Even though most cooks think of a tomato as a vegetable, botanically speaking, a tomato is a fruit. That’s old news though, and you probably already knew that, but did you know that the debate over the tomato once reached the US Supreme Court?In 1893, the court had to decide on the vegetable Vs fruit question and they voted on the side of the tomato being a vegetable, for tax purposes anyway. Whatever a tomato is, it’s versatile and tasty flavor is used in many dishes both raw and cooked.
They also contain a whole heap of nutritious ingredients that can be really good for your health and here are ten of those health benefits of tomatoes:
1. They reduce the risk of heart disease
First one of great health benefits of tomatoes is that tomatoes can help reduce the risk of heart disease. A study of women found that those who ate 7 to 10 servings of tomatoes a week had a thirty percent lower chance of developing cardiovascular disease, than those who eat fewer tomatoes. The fruit contains nutrients including niacin, folate and vitamin B6, which have been linked to a reduction in heart disease.
2. They can lower blood sugar levels
Another one of wonderful health benefits of tomatoes is that tomatoes can form an important part of the diet for a diabetic and they have been shown to help control blood sugar levels. They contain very few carbohydrates, but are a very good source of chromium, which helps regulate blood sugar.
3. Help protect against thrombosis
Blood clots in the blood vessels, or thrombosis, can be controlled by drinking tomato juice. A study found that people who drank 8 ounces of tomato juice daily had a reduced amount of platelet aggregation in their blood, which is the main cause of thrombosis.
4. They can prevent damage to DNA
Health benefits of tomatoes also include DNA damage prevention. The high levels of vitamins C and A that are found in tomatoes have important antioxidant properties that help to combat the damage to DNA caused by free radicals. This is thought to help ward off the early onset of the signs of aging.
5. You can use it on your hair
You can even use tomato juice to strengthen your hair and give it more shine. Tomatoes contain vitamins and minerals that can improve the look of your hair and the acidity of the fruit balances the PH levels as well. You can apply tomato juice to your hair to bring back the life in it and it will also help to reduce dandruff.
6. Tomatoes keep your bones healthy
Another one of great health benefits of tomatoes is that tomatoes can help keep your bones healthy. They contain bone-strengthening vitamin K and calcium, as well as the antioxidant lycopene, which has been shown to improve bone mass.
7. You can use them as a skin treatment
Many of the expensive over-the-counter facial cleansers contain an active ingredient called lycopene, which you can get naturally from tomatoes. To treat your skin to a natural cleanse, peel some tomatoes and place the skins on your face for around 5 minutes and it will leave your skin clean and healthy looking.
8. Fights the effect of carcinogens
Tomatoes contain chlorogenic acid and coumaric acid, which is known to fight off the cancer causing effects of carcinogens, found in pollutants and in cigarette smoke.
9. They can improve your vision
Health benefits of tomatoes also include better vision. Eating tomatoes can improve your vision and help prevent cataracts. The vitamin A and C, found in tomatoes, can improve your vision, prevent night blindness and the fruit also contains the phytochemical antioxidants, zeaxanthin, lutein and lycopene, which protect the eyes from light damage and help to prevent cataracts from forming.
10. They can ward off inflammation
Drinking a glass a day of tomato juice can reduce the levels of TNF-alpha (tumor necrosis factor alpha) by over 30 percent. High levels of the inflation causing TNF-alpha have been found in people suffering from degenerative diseases, such as heart disease and osteoporosis.