Tomatoes are a popular addition to many recipes, including salads. They are sweet and delicious fruits that most people treat like vegetables. Nevertheless, a tomato is quite versatile and the good news is that it offers a ton of health benefits, giving you a lot of reasons to eat tomatoes every day:
1. It can help fight premature aging.
A study tested 10 people as they ate five tablespoons of tomato paste with olive oil daily for three months. Another group did the same without tomato paste. After the period, UV lamps on the participants who consumed tomato paste showed that they had over 33% more protection against sunburn. Tomato also helped boost their collagen production, making their skin more supple.
2. It has lycopene.
There are so many antioxidants discovered, but lycopene remains to be one of the most important. This carotenoid antioxidant is responsible for giving the red color in tomatoes. However, this isn’t the only thing it does as lycopene may be able to:
- Protect our cells from free radicals, which are molecules that can cause cancer and damage our DNA.
- Help keep us healthy and strong with improved immune function
- Help lower cholesterol levels
- Prevent hardening of arteries
- Reduce blood clots
- Decrease stroke risk
The stronger the color of the tomato, the more lycopene it contains. Make sure you cook the tomatoes to get the benefits of lycopene or go for processed ones, such as sauce or juice.
3. It has plenty of carotenoids.
Apart from lycopene, there are other carotenoids in tomatoes, including alpha- and beta-carotene and lutein. These carotenoids work together to keep us healthy, but make sure you don’t remove the skin where these nutrients are, along with flavonols.
4. It can help prevent cancer.
Lycopene is quite known for being a cancer fighter. One study discovered that people whose diets are high in tomatoes have 31% reduced risk of developing cancer. Combine tomatoes and broccoli to fight prostate cancer. Women who eat foods rich in carotenoids may have lower breast cancer risk.
5. It has anti-inflammatory benefits.
Tomatoes have flavonoids as well, including quercetin and kaempferol, which are especially found in tomato skins. These two types of flavonoids can counteract inflammation. One study showed that drinking tomato juice daily can reduce TNF-alpha levels in the blood by up to 34%. TNF-alpha is responsible for chronic inflammation that can lead to chronic, degenerative illnesses, including heart disease, osteoporosis, and depression.
Researchers from Manchester University and Newcastle University recommend that we should eat two meals per day with tomatoes in it, such as tomato juice, salad, tomato soup, or spaghetti Bolognese.