What Is The Health Benefit Of Tomato?
Health benefit of Tomato
We tend to take this humble fruit...yes it is a fruit not a vegetable...for granted. But there is something very special about the tomato.
Have you guessed it? I'll give you a clue. It's to do with antioxidants!
Apparently this substance is one of nature's most powerful antioxidants. With the exception of pink (and only pink) grapefruit and watermelon and a few other foods that include only a tiny bit of it, our good friend the tomato includes lots of it.
Lycopene is the most common carotenoid in the human body and is one of the most potent carotenoid antioxidants.
The biochemical behavior of lycopene seems a bit different from the behaviour of other antioxidants. It can help to fight and also prevent cancer and heart disease.
Lycopene is a bright red carotenoid pigment, a phytochemical found red fruits and of course tomatoes.
It is part of the family of pigments called carotenoids, which are natural compounds that make the colors of fruits and vegetables what they are. For example, beta carotene is the orange pigment in carrots.
Tomatoes, (a close relative of the potato believe it or not) are now eaten freely throughout the world, in fact it is now the world's most popular fruit, although their seeds cannot be digested and pass straight through our intestines.
They are a great source of vitamin C if they are fresh.
Check out this superfruit, a relative of the tomato...The Melumber.
Heard about the Super Tomato?
Tomato sauces or ketchups are very popular with many kinds of food, such as pizza, spaghetti, various stews, soups and chilies.
With tomatoes though, it seems to be healthier to consume them cooked or processed than in the raw form.
It's because tomatoes contain a lot of water, which turns (during the cooking process) into steam and you do not eat it as in raw tomatoes, so, cooked tomatoes are more concentrated in the amount of lycopene.
Other variants of processing tomatoes would avoid the heat, because high temperatures kill most of the vitamins of tomatoes.
So the next time you are emptying the contents of the ketchup bottle over your plate of chips (french fries) just pause for a moment and think of the health benefit of tomato and what it can do for you!
Tomato Juice For Sunburn
We have discovered what makes tomatoes red. Yes, it's a substance called lycopene. And we have learnt that lycopene is also an antioxidant right?
Now, if you are a sun-worshipper, or exposed to UV rays for long periods of time, or just about to go on your vacation to a hot climate, then you will be delighted to know that lycopene has been scientifically proven to help protect
from sun damage.
It is believed to achieve this by neutralising the harmful effects of Ultra Violet light. In fact if you consume lots of tomatoes then tests have proven that you will increase your protection from sunburn by 33 per cent.
What Else Is Tomato Juice Beneficial For?
If you regularly eat tomatoes, either processed, juiced or cooked, research has also shown that it is linked to a reduced risk of prostate cancer in men.
Cancer Research UK claim that the evidence is inconclusive, however men are encouraged to eat more tomatoes as current evidence looks very promising indeed.
Simple Tomato Juice Recipe
Try this quick tomato juice that makes one 230ml serving.
- Take 3 tomatoes
- Quarter of a large cucumber
- 6 Spinach leaves (can use baby spinach if desired)
Juice and blend for a refreshing free radical fighting antioxidant drink!
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