The Health Benefits of Tomatoes
By Sara Butler
Tomatoes are known as a healthy vegetable, but they’re really not a vegetable at all! Technically, these red beauties are a fruit because they develop from a flowering plant. But when it comes to how incredibly good tomatoes are for your health, who cares if they’re a fruit or a vegetable? All you really need to know is why you should be eating them and here are just a few of those reasons!
They’re Full of Vitamins
Tomatoes can provide almost half of your recommended daily intake of Vitamin C. They’re also high in Vitamin A, Vitamin K, and potassium. These vitamins and minerals help to keep your bones healthy, your heart and muscles healthy, and your immunity on point.
They’re Great for Your Heart
Tomatoes are rich in an antioxidant called lycopene. This antioxidant gives tomatoes their signature red color and they’ve been linked to lower risk factors for diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Sure, you can take a lycopene supplement, but you’re always going to get more benefits from eating tomatoes directly than you will from a supplement.
They’re Great for Vision
The lycopene in tomatoes is also good for your vision, but it doesn’t just stop there. Tomatoes also contain beta-carotene and lutein, nutrients that help to protect you against certain eye conditions such as macular degeneration and cataracts. They also support healthy vision.
They’re Good for Digestive Healthy
The fiber and water in tomatoes are healthy for your digestive system and help to keep things moving along. But it is worth noting that for some people, the acidity of tomatoes (especially cooked ones) can make indigestion and acid reflux worse. So, beware!
They Can Help Manage Diabetes
Tomatoes may work to protect those who suffer from type 2 diabetes. Studies have found that people with diabetes who ate cooked tomatoes for 30 days helps to reduce free radicals -- which increase your risk of stroke or heart attack. Since people with type 2 diabetes are also at higher risk for these diseases, protection from free radicals is a boon to their health.
How to Reap the Benefits
So, how do you take advantage of all of these benefits? Make sure to incorporate tomatoes into your diet. You can do this in about any form -- pasta, salsa, etc. -- just make sure to keep an eye on sodium content.
You can add tomatoes to just about any dish too, from omelets to steamed vegetables. You can even make your own marinara sauce at home easily, which allows you to control how much sugar and salt go into it.
There's no reason not to enjoy tomatoes in all the forms they come in -- they're simply good for your health and wellness.
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Downey, Calif.