What are the benefits of tomatoes, besides the fact that they perfectly complement eggs in an omelet and cucumbers in salads? It only seems that the benefits of tomatoes are only in their great taste… In fact, tomatoes are more than just healthy. Read all about the benefits of tomatoes, as well as how to choose quality tomatoes at the market in our article.
We will not discuss the taste of tomatoes in this article – they are well-known and undeniable. Tomatoes are certainly a source of a large number of vitamins, minerals, and substances useful for the body.
These substances include, in particular, tartaric, malic, and citric acids. Tomatoes contain vitamins A, B2, B6, PP, E, rare vitamin K, and others.
In addition to vitamins, tomatoes contain fructose, glucose, mineral salts, and iodine. They also contain magnesium, iron, zinc, manganese, and sodium.
Benefits of tomatoes for the skin and in the fight against cancer
Tomatoes contain a powerful antioxidant, lycopene, which has an anti-cancer effect and prevents DNA mutations and the growth of cancer cells. In terms of antioxidant properties, lycopene is superior to vitamins C and E, so it prevents aging of the body and skin. Due to the high content of lycopene, tomatoes are useful not only for the prevention of cancer but also for cardiovascular diseases.
When using fruits to prevent diseases, you should know that the highest concentration of lycopene is observed not in fresh fruits, but in those that have been heat-treated – baked, boiled, and dried tomatoes. At the same time, the concentration of lycopene only increases with prolonged cooking. That is why we can talk not only about the benefits of tomatoes in their natural form but also about the benefits of all products made from tomatoes: tomato paste, ketchup, tomato sauce, and juice. Doctors recommend eating these products often.
You need to eat at least 20 tomatoes a week to feel their real benefits of them. It is recommended to eat tomatoes in the form of a salad dressed with sunflower or olive oil. In this form, lycopene will be even better absorbed by the body.
The benefits of tomatoes in the fight against depression
It is difficult to overestimate the benefits of tomatoes for human mental health.
Tomatoes are an excellent antidepressant, no worse than chocolate. The fruit contains a large dose of serotonin and thiamine, the hormones of happiness that help fight depression and improve mood. Thiamine is the same as serotonin but in an organic form. It is converted into serotonin in the human body. Tomatoes are “prescribed” even in case of advanced depression, mental turmoil, and states of depression. After all, under stress, the need for thiamine and serotonin increases dramatically.
Tomatoes and tomato juice have been shown to be beneficial for gastritis with low acidity, memory impairment, anemia, and general loss of strength. Tomatoes are known to have laxative properties.
For this reason, they are recommended for frequent constipation. Tomatoes stimulate collagen production, which has a positive effect on skin elasticity and the health of joints and tendons.
Tomatoes are also useful for losing weight – they cope with swelling, remove toxins from the body, improve digestion, and at the same time contain a few calories. In addition, the benefits of tomatoes for weight loss are explained by their ability to regulate metabolism, they have a diuretic and choleretic effect.
Contraindications to eating tomatoes
People with food allergies should exclude tomatoes from their diet.
It is also worth limiting the use of this product in cases of arthritis, gout, cholelithiasis, and urolithiasis. They can provoke the growth of stones and their exit from the gallbladder.
How to choose tomatoes, what to look for
Knowing how to buy tomatoes will help you not only enjoy this juicy vegetable but also keep you healthy. To make the right choice, you need to take into account many nuances and learn to use your natural arsenal – sight, touch, and smell.
Inspect the stalk area – if the color is greenish or sharply different, then the fruit may have ripened after it was picked.
When choosing a tomato, it will be good if you see its cut: it should be without white streaks, juicy, and the internal chambers should be filled. The fewer chambers, the tastier.
Be sure to touch it.
A good, healthy tomato should be ripe and grown without too much nitrate. If it is very soft, it means overripe, and if it is hard, it is unripe. If it has thick skin, it was probably grown with nitrates.
The smell is a good indicator of freshness and maturity. A ripe tomato always smells, and the more delicious and juicy the aroma, the better. Unripe fruits may not smell at all or have a weak aroma.
If you want tomatoes to keep better, buy them with a stem.