healthy.
If you’re looking to boost your health and wellbeing, here’s a look at 4 unique health benefits of tomatoes.
Tomatoes are rich in lycopene
Tomatoes are packed full of vitamins and antioxidants, yet one of the most prominent antioxidants in tomatoes is one known as lycopene.
Lycopene is a compound which is responsible for giving tomatoes their vibrant red colour, and the redder the tomato, the more lycopene it contains.
Lycopene is an antioxidant that can help to protect the cells and eradicate free radicals and toxins which could attack the cells via oxidation, causing them to become damaged, dead, or to mutate and potentially turn cancerous.
Interestingly, the body finds it easier to absorb lycopene through cooked tomatoes, so cooked tomatoes are considered healthier than raw.
Tomatoes are surprisingly good for the bones
Another key benefit of tomatoes is the fact that they are surprisingly good for your bones.
Normally when we think of foods for the bones, we think of calcium rich ones such as dairy. In truth, though, tomatoes are rich in minerals including calcium, along with vitamin K, which both play key roles in the growth and development of strong and healthy bones.
Tomatoes promote a healthy heart
Heart disease is currently the world’s biggest killer, as each year it claims more lives than any other disease.
Looking after the heart is important, which is why we need to ensure that we follow a healthy and balanced diet packed full of natural goodness.
Tomatoes are a food source that have been found to promote a healthy heart, and again, it is largely due to their high antioxidant contents, especially lycopene.
Studies have found that regular lycopene consumption can reduce harmful LDL cholesterol levels and boost healthy HDL cholesterol. LDL cholesterol is dangerous as it can coat the lining of the arteries with fatty deposits that can cause blockages and greasy build ups, which in turn can lead to heart attacks.
One reason for this is that lycopene acts as a potent anti-inflammatory and can protect against markers of oxidative stress and inflammation.
Tomatoes are great for the immune system
Finally, because tomatoes are rich in vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, calcium, and potassium, they have been found to strengthen the human immune system.
Your immune system is what is responsible for protect you against illness and disease, so the stronger it is, the healthier you will be.