Tomatoes are a rich source of vitamin C and contain many health benefits that most people are unaware of. The vegetable-often-confused-for-a fruit is rich in the antioxidant lycopene, a compound known for its ability to destroy cancer cells. Scientific studies show that lycopene helps prevent prostate, lung, and stomach cancers. This powerful antioxidant also reduces the risk of heart disease by lowering LDL and blood pressure.
Tomatoes are also a great source of potassium, folate, and vitamin K, while being low in carbs and relatively high in fiber.
Here are details on some of the health benefits of tomatoes:
Heart Health. Heart disease is the world’s most common cause of death, but several studies have demonstrated that the lycopene and beta-carotene found in tomatoes helped reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes in middle-aged men. Since tomatoes contain folate, eating them regularly helps maintain healthy homocysteine levels ,which also helps lower the risk of cardiovascular events. The high potassium level in tomatoes not only contributes to cardiovascular health but also protects muscles from deterioration, preserves bone density, and reduces the production of kidney stones.
Cancer prevention. Observational studies have shown that tomatoes and tomato products seem to lower the incidence of certain cancers, particularly breast, prostate, lung, and stomach cancers.
Skin health. Tomato-based foods rich in lycopene and other plant compounds may protect against sunburn according to research conducted by the National Institutes of Health. Vitamin C helps produce collagen, an essential component of the skin, hair, nails, and connective tissue.
Eye health. According to Medical News Today, the lycopene, lutein, and beta-carotene in tomatoes protect the eyes from light-induced damage, the development of cataracts, and age-related macular degeneration or AMD.
Diabetes. Studies have shown that people with type 1 diabetes who eat fiber-rich foods have lower blood glucose levels. Fiber-rich tomatoes can also help people with type 2 diabetes improve blood sugar, lipid, and insulin levels.
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