Tomatoes, though often thought of as vegetables, are citrus fruits that are loaded with lots of nutrients, anti-oxidants, fiber, vitamins, minerals that are suitable for the general wellbeing of the body. Hence they have a lot of health benefits. First of all, they are versatile fruits –vegetables (depending on what you call it) that can be used in a lot of dishes and can also be eaten alone. There are a lot of healthy benefits one can get from chomping on raw tomatoes. It is important to note that there are some people who are allergic to raw tomatoes and experience gastrointestinal issues like acid reflux when they eat them.
Before we delve into the health benefits of eating raw tomatoes, it is imperative we look at the nutrients in raw tomatoes.
Nutrients in raw tomatoes
A medium-sized raw tomato contains less than 30 calories, very little fat, no cholesterol, over 1 gram of dietary fiber and a variety of essential nutrients. For example, the same tomato provides about 40 percent of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C and approximately 20 percent of vitamin A. The most abundant nutrient in tomatoes, and perhaps the one most associated with health benefits, is lycopene. Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant and the main reason why tomatoes are red. Interestingly, stewed and baked tomatoes provide more lycopene per weight than raw tomatoes. It seems that the cooking process makes the lycopene more bioavailable to your body
Health Benefits of raw tomatoes
They are good for the skin
Tomatoes contain a high level of lycopene, which is a substance that is used in some of the more pricy facial cleansers that are available for purchase over-the-counter.
If you want to try tomatoes for skin care, you need to start with about eight to twelve tomatoes. Peel the tomatoes and then place the skin on your face with inside of the tomato touching your skin.
Leave the tomatoes on your face for a minimum of ten minutes, then wash. Your face will feel clean and shiny. Some redness may occur, but should fade with time.
Tomatoes inhibit cancer growth
A number of studies have been conducted that indicate that the high levels of lycopene in tomatoes works to reduce your chances of developing prostate, colorectal and stomach cancer.
Lycopene is a natural antioxidant that works effectively to slow the growth of cancerous cells. Cooked tomatoes produce even more lycopene, so go ahead and cook up a batch of your mom’s famous tomato soup.
Tomatoes help maintain strong bones.
Tomatoes contain a considerable amount of calcium and Vitamin K. Both of these nutrients are essential in strengthening and performing minor repairs on the bones as well as the bone tissue.
Tomatoes help repair damage caused by smoking.
No, eating tomatoes is not the most recent fad to help you quit smoking. However, tomatoes can reduce the amount of damaged done to your body by smoking cigarettes.
Tomatoes contain coumaric acid and chlorogenic acid that work to protect the body from carcinogens that are produced from cigarette smoke.
Tomatoes provide essential antioxidants.
Tomatoes contain a great deal of Vitamin A and Vitamin C. This is primarily because these vitamins and beta-carotene work as antioxidants to neutralize harmful free radicals in the blood.
Free radicals in the blood stream are dangerous because it may lead to cell damage. Remember, the redder the tomato you eat is, the more beta-carotene it contains. In addition, you also want to keep in mind that cooking destroys the Vitamin C, so for these benefits, the tomatoes need to be eaten raw.
Tomatoes are good for your heart.
Because of the Vitamin B and potassium in tomatoes, they are effective in reducing cholesterol levels and lowering blood pressure. Therefore, by including tomatoes in your regular balanced diet you can effectively prevent heart attacks, strokes as well as many other heart related problems that may threaten your life.
Tomatoes are good for your hair
The Vitamin A in tomatoes works perfectly to keep your hair shiny and strong. In addition, it also does wonders for your eyes, skin, bones and teeth.
Tomatoes are good for your kidneys.
Adding tomatoes without seeds to your diet has been proven in some studies to reduce the risk of kidney stones.
Tomatoes are good for your eyes.
The Vitamin A found in tomatoes is fantastic for improving your vision. In addition, eating tomatoes is one of the best foods to eat to prevent the development of night blindness.Tomatoes are packed full of the valuable mineral known as chromium. It works effectively to help diabetics keep their blood sugar levels under better control.
Did you know that relieving depression & stress is one of other health benefits of tomatoes?
That is true. Tomatoes are loaded with folic acid that helps to prevent the production of homocysteine, protect the brain, and prevent blood clotting.
Also folate found in tomatoes can be extremely effective in helping to deal with depression by preventing the buildup of excessive homocysteine present in the body. In fact, too much homocysteine stops the production of hormones, including serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine, which are in charge of keeping you happy as well as regulating your sleep cycles, emotions, and appetite. It also helps to decrease the levels of perinatal depression
Vitamin B6 found in tomatoes helps to produce the “feel-good” hormones and prevent stress & mood disorders, such as depression or anxiety
The regular intake of tomato also helps to reduce the risk of urinary tract infections and bladder cancer because tomatoes are extremely high in water content. This can aid in stimulating urination, so they are really a diuretic in some certain ways.
This will increase the elimination of harmful toxins, excess water, uric acid, salts, and fat from the body. Tomatoes are now the 4th most popular fresh-market vegetable aside from potatoes, lettuce and onions