Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) is a fruit, although it is normally used as a vegetable in salads and hot dishes. It is an ingredient widely used in weight loss diets because every tomato has only 25 calories, and has diuretic properties, in addition to plenty of water and vitamin C that improves the immune system and the absorption of iron in meals. The main health benefit of tomatoes is to help prevent cancer, especially prostate cancer because it is made up of good amounts of lycopene, which is much more bio-available when tomatoes are cooked or eaten in a sauce.
Some of the main benefits of tomatoes include:
Prevents prostate cancer
Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, a carotenoid pigment that exerts a powerful antioxidant action in the body, protecting cells from the effect of free radicals, especially prostate cells. The amount of lycopene varies depending on the ripeness of the tomato and the way it is consumed, with raw tomatoes containing 30 mg of lycopene/kg, while its juice can have more than 150 mg / L, and ripe tomatoes also contain more lycopene than greens. Some studies indicate that the consumption of tomato sauce increases lycopene concentrations in the body, 2 to 3 times more than when consumed in its fresh form or in juice.
Helps prevent cardiovascular conditions
Tomatoes, due to their high antioxidant composition, help to keep blood vessels healthy, in addition to having fibers that help to lower levels of bad cholesterol, also known as LDL. In addition, some studies show that the consumption of lycopene in the diet also reduces the risk of a heart attack.
Eyesight, skin and hair
Because it is rich in carotenoids, which are transformed into vitamin A in the body, the consumption of tomatoes helps to maintain visual and skin health, in addition to strengthening and brightening hair.
Helps regulate blood pressure
Tomatoes are rich in potassium, a mineral that helps regulate blood pressure. Furthermore, because it is rich in water it also creates a diuretic effect. In addition to maintaining regulated pressure, tomatoes also prevent muscle weakness and cramps during intense physical activity.
5. Strengthen the immune system
Due to its vitamin C content, consuming tomatoes helps to strengthen the body’s natural defenses, as it helps to fight free radicals, which, in excess, favor the appearance of various diseases and infections. In addition, vitamin C is also an excellent healer and facilitates the absorption of iron, which is particularly indicated for the treatment against anemia. In addition, vitamin C also serves to facilitate healing of the skin and improve blood circulation, being great to help prevent cardiovascular diseases such as atherosclerosis, for example.
Tomato is a fruit because it has biological characteristics of growth and development similar to fruits, but its nutritional characteristics are closer to vegetables, such as the number of carbohydrates present in tomatoes that are closer to other vegetables than to other fruits.
|Components||Quantity in 100 g of food|
|Vitamin A (retinol)||54 mcg|
|Vitamin B1||0.05 mcg|
|Vitamin B2||0.03 mcg|
|Vitamin B3||0.6 mg|
|Vitamin C||21.2 mg|
|Lycopene in raw tomatoes||2.7 mg|
|Lycopene in tomato sauce||21.8 mg|
|Lycopene in sun-dried tomatoes||45.9 mg|
|Lycopene in canned tomatoes||2.7 mg|