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SUPER HEALTH BENEFITS OF TOMATO

HEALTH & NUTRITION 235

Tomato is the most popular fruit vegetable in Nigeria. It is one the basic ingredient in so meals but its popularity has to do with its use for red stew.

It is used as fresh tomato or tomato-paste. The tomato-paste is not 100 percent tomato so I would encourage fresh tomato for use but if you need a paste you prepare it yourself and add those long red peppers-less peppers called tatashe to make it redder to avoid any health hazard at any time because ours is a country for now where those responsible to monitor the standard of things produced meet the required one are relapse in their jobs or are compromised..

 

Fresh tomato provides myriads of health benefit I will be listing below and I would recommend you take advantage of the season with abundant of fresh tomato to make it part of your fruit diet. Take it just as you take your oranges, apple, and other fruits.

 

Cooked tomatoes used for stew and other soups as practiced in Nigeria is highly recommended especially for breast feeding mothers.

 

Tomato provides you with a healthy heart, good skin and weight loss. I did a research online and foud some useful articles on the health benefit and have put them together for your good and I will sure give credit to the sites and backlinks too.

 

NUTRIENTS INSIDE TOMATO

One cup of chopped or sliced raw tomatoes contains:

  • 32 calories (kcal)
  • 170.14 g of water
  • 1.58 g of protein
  • 2.2 g of fiber
  • 5.8 g of carbohydrate
  • 0 g cholesterol

 

Tomatoes also have a wealth of vitamin and mineral content, including:

  • 18 mg of calcium
  • 427 mg of potassium
  • 43 mg of phosphorus
  • 24.7 mg of vitamin C
  • 1499 international units (IU) of vitamin A

 

Tomatoes also contain a wide array of beneficial nutrients and antioxidants, including:

  • alpha-lipoic acid
  • lycopene
  • choline
  • folic acid
  • beta-carotene
  • lutein

 

 

 

HEART DISEASE AND CANCER

. Tomatoes are a big part of the famously healthy Mediterraneandiet. Many Mediterranean dishes and recipes call for tomatoes or tomato paste or sauce. Some recent studies, including one from The University of Athens Medical School, have found that people who most closely follow the Mediterranean diet have lower death rates from heart disease and cancer. Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health, who followed more than 39,000 women for seven years, found that consumption of oil- and tomato-based products — particularly tomato and pizza sauce — was associated with cardiovascular benefits.

The fiber, potassium, vitamin C, and choline content in tomatoes all support heart health. An increase in potassium intake, along with a decrease in sodium intake, is the most important dietary change the average person can make to reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease.

Tomatoes are an excellent source of vitamin C and other antioxidants. With these components, tomatoes can help combat the formation of free radicals. Free radicals are known to cause cancer. A recent study in the journal Molecular Cancer Research linked the intake of high levels of beta-carotene to the prevention of tumor development in prostate cancer.

Tomatoes also contain lycopene. Lycopene is a polyphenol, or plant compound, that has been linked with one type of prostate cancer prevention. It also gives tomatoes their characteristic red color. A study of the Japanese population demonstrates that beta-carotene consumption may reduce the risk of colon cancer. Fiber intake from fruits and vegetables is associated with a lowered risk of colorectal cancer.

Diets rich in beta-carotene may play a protective role against prostate cancer.

 

 

BLOOD PRESSURE AND DIABETES

Maintaining a low sodium intake helps to maintain healthful blood pressure. However, increasing potassium intake may be just as important due to its widening effects on the arteries. According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), fewer than 2 percent of U.S. adults meet the recommended daily potassium intake of 4,700 milligrams (mg).

High potassium and low sodium intake are also associated with a 20 percent reduced risk of dying from all causes.

We consume sodium especially from salt. So we need to reduce the amount of salt we take in our meals. Adding salt to your meal after it has been cooked is even more dangerous.

Studies have shown that people with type 1 diabetes who consume high-fiber diets have lower blood glucose levels, while people with type 2 diabetes may have improved blood sugar, lipids, and insulin levels. One cup of cherry tomatoes provides about 2 grams (g) of fiber.

The American Diabetes Association recommends consuming around 25 g of fiber per day for women and an estimated 38 g per day for men.

EYE AND SKIN HEALTH

Tomatoes are a rich source of lycopene, lutein, and beta-carotene. These are powerful antioxidants that have been shown to protect the eyes against light-induced damage, the development of cataracts, and age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

The Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) recently found that people with high dietary intake of the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, both present in tomatoes, had a 35 percent reduction in the risk of neovascular AMD.

 

Collagen is an essential component of the skin, hair, nails, and connective tissue.

The production of collagen in the body is reliant on vitamin C. A deficiency of vitamin C can lead to scurvy. As vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant, a low intake is associated with increased damage from sunlight, pollution, and smoke.

This can lead to wrinkles, sagging skin, blemishes, and other adverse health effects of the skin.

 

 

CONSTIPATION

Eating foods that are high in water content and fiber, such as tomatoes, may help hydration and support normal bowel movements. Tomatoes are often described as a laxative fruit.

Fiber adds bulk to stool and is helpful for reducing constipation. However, removing fiber from the diet has also demonstrated a positive impact on constipation.

 

PREGNANCY AND BREAST FEEDING

Adequate folate intake is essential before and during pregnancy to protect against neural tube defects in infants. Folic acid is the synthetic form of folate. It is available in supplements but can also be boosted through dietary measures.

While it is recommended that women who are pregnant take a folic acid supplement, tomatoes are a great source of naturally-occurring folate. This applies equally for women who may become pregnant in the near future.

Adequate folate intake is essential before and during pregnancy to protect against neural tube defects in infants.

Folic acid is the synthetic form of folate. It is available in supplements but can also be boosted through dietary measures.

While it is recommended that women who are pregnant take a folic acid supplement, tomatoes are a great source of naturally-occurring folate. This applies equally for women who may become pregnant in the near future.

Stewed tomatoes provide more lutein and zeaxanthin than sun-dried tomatoes and raw cherry tomatoes.

SO NIGERIANS should do more of stewed tomato as has been the practice.

          CAUTION

Beta-blockers, a type of medication most commonly prescribed for heart disease, can cause potassium levels to increase in the blood. High potassium foods such as tomatoes should be consumed in moderation when taking beta-blockers.

Consuming too much potassium can be harmful to people with impaired kidney function. Failure to remove excess potassium from the blood can be fatal.

Those with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) may experience an increase in symptoms such as heartburn and vomiting when consuming highly acidic foods such as tomatoes. Individual reactions vary.

 

REFERENCES/BACKLINKS

  1. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/273031.php
  2. https://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/health-properties-tomatoes#1

 

Ogaga Onokwakpor

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