If you are searching for an ideal food with few calories and many vitamins and minerals, consume tomatoes. Considering its energy, nutritional and medicinal values, tomatoes are often found on our tables in salads and other dishes.
Nutritional value of tomatoes
Tomato originated in Central America, and in Europe was adopted after the colonization of America. It is an ideal food for all who pay attention to their appearance and maintaining balance in the body, because it contains few calories and a lot of nutritional ingredients. 100 grams of tomato is only 18 calories, so it is classified as a low-calorie food. In addition tomatoes are a good source of fiber. In 100 grams tomato has 1 gram of fiber, which improves digestion, enabling growth of beneficial bacteria in the intestine and prevent the occurrence of constipation.
The most abundant in tomato is vitamin C, and if you eat one medium tomato every day you will satisfy 26% of daily needs for this vitamin. Vitamin C is a known antioxidant, which is important to the vitality and the formation of connective tissue (collagen), which helps our skin to be healthy and youthful appearance. Vitamin C has an important role and is one of the most important elements which acts against aging, and also allows the body to better fight infection and protects against free radicals.
Besides vitamin C tomato is an excellent source of vitamin A, which is natural antioxidant. One medium tomato satisfies 20% of daily needs of the body to vitamin A. Vitamin A is needed to maintain healthy skin and mucous membranes and is necessary for good vision. Consumption of natural foods rich in flavonoids helps the body to protect against cancer of lungs and oral cavity.
Tomato has vitamins vitamin K, B6, folic acid, niacin, vitamin E, thiamine, riboflavin and pantothenic acid.
Mineral substances which tomato contains are: potassium, manganese, magnesium, copper, phosphorus, zinc, calcium and iron. To have better idea of the extraordinarily rare composition of tomatoes and the potentially healthy impact they have on our well-being if consumed on rather regular bases we list the following:
-Flavonones (naringenin, chalconaringenin)
-Flavonols (rutin, kaempferol and quercetin)
-Hydroxycinnamic acids (caffeic acid, ferulic acid and coumaric acid)
-Carotenoids (lycopene, lutein, zeaxanthin and beta-carotene)
-Glycosides (esculeoside A)
-Fatty acid derivatives (9-oxo-octadecadienoic acid)
Tomatoes are a treasure of riches when it comes to their antioxidant benefits. In terms of conventional antioxidants, tomatoes provide an excellent amount of vitamin C and beta-carotene; a very good amount of the mineral manganese; and a good amount of vitamin E. In terms of phytonutrients, tomatoes are basically off the chart.
Tomatoes are also an excellent source vitamin C, biotin, molybdenum, and vitamin K. They are also a very good source of copper, potassium, manganese, dietary fiber, vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene), vitamin B6, folate, niacin, vitamin E, and phosphorus. Additionally, they are a good source of chromium, pantothenic acid, protein, choline, zinc, and iron.
Health benefits of tomatoes
First of all, we are going to elaborate on the diseases tomatoes have biggest influence such as prevents and aid when having some kind of cardiovascular disorder, they help with bone health and have great impact on anti-cancer protection.
Tomatoes truly excel in prevention of heart diseases. Two major research groups focused on the reason of this particular feature: the first is the antioxidant pack in tomatoes and the second one is the regulation of fats in the bloodstream. The large amounts of vitamin C and vitamin E hugely support the cardiovascular health but the biggest attention for the very same health impact fell on tomatoes’ carotenoid lycopene as the most important heart-supportive nutrient. Lycopene, on the other hand, has the feature to significantly lower the risk of lipid peroxidation in the bloodstream. This means that lycopene repairs the damage caused by oxygen that directly and negatively influences fats located in the membranes of cells lining in the bloodstream or the fats that are carried around in the bloodstream.
Another great role of lycopene in tomatoes is its protection of bone health – acts as a preventer and fighter against oxidative stress in the bone tissue.
Tomatoes have been researched for various cancer types and it has been concluded that that their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrients (particularly strong is alpha-tomatine) are great protection against lung cancer, prostate cancer, pancreatic and breast cancer.
For the ingredients that tomato contains, he is known as cleaner for body from harmful ingredients and an excellent diuretic. It has been proven that apart from the major three elaborated, tomatoes have big positive influence on the following health conditions:
- diseases of the teeth, mouth and throat
- cataract eye
- sun burns
- elevated cholesterol
- colds and flu
- skin diseases
- regulation of blood pressure
- regulation of overweight
- fatigue and exhaustion