Most of us take tomatoes for granted. We mechanically go on eating without realizing the goodness that is contained in this small fruit. Though strange as it may seem, tomatoes contain innumerable health benefits which can help in the prevention of several ailments, some of which could also be termed as life-threatening.
To understand the goodness of tomatoes, we need to know that these fruits are endowed with four prime carotenoids. These are alpha carotene, beta carotene, lutein, and lycopene. While these individually are good for health, together they can provide great amount of nutrition. For instance, the redness of the fruit, which is one of the most attractive parts of the fruit in terms of looks, is due to a red pigment called lycopene. We are keen to take external antioxidants when this lycopene is one of the most powerful antioxidants which we get from tomatoes.
The antioxidant properties of tomatoes neutralize free radicals which are known to cause heavy damages to our body cells. Lycopene is also known for its health benefits and can be good for the heart, prostate, and the pancreas. Research reveals that men who have ten tomatoes in a week have a reduced risk of developing prostatic cancer. The reduction is to the tune of 40%. Further research has also shown that those who take raw tomatoes in their diet, to the extent of seven servings per week, have a 60% less risk of developing cancers of the stomach, rectum or the colon.
Studies have also shown that having tomatoes can also reduce the risk of developing lung cancer. These small fruits, used by many cultures for their culinary needs as well as in salads, etc., contain two major compounds which are coumaric and chlorogenic acids. These acids prevent or stop some carcinogens from being absorbed, which are found in tobacco. When such carcinogens are blocked, we can also be saved from the harm of passive smoking. Fortifying our system with the protective powers of tomatoes could prevent lung cancer from affecting us.
Last but never the least important nutrient which tomatoes are enriched with is potassium. Incidentally, most of our daily diets lack this important mineral. In terms of nutritional content, a cup of fresh tomato juice could contain 534 mg of potassium.
For those of us who take tomatoes routine in their diets, this article can confirm their faith in this small red fruit. But in case you are not too fond of tomatoes, it is time perhaps to give this fruit a close look, so that next time you visit your local food store, you too could start to include this in your daily diet and foods consumed by your family.
The best news is that tomatoes are available nearly in every country and displayed in most store shelves. You just have to buy them and avail of the nutrition. It is not rare to find many people growing tomatoes in their own backyard, be it organic tomatoes or otherwise. So long as they are tomatoes, you can be assured of the goodness they contain.