Tomatoes Can Protect Against Disease

26 Feb

There’s no question – tomatoes are one of the healthiest foods you can eat. Tomato health benefits are due to high levels of vitamins tomato health benefitsand antioxidants, which benefit your health and protect against disease.

Nutrients Found in Tomatoes

Tomatoes are nutritional powerhouses. They are excellent sources of vitamin C (one tomato makes up one-third of your daily recommended intake of vitamin C), vitamin A, folic acid and potassium. Tomatoes are rich in antioxidants, including lycopene, lutein and beta-carotene.

Lycopene, the carotenoid responsible for the red colour of tomatoes, is especially effective at fighting disease, eye degeneration and sun damage. In our diet, 95% of lycopene comes from tomatoes and tomato-based products. Cooking tomatoes in oil aids the release of lycopene.

Tomatoes Protect Against Depression

A recent study examined the mental health and diets of nearly 1000 people over 70. Those who ate tomatoes 2 to 6 times a week were 46 percent less likely to experience symptoms of depression than those who reported eating tomatoes less than once a week.

This correlation had not been seen with any other fruit or vegetable.

Tomatoes Protect Against Cancer

Lycopene is a powerful inhibitor of cancer in both men and women.

  • Men who consumed two servings of tomatoes or tomato-based products had a 35 percent reduced risk of prostate cancer.
  • Lycopene can reduce the risk and growth of breast, endometrium and lung cancer in women.

Tomatoes can also fight aggressive cancers that have spread to other areas of the body.

Tomatoes Protect Against Heart Disease

It appears that lutein, a carotenoid found in tomatoes, helps prevent atherosclerosis, the thickening of arteries. Atherosclerosis creates a major risk for cardiovascular disease.

Although studies that have examined the effect of tomatoes on cholesterol levels are small, they do suggest that lycopene can help reduce cholesterol.

Tomatoes Protect Against Eye Degeneration

Lutein is also beneficial for your eyes, as it is found in the retina. Tomatoes can therefore promote healthy vision and reduce risk of cataracts and macular degeneration.

Tomatoes can help protect you and your family from disease – all the more reason to grow your own! Our best-selling book How To Grow Juicy Tasty Tomatoes has further information on the many health benefits of tomatoes, as well as everything you need to know about growing tomatoes.