10 Reasons Why You Should Eat Tomatoes Every Day
Tomatoes are associated with a compound called lycopene, which has numerous health benefits. Actually, any red vegetable or fruit contains a bit of lycopene — a substance that gives them their bright red color. But tomatoes come with more lycopene than other veggies, with one medium tomato containing about 2-3 grams. Interestingly, tomato juice contains significantly more lycopene than raw tomatoes.
Bright Side investigated how lycopene and its properties can affect the human body, and the findings are quite unexpected in some cases.
1. Tomatoes can protect your skin.
According to this study, tomatoes may aid in the protection against harmful UV rays and lower the risk of sunburn. Researchers believe that this is because of the high concentration of carotenoids, which is a component of lycopene.
However, scientists also pointed out that we cannot replace sunscreens just by consuming tomatoes. In addition to this health benefit, some evidence indicates that tomatoes have anti-aging properties.
2. Tomatoes are good for your heart.
Lycopene is an antioxidant that can protect the cells in your body from oxidation. Some studies suggest that people who consume lycopene have a lower risk of suffering from heart disease, diabetes, and strokes.
Lycopene also may play a role in lowering your levels of “bad” cholesterol, as well as your blood pressure. As a result, your chances of heart disease may reduce as well. Plus, tomatoes are also a rich source of other vitamins and nutrients, such as vitamins B, E, and flavonoids which may improve your heart health.
3. Tomatoes can improve your vision.
Aside from lycopene, tomatoes contain a couple of other nutrients, like lutein and beta-carotene, that are all good for your eyes. Research suggests that these nutrients protect the eyes from diseases, such as cataracts, while supporting your overall vision health.
Tomatoes also contain substances, in particular zeaxanthin and lutein, that are beneficial in protecting your vision from the blue light emitted by digital devices like smartphones. They also may play a role in reducing ease headaches from eyestrain.
4. They can boost your immune system.
By supplying your body with lycopene, which acts as an antioxidant, you can reduce molecules called free radicals that can damage your cells and weaken your immune system. That’s why foods rich in this substance, like tomatoes, may reduce the risk of lung, prostate, or stomach cancer.
5. Tomatoes can strengthen your bones.
Tomatoes can promote the health of your bones. They are a good source of bone-strengthening substances such as vitamin K and calcium that can not only keep your bones in good shape, but also help repair bone tissue. Also, despite the myth that tomatoes may make osteoarthritis worse, there is no evidence to support this claim.
6. They may boost your mood.
Most healthy foods, including tomatoes, are rich in minerals, such as copper, zinc, and manganese. Among other health benefits, they can positively affect your brain function and mood. So, if you are feeling blue or just tired, you can count on the minerals to boost your mood.
7. They are even good for your hair.
Some evidence suggests that consuming only about 4-5 tomatoes a day can make your hair look healthier. This versatile veggie is rich in vitamin A, which can make your hair strong and shiny. Unfortunately, tomatoes don’t have the superpower to make thinning hair more voluminous, but they can improve the condition of your existing hair.
8. Tomatoes are great for weight loss.
Tomatoes can help you lose weight. They make a great low-carb snack for people who are dieting because they contain a lot of fiber and water, which can make you feel fuller. Tomatoes can also keep your blood sugar in balance, which is key to weight loss. They also contain chromium, which helps to regulate your blood sugar levels.
9. They are good for your lungs.
Antioxidant properties of lycopene can help keep free radical levels in check, protecting your body against respiratory problems. Tomatoes contain beta-carotene that is known to improve lung function. What’s more, it can slow down lung aging. Some research even suggests tomatoes may restore lung damage caused by smoking.
10. Tomatoes may promote oral health.
Studies have shown that lycopene may help with gum diseases, gingivitis, and periodontitis by fighting free radicals. However, you should be careful not to consume lots of raw tomatoes. Thanks to the high acidity in them, they can damage the enamel on your teeth, and brushing soon afterward can make it worse. It’s a good idea to wait at least 30 minutes before you brush, or just rinse your mouth after eating tomatoes.
Are tomatoes a regular ingredient in your diet? And do you prefer tomato sauce or raw tomatoes?