Tomatoes – Nutritional Information
Tomatoes are a delicious edible fruit – yes, they are classified as a fruit – with usually red color.
They may have been cultivated by the indigenous people of the area now known as Mexico. The European world has to know the tomatoes because the Spanish conquistadors noticed that the Aztec people were growing this unknown food. From there the tomato was brought to Europe.
An interesting fact is that 200 years ago people in the US thought that tomatoes were poisonous.
Well, now we know that they are not only edible but also have plenty of health benefits. It is best to eat organic tomatoes and remember to wash them before eating them. If you consume certain medications, as beta-blockers, you should not eat too much tomatoes and it is better to
check with your doctor in regard with your diet. In addition, since tomatoes are an acidic food, people with GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) may notice an increase in their symptoms but, still, this varies from one person to another. If you are allergic to grass pollen or latex, there is a possibility that tomatoes may cause allergy symptoms.
Per 100g raw
|Vitamin A||833 IU|
If you are a smoker, you can benefit from eating tomatoes. They contain chlorogenic acid and coumaric acid – these two fight against the main carcinogens in the cigarettes, the nitrosamines.
In addition, they have vitamin A, which have been shown, in high quantities, to reduce the harmful effect of the carcinogens. Another compound in the tomatoes, the lycopene, may also help to prevent the development of cancer.
Tomatoes also benefit the digestive system. They not only prevent constipation but also diarrhea.
They remove the toxins from our body and may prevent jaundice. Tomatoes have fiber, which stimulates the peristalsis, thus, regulating your bowel movements and improving the health of the digestive systems.
Another organ system that can benefit from the tomatoes is the cardiovascular one. Tomatoes, as we already mentioned, contain lycopene, which has protective effect against heart diseases due to being able to prevent the serum lipid oxidation. They decrease the triglycerides in the blood and lower the bad (LDL) cholesterol.
And they can also lower the high blood pressure partially because they contain quite a lot of potassium which reduces the high tension in the vessels.
Tomatoes can keep the hair, bones, skin and teeth healthy. They even help with severe sunburns if tomato juice is applied to the skin. They are also used in the production of anti-aging products.
They are also shown to provide relief for those suffering from gallstones. Tomatoes have beneficial effects against plenty of chronic diseases and different cancers.
Tomatoes lower the levels of glucose in the blood in people who have diabetes type 1. Some studies also show that people who suffer from diabetes type 2 may benefit from the fiber content of the tomatoes and the frequent consumption of this food can improve the levels of lipids, insulin and blood sugar.
Due to containing lutein, beta-carotene and lycopene (which are antioxidants), tomatoes have protective effect for the eyes against light-induces damage, the development of age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.
They contain lots of vitamin C, vitamin A, iron and potassium. The latter is really important for the health of the nerves while iron is vital for the maintenance of normal circulation of the blood.
Tomatoes also have vitamin K, which takes pats in blood clotting and the control over the bleeding. The vitamin C is an antioxidant and battles with the free radicals (these harmful chemical may damage the systems of the body).
With what foods can we eat tomatoes?
Tomatoes can be eaten by themselves or with various vegetables. They can also be coupled with cheese. Tomatoes make wonderful salads when mixed with different vegetables. Alternatively, you can make sandwiches with them. Some soup recipes also use tomatoes.
They can be consumed in tacos and quesadillas or added to beans, rice or omelets. They can be made into a delicious sauce or a tasty summer cocktail. Tomato pies can also be yummy. On the other hand, put them on your favorite pizza, if you want.