Tomatoes are absolutely the best in the heart of August. There is nothing like a vine ripened juicy tomato on top of a salad or heck, even by itself is good! But people weren’t always snacking on tomatoes. In fact nearly 200 years ago tomatoes were thought to be poisonous! This was most likely due to the fact that the plant itself is in the nightshade family, and plants in the nightshade family have a history of being poisonous! So in turn, that would make the fruits the only edible part of this plant! Tomatoes are undeniably delicious and (aside from their leaves) the fruit holds quite the reputation for its health benefits!
Tomatoes contain a compound called lycopene and pack a punch full of antioxidant activity. But unlike other veggies and fruits, tomatoes tend to be even more nutritious after processing! By processing the tomato, it has shown to boost the antioxidant and lycopene levels by five times! In fact, tomato juice appears to be the one common juice that may actually be healthier than the fruit and cooked and sundried tomatoes won out with the most antioxidants.
What is Lycopene?
Lycopene is a phytochemical that is responsible for the red pigment in tomatoes and it is a great active component in helping fight against cancers and heart disease. But these are not the only beneficial ingredients that a tomato has to offer. They also contain high amounts of vitamin C, potassium, folate, and vitamin K and are high in beta-carotene (which is known to be healthy for skin). Because tomatoes have all of these amazing compounds they have the ability to be beneficial for keeping a number of cancers at bay a while providing other nutrients that the body depends on as well.
If you eat tomatoes you may find that it can benefit you by:
- Avoiding Colorectal Cancer– This is due to the tomatoes ability to keeping the blood pressure down. (due to high potassium levels)
- Increasing Heart Health- Due to fiber, potassium, vitamin C and Choline content
- Diabetes- Due to the fiber content
- Constipation- Due to the high water content of tomatoes
- Eye health- Due to the lycopene, lutein, antioxidants and beta carotene
- Skin- Due to the collagen and beta-carotene
- Pregnancy health- Due to high folic acid content
- Depression- Due to the prevention of an excess homocysteine from forming- which prevents the blood and nutrients from reaching the brain and prevents production of serotonin, dopamine and horepinephrine which helps regulate sleep, mood and appetite.
While all of these points can be very impressive I want to share a study mentioned by Dr. Greger in his book “How Not to Die”.
The study had noted that, of nearly 1,000 elderly men and women, people who ate tomatoes or tomato products daily had just half of the odds of depression compared with those who ate them once a week or less.
Now, taking into considerations ones lifestyle choices and health choices, eating tomato ketchup alone is not going to take all of your problems away, but it at least it is shown the lessen your risk of getting any of the above ailments. There are many fruits, veggies and herbs out there that can help benefit ones health in a number of amazing ways and with a simple diet change of including more fruits and veggies, you can help fight off many diseases and cancers. Think of all of the possibilities if just one fruit can show to fight off all of this?
Once again, thank you for your time, and happy healing ❤