Tomatoes can be a contentious food item. While some people adore their natural sweetness and use them on everything from sandwiches to casseroles to pizzas, many dislike their relatively slimy texture and acidic nature. Raw tomatoes provide essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients that can deliver a number of profound health benefits. Not only are tomatoes a good source of potassium, manganese, magnesium, phosphorous, and copper, but they also have dietary fibre and protein as well as a number of organic compounds like lycopene that contribute to their health benefits. Tomatoes are rich in antioxidants, they contain a large amount of lycopene, which is highly effective in scavenging cancer-causing free radicals. One tomato can provide about 40% of the daily vitamin C requirement. Experts explain that the lycopene in tomatoes prevents serum lipid oxidation, thus exerting a protective effect against cardiovascular diseases.
- They’re great for preventing constipation and diarrhoea.
- Tomatoes are rich in vitamin A, which aid in improving vision and preventing night-blindness and macular degeneration.
- The impressive levels of potassium found in tomatoes lowers hypertension
- A study conducted by the Journal of the American Medical Association shows that daily consumption of tomatoes reduces the oxidative stress of type 2 diabetes.
- Daily tomato consumption is great for teeth, bones and skin. Plus, topical application of tomato juice is known to help with severe sunburn.
- Tomatoes are high in water content, which can stimulate urination; hence they’re a diuretic and prevent urinary tract infections.
- Regular consumption can provide relief from gallstones, say experts prevent Gallstones
The Downside: There are also potential ill effects of eating raw tomatoes. They have an acidic quality that might aggravate frequent heartburn or acid reflux. Dr. Frank Jackson, of Jackson Siegelbaum Gastroenterology Clinic, recommends steering clear of tomatoes altogether if you suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disease because they might act as a “trigger food.” Eating too many tomatoes at the expense of other fruits and vegetables might also lead to eventual nutrient deficiencies.
Eating cooked tomatoes and processed tomato products can deliver many of the same health benefits as raw tomatoes, although some enzymes and beneficial compounds are destroyed in the cooking and production processes. Tomatoes indeed are the nutrient-dense superfood that offers benefit to a range of bodily systems. Its nutritional content supports healthful skin, weight loss, and heart health.