omatoes are very good for health and are generally low-priced. 100 gm of tomatoes provide 18 calories, 0.2 gm of fat, 3.9 gm of carbohydrate (including 1.2 gm of dietary fiber and 2.6 grams of sugar) and 0.9 gram of protein. Tomatoes are a rich source of vitamins A and C and folic acid, and also contain several other beneficial nutrients and antioxidants, including all four major carotenoids: alpha- and beta-carotene, lutein, and lycopene. These carotenoids provide major health benefits, when acting together. Tomatoes are also rich in potassium. Increasing consumption of tomatoes reduces the risk of obesity. Main health benefits of tomatoes are as under:
Prevention of several types of cancer: Tomatoes have high levels of lycopene, which is a natural antioxidant that slows the growth of cancerous cells. Thus, tomatoes reduce the probability of developing various types of cancer, such as prostate cancer, colorectal cancer, pancreatic cancer and stomach cancer. Since cooked tomatoes have more lycopene than raw tomatoes, you may enjoy all cooked recipes of tomatoes and get additional benefits. Heart and blood pressure: Fiber, potassium, vitamin C and choline found in tomatoes support heart health. Vitamin B and potassium present in tomatoes are useful in reducing cholesterol levels and lowering blood pressure. While low sodium intake helps in lowering blood pressure, increasing potassium intake (found in tomatoes) is also helpful in this regard. So, eat tomatoes in sufficient quantity.
Kidneys: Tomatoes have also been found to reduce the risk of kidney stones.
Eyes: Vitamin A found in tomatoes is also useful for improving vision and it also prevents development of night blindness.
Blood sugar levels under better control: Presence of chromium in tomatoes is useful for diabetic people to keep their blood sugar levels under better control. Alpha-lipoic acid found in tomatoes helps the body to convert glucose into energy and it has been reported that alpha-lipoic acid can aid in blood glucose control.
Skin: The presence of high level of lycopene in tomatoes is also good for your skin. They can cleanse the skin.
Strong bones: Presence of good amount of calcium and Vitamin K in tomatoes helps in keeping your bones strong and also in performing minor repairs on the bones and bone tissue.
Damage caused by cigarette smoking is undone: Presence of coumaric acid and chlorogenic acid in tomatoes is very useful to reduce the amount of damage done to your body by smoking cigarettes. These substances, which are found in tomatoes protect the body from carcinogens produced from cigarette smoke.
Antioxidants: Tomatoes have Vitamin A, Vitamin C and beta-carotene, which act as antioxidants to undo the effect of harmful free radicals in the blood which can cause cell damage. A more red tomato contains more beta-carotene. Further, cooking destroys the Vitamin C contained in tomatoes. So, eating raw and more red tomatoes are more useful in this regard for providing antioxidants to the body.
Depression: The folic acid in tomatoes helps with depression.
Hair, skin and teeth: Tomatoes have Vitamin A which are useful for healthy hair, eyes, skin and teeth. Choline found in tomatoes helps with sleep, muscle movement, learning and memory. Constipation: Tomatoes which have high content of water and fiber help to keep you hydrated and make your bowel movements regular. Fiber reduces constipation.
Pregnancy: Tomatoes contain folic acid which is very useful for pregnant women to protect against neural tube defects in infants. Consumption of tomatoes by breastfeeding women increases concentration of lycopene in their breast milk, which will provide enough nutrients to the babies.