The tomato (Solanum Lycopersicum) is a fruit from the nightshade family native to South America.
Despite botanically being a fruit, it’s generally eaten and prepared like a vegetable.
Tomatoes are the major dietary source of the antioxidant lycopene, which has been linked to many health benefits, including reduced risk of heart disease and cancer.
They are also a great source of vitamin C, potassium, folate, and vitamin K.
Usually red when mature, tomatoes can also come in a variety of colors, including yellow, orange, green, and purple. What’s more, many subspecies of tomatoes exist with different shapes and flavors.
This blog tells you everything you need to know about tomatoes.
The water content of tomatoes is around 95%. The other 5% consists mainly of carbohydrates and fibers.
Here are the nutrients in a small (100-gram) raw tomato(1)
- Calories: 18
- Water: 95%
- Protein: 0.9 grams
- Carbs: 3.9 grams
- Sugar: 2.6 grams
- Fiber: 1.2 grams
- Fat: 0.2 grams
- They protect heart health - Tomatoes contain an antioxidant called lycopene (which also gives them their red color). Studies have shown that higher blood levels of lycopene are linked to lower death rates among people with metabolic syndrome (a cluster of risk factors that raise the chances of developing heart disease, diabetes, and stroke).
- Good for the Skin and Hair - Given the rising levels of pollution, our skin and hair end up bearing a lot of brunts. Incorporating tomatoes in your regular diet actually helps to battle the wear and tear our skin goes through. Tomatoes contain lycopene, which is also used for facial cleansers. And apart from eating them as salad, you can also peel the tomatoes, and use the skin as a mask on your face. It cleanses and refreshes your skin. And the Vitamin A in tomatoes protects your hair from external damages as well!
- It’s a Great Anti-Oxidant - Tomatoes are a good source of Vitamin A and vitamin c. And these two components help the body to get rid of harmful free radicals in our blood. However, to absorb Vitamin C into the system, the tomatoes need to be eaten raw, so bring on the salads.6. It Helps Your Heart Now tomatoes might not help to heal a broken heart, but the Vitamin A, Vitamin B, and potassium in them help to decrease your cholesterol levels and blood. In the long run, it can prevent heart-related diseases. So start loading up on tomatoes today.
- Activates Digestion - Tomatoes help to improve the digestive system and the liver. Tomatoes are loaded with fiber which helps prevents constipation too. So if you've eaten a bit too much or something too spicy, bite into a small ripe tomato at the end of the meal! Tomatoes are a laxative fruit. Consuming meals heavy in water and fiber, like tomatoes, may aid hydration and promote regular bowel movements. It is because insoluble fibers are not water-soluble. As a result, they do not dissolve food particles and carry them out of the body by adding more bulk to the stool. They provide about 10% of the daily fiber intake, resulting in improved digestion and bowel movement.
- It Helps to Burn Fat - If you are on diet, now is the time to include tomatoes as part of your daily regime. Tomatoes encourage the production of the amino acid called Carnitine, which is reported to enhance the body’s fat-burning ability to at least 30 percent,
Improves Vision - One of the reasons tomatoes are suitable for the eyes is that they are high in vitamin A. Our retina needs vitamin A. Low amounts of the vitamin can lead to blindness over time. In addition, they contain lycopene, which protects the eyes from the damage of free radicals. People with higher lycopene levels face a lower risk of age-related macular degeneration. Lycopene further guards the eyes against irritation caused by the sun.
Vitamin C and copper are two additional eye-friendly substances found in tomatoes. While the former can help prevent age-related cataracts, the latter aids in producing melanin, the eye’s crucial black pigment. As per studies, when you consume beta-carotene, it transforms into retinol, necessary for good eye health.
- It Helps Heal Damage Done by Smoking - Smoking causes the body to produce an excessive amount of free radicals. Vitamin C can effectively neutralize them. As a result, tomatoes can be beneficial to smokers. Vitamin C in tomatoes helps eliminate artery blockage that affects proper heart functioning. It has antioxidant properties which protect the cells and other vital molecules of the body from getting oxidized and damaged. Vitamin C deficiency can lead to heart disease and cancer. According to a study, men and women who do not smoke require 90 mg and 75 mg of vitamin C, respectively. On the other hand, smokers need 35 mg. One hundred grams of raw tomatoes can give you around 13.7 mg of vitamin C.