Tomato is one of the common ingredients in foods that people eat. An edible fruit with the scientific name Solanum lycopersicum, it is usually added to hamburgers, salad, salsa, and pasta, among others. The following are the health benefits of tomatoes, along with a sample recipe.
Tomato Health Benefits
One of the health benefits of tomatoes is fiber. Fiber is usually found in most fruits and vegetables and it acts like a sweep to help the body eliminate bad agents like toxins and free radicals, which contribute to diseases like heart disease and cancer. Fiber also promotes the peristaltic movement of the intestines, so it also prevents gastrointestinal problems like constipation, hemorrhoids, and diverticulitis, inflammation of one part of the intestines. Moreover, fiber is also capable of reducing the levels of low-density lipoproteins in the blood; thus, it also helps reduce heart and blood vessel disorders like hypertension, atherosclerosis, coronary artery disease, and stroke.
Vitamins C and K
Two other benefits of eating tomatoes are vitamins C and K. Vitamin C increases the body’s resistance from infection and illness and it also promotes the function of collagen, a substance that acts as cement and helps connect loosely bound cells and tissues. Collagen also helps prevent signs of aging like fine lines and wrinkles. Moreover, vitamin C acts as an antioxidant. Just like vitamins A and E, vitamin E helps remove toxins and free radicals from the body. Meanwhile, vitamin K helps prevent blood loss by speeding up the healing of wounds.
Tomatoes also help promote heart and blood vessel health. According to Medical News Today, tomatoes have potassium, a mineral that helps regulate blood pressure. Thus, tomato helps prevent excessive increase or decrease in blood pressure. Vanderbilt Medical School associate director and Hypertension Institute director Mark Houston, as cited by the publication, said that an increase in potassium intake is the most vital dietary modification an average person can make to decrease his risk of heart disease.
Another benefit of eating tomatoes is the prevention and management of cancer. According World’s Healthiest Foods, tomato contains a saponin phytonutrient called alpha-tomatine, which can regulate metabolic activities in developing prostate cancer cells and activate apoptosis or programmed cellular death in prostate cancer cells that have been completely formed. Alpha-tomatine studies have already been conducted for non-small lung cancer, breast cancer, and pancreatic cancer.
One recipe that uses tomatoes as ingredients is Black Bean and Corn Salad. According to All Recipes, the ingredients include tomatoes, fresh lime juice, olive oil, garlic, salt, ground cayenne pepper, black beans, frozen corn kernels, avocado, red bell pepper, green onions, and fresh cilantro (optional).
To prepare, as per the publication, the olive oil, lime juice, garlic, salt, and cayenne pepper are placed in a small jar. Next, the jar is covered and the ingredients are shaken until they are well mixed. Then, the corn, beans, bell pepper, avocado, green onions, cilantro, and tomatoes are combined in a salad bowl and the lime dressing is shaken and poured over the salad. Finally, the salad is stirred to coat the vegetables and beans with dressing, before it is served.
Tomato is one of the healthiest food choices people have today. It can easily be added to various dishes for flavor while promoting the body’s health and wellness.