Tomatoes have essential nutrients such as vitamin B6, folate, potassium and niacin. These nutrients help reduce the risk of heart disease. Potassium-rich diets have been found to decrease high blood pressure as well. Folate and vitamin B6 help the body convert a harmful chemical known as homocysteine into nonthreatening molecules. Homocysteine in high quantities are linked to a higher risk of heart disease, stroke and heart attack. Chromium in tomatoes help control blood sugar levels.
Several studies have come to show that tomatoes help reduce risk of cancers including stomach, lung, mouth, cervical, colon, ovarian and prostate cancer. The cancer fighting properties in tomatoes are called lycopene, which give tomatoes their red color. Raw tomatoes have less lycopene than processed ones. Cooking tomatoes let out the lycopene by getting rid of cell walls. The blend of lycopene and other phytonutrients in tomatoes makes it a great cancer fighting food.
In fact, it is found that orange and tangerine colored tomatoes are even a better source of lycopene, since they provide it in a way that is better absorbed by the body. Plus these varieties pictured above are supposed to be lower in acidity!
Beta-carotene, vitamin A and C are other antioxidants found in tomatoes that help repair damage to cells. Together with lycopene, they help counterbalance free radicals in the body and lower inflammation.
Enjoy this healing goodness of tomatoes as a simple salad by itself or perfectly paired with chicken-pesto angel hair pasta! Yum yum yum :-)
Read about healing health benefits of including tomatoes in your diet.