The Benefits of Tomatoes
You’ll find them in practically every salad, and they’re a staple food in cuisines all around the world. We are talking, of course, about the humble tomato. Considered both a vegetable and a fruit, depending on who you ask, the tomato spread around the world after it was brought back from the Americas by the Spanish.
We use it ourselves in our Tomato & Basil Soup, so we thought we’d spend a bit of time talking about the tomato and why it has become a staple in so many different diets.
Loaded with Vitamin C
Just a single, four-ounce tomato contains about two-fifths of your daily requirement of Vitamin C, which means that two and a half tomatoes are all you need to keep your body topped up. Vitamin C is crucial. As an antioxidant, it can protect against the spread of free radicals in your body, which some have linked to cancer prevention.
It’s not just Vitamin C that tomatoes have on tap though. This nifty little fruit/vegetable also contains Vitamin A, as well as plenty of iron and potassium. The latter ensures proper nerve health, while iron is crucial to your blood.
They Lower Your Cholesterol
High levels of cholesterol can lead to all sorts of issues. In addition to causing more blood clots in your body, cholesterol has been linked to both heart disease and the increased risk of suffering from a stroke.
Tomatoes can protect you against high cholesterol due to the presence of lycopene. A carotenoid that you will find in human blood, lycopene can prevent a process called serum lipid oxidation, which is what causes the cardiovascular issues that are linked to high cholesterol. Lycopene also lowers the levels of triglycerides in your blood, as well as LDL cholesterol. As a result, they keep your blood vessels free of the fatty deposits that can lead to poor blood flow.
The presence of Vitamin A in tomatoes isn’t just for show. Research has found that Vitamin A can make your vision better, in addition to protecting you against macular degeneration, which is the breakdown of a central part of the retina.
Beyond that, Vitamin A is an antioxidant, much like Vitamin C, so it can also protect against the spread of free radicals in your body.
Surprisingly, tomatoes contain a lot of fibre, which is something that will help your digestive system function properly. As a result, they can help you to avoid ailments such as diarrhoea and constipation.
Fibre also stimulates your digestive juices, which allows your body to digest food easily, improving your overall digestive health in the process.
Combating High Blood Pressure
We mentioned the presence of potassium in tomatoes earlier in the article, and it’s a subject that’s worth revisiting. Potassium plays a crucial role in helping you to stave off the effects of hypertension, otherwise known as high blood pressure.
That’s because potassium is what’s known as a vasodilator, which means it improves the circulation of blood through your body. It also lowers the stress that your heart undergoes while pumping blood.
Those are just a few of the benefits of tomatoes. Try our Tomato & Basil Soup to start experiencing these benefits today.