Some people think tomatoes are fruits, while others treat them as veggies. No matter what they are for you, you know tomatoes are a superfood with so many nutrients and health benefits to offer, including:
1. Eating tomatoes can help fight cancer. Their high amounts of antioxidants, especially vitamin C can stop the formation of cancer-causing free radicals.
2. Tomatoes are also rich in potassium, which makes them effective at keeping blood pressure levels in check. Potassium not only has vasodilation effects, but can also aid in reducing early death risk by up to 20%.
3. With blood pressure regulated, the heart can be healthy. Tomatoes contain not only potassium and vitamin C, but also choline and fiber, which all help in keeping the heart strong. Add tomatoes into your diet, along with reduced sodium intake to have lower cardiovascular disease risk.
4. People who are at risk of developing or are already diagnosed with type 1 diabetes require foods that are rich in fiber. Tomatoes, especially cherry tomatoes, contain high amounts of the nutrient. Those with type 2 diabetes will also benefit from tomatoes to help improve their insulin, blood sugar, and lipid levels.
Tomatoes have many nutrients, including vitamins A and C, as well as the B vitamin folic acid. They also contain lycopene, beta-carotene, lutein, and ALA, which are antioxidants that can benefit our health. While there is no doubt that tomatoes are healthy, they also come with risks:
1. The Environmental Working Group releases a list of produce with the highest pesticide residues. According to the list, cherry tomatoes contain high levels of the chemicals. Go for organic tomatoes all the time to avoid pesticide exposure.
2. For those with heart disease who take beta-blockers, consuming foods that are high in potassium can interfere with the medication. Eat tomatoes in moderation to avoid problems, such as kidney disease.
3. Tomatoes are highly acidic, so you may want to consume very little of them if you have gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD. Too many tomatoes can lead to regurgitation and heartburn, although some individuals report they don’t have these issues.
4. Tomatoes are generally safe, but make sure you avoid the leaves, especially in large amounts. They can cause poisoning, which can have symptoms such as headache, dizziness, diarrhea, vomiting, and throat irritation. In severe cases, it can cause death, so be very careful.
Before eating tomatoes, make sure you wash them with running water first. As much as possible, don’t throw away the seeds; add them to your tomato recipe as they are very nutritious as well.