Health benefits of tomato are as follows:
- Cancer fighting properties: Tomato are the biggest source of lycopene, a potent antioxidant that, unlike nutrients in most fresh fruits and vegetables, has even greater bioavailability after cooking and processing. Its highly effective in scavenging cancer causing free radicals. Studies show that eating tomatoes reduces risk of many cancers like prostate cancer, cervical cancer, breast cancer, cancer of the stomach and rectum as well as pharynx and oesophageal cancers.
- Anti-inflammatory: Inflammatory compounds are boosted by overproduction of free radicals which in turn leads to almost all the chronic degenerative diseases, including cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis and Alzheimer’s disease along with various cancers. Lycopene rich tomato and beta-carotene helps check these free radicals.
- Protects from Heart Attack & Stroke: Tomatoes contain important nutrients, such as niacin, folate and vitamin B6, that have associated with the reduction of heart disease risk. Bad cholesterol in the blood stream attained from eating high cholesterol foods causes the build up of fatty plaques on the walls or arteries. The heart has to work so much harder to pump blood through these arteries leading to high blood pressure. Eventually these fatty plaques can occlude the flow of blood through these arteries leading to heart attack and or stroke. Tomatoes contain fiber and niacin which helps to breakdown fatty plaque build up in blood vessels.
- Prevent DNA Damage: Tomatoes are high in important antioxidants. These work to fend of DNA damage from free radicals. Consequently, tomatoes may help to ward off age related diseases such as atherosclerosis and diabetes.
- Rich Source of Vitamins and Minerals: A single tomato can provide about 40% of daily vitamin C requirement. Vitamin C is a natural antioxidant which acts against cancer-causing free radicals. It also contains abundant vitamin A and potassium as well as iron. Potassium plays a vital role in maintaining nerve health and iron is essential for maintaining normal blood health. Vitamin K which is essential in blood clotting and controls bleeding is abundant in tomatoes.
- Improves Vision: Vitamin A, present in tomato, aids in improving vision, preventing night-blindness and macular degeneration.
- Younger looking skin: Beta-carotene and lycopene, found in tomato, helps protect skin against sun damage and makes skin less sensitive to UV light damage, a leading cause of fine lines and wrinkles.
- Strong bones: The vitamin K and calcium in tomatoes are both very good for strengthening and repairing bones. Lycopene also has been shown to improve bone mass, which is a great way to fight osteoporosis.
- Balances blood sugar: Tomatoes are a very good source of chromium, which helps to regulate blood sugar.
- Strong Hair: The vitamin A found in tomatoes works to make hair strong and shiny making your hair look better.
- Prevents gallstones & kidney stones: Some studies suggest that kidney and gall stones are less likely to form in people who eat tomatoes without the seeds.
- Pain Buster: Tomatoes can reduce chronic pain. If you are one of the millions of people who deal with mild to moderate chronic pain (such as from arthritis or back pain), tomatoes may come to your rescue.
- Weight Management: Because tomatoes contain lots of water and fiber, they are what Weight Watchers calls a “filling food,” one of those foods that fills you up fast without adding a lot of calories or fat.
Simple tips to get the maximum nutrition from Tomatoes
- Pick the ripest tomatoes to get the most vitamins
- Choose the reddest tomatoes to get the most antioxidants
- Eat cooked and canned tomatoes for even more health benefits
- Add a little fat to help nutrients be absorbed
- Eat tomatoes often
- Eating some tomatoes is better than eating none
- Have tomatoes with your spinach salad
- Combine tomatoes and broccoli for maximum benefits
Storage of Tomato
Tomatoes that are not yet ripe are optimally stored at room temperature uncovered, out of direct sunlight, until ripe.[In this environment, they have a shelf life of three to four days. When ripe, they should be used in one to two days. Tomatoes should only be refrigerated when well ripened, but this will affect flavor.