13 Amazing Healthy Benefits of Tomatoes + Healthy Recipes
Juicy, pulpy, bright-red tomatoes are now available year-round, though the tomatoes are best when they are in season from July to September. They are available in endless varieties viz. small cherry tomatoes, bright yellow tomatoes, Italian pear-shaped tomatoes, and the green tomato forming an integral part of cuisines across the globe.
Be it Sambhar from South India , a subzi from the North, or a salsa from elsewhere, many foods owe their superb texture, taste and colour to tomatoes. Common though the veggie (technically a fruit) is, it has a distinct tang, vibrant colour and juicy mouth-feel that set it apart from other ingredients. Sometimes the tomatoes are chopped and sautéed, sometimes they are pureed and added to the dish, but whatever form they take, their presence is felt. You can work it into a juice, soup, subzi, dal, rice or many more such dishes, as we have shown in this article.
They are easy to cultivate and grow very quickly, making them a great source of nutrients required for the normal growth and development.
1. Powerful Antioxidant:
Tomatoes are extremely rich source of Lycopene. Lycopene is an antioxidant which scavenges the free radicals that causes cellular inflammation. Inflammation is the major cause of all the diseases. When one thinks of Tomatoes, only Lycopene comes to mind. Lycopene in the blood may reduce the risk of cancer and other diseases and decrease cellular inflammation.
2. Get all your Vitamin C at one go:
Tomatoes are super rich in Vitamin C and provide maximum of your daily requirement in just one cup. Great to fight colds and coughs. Eat one or two raw tomatoes daily to get your vitamin C and also increase your iron absorption.
3. Good for Heart :
The lycopene content in tomatoes prevents LDL oxidation and thus reduces the levels of LDL cholesterol and Triglycerides in the blood. These two components are the main cause of inflammation increasing cardiovascular disease risk. Tomatoes being fat and cholesterol free, is an ideal option to keep your heart healthy.
4. Good for Weight Loss :
One cup of chopped tomato provides you only around 31 calories because it significantly has more than 80 % of water, fair amount of fiber (2.6 g) and other beneficial nutrients which keeps you satiated for a longer period of time without having to consume high calorie food. Tomatoes are almost devoid of fats. Remember, no food can cause weight loss, it is important to burn more calories than you consume. Exercise plays a crucial in burning your calories, but ultimately you have to replace your high calorie food by low ones such as tomatoes to reduce the overall intake of calories in a day. Use tomatoes in your salads with sprouts and other vegetables, add it to your raita or simply have a bowl full of tomatoes. It is advisable to have certain vegetables in its raw form than cooked so that there is no nutrient loss.
5. Tomatoes are a Pregnant women's friend :
One cup of tomatoes provides 23% of your Folic Acid requirements. So have your tomatoes as part of topping up your folic acid from lots of sources.
Tomatoes are rich in Folate or Folic Acid which helps your body to produce and maintain new cells, especially red blood cells.
6. Provides Energy :
Tomatoes are a good source of Thiamine which helpd form ATP (adenosine triphosphate) which body uses to provide energy.
7. Makes bones strong :
Calcium from Tomatoes will make your bones strong. As the human body consistently remove small amounts of calcium from our bones and that has to be topped up with Calcium rich foods.
8. Good for Diabetics :
Since tomatoes are very low in carbohydrates (5.6 grams of CHO in 1 cup of sliced tomato), the glycemic load of tomato is estimated to be around 1. It also has 2.6 grams of fiber in 1 cup of sliced tomatoes which will add on to the slow absorption of nutrients and keeps your blood sugar levels under control. Thus a super food for diabetics.
9. Improves your vision:
Being rich in Vitamin A, it is very effective in improving and maintaining your vision. . In its retinal form it combines with the protein ‘opsin’ to form rhodopsin which is an essential light absorbing molecule that aids is vision, especially in dim light.
10. Low Carb Diet:
One cup of chopped tomatoes contains around 5.5 grams of carbohydrates which makes it a low carbohydrate ingredient and those who are on low carb diet can safely consume tomatoes.
11. Urinary Infection :
What’s more, its high water content is known to be work against urinary infection too – this being a common problem amongst office and school goers, especially in the summer months, we have all the more reason to stock up on tomatoes!
12) Keeps your bowel movements regular:
Tomatoes being high in fiber, helps in keeping your bowel movements regular.
Fiber adds bulks to your food and encourage smooth peristaltic motion in your digestive muscles. Thus aids in maintaining your overall digestive health.
13) Regulates your blood pressure:
Being low in sodium and high in potassium, tomatoes are an ideal option for people with high blood pressure. They maintain your blood pressure and balances your electrolyte levels.
Nutritional Information of Tomatoes
1 cup chopped Tomatoes
RDA stands for Recommended Daily Allowance.
Nutritional Information for 150 grams of chopped Tomatoes.
1.38 grams of Protein
5.54 grams of Carbs
0.30 grams of Fat
41.5 mg of Vitamin C = 103% of RDA ( about 40 mg per day)
46.2 mcg of Folate, Vitamin B9 = 23.1% of RDA (about 200 mcg)
540 mcg of Vitamin A = 22.5% of RDA (about 2,400 mcg)
0.18 mg of Vitamin B1, Thiamine = 18.4% of RDA (about 1 mg per day)
74 g of Calcium = 12.3% of RDA (about 600 mg)
2.61 g of Fiber = 10.4% of RDA (about 25 g )
0.09 mg of Riboflavin, Vitamin B2 = 8.4% % of RDA (about 1.1 mg)
0.61 mg of Vitamin B3, Niacin = 5.1% of RDA (about 12 mg)
31 mg of Phosphorus : 5.1 % of RDA (about 600 mg for adult)
225 mg of Potassium = 4.7% of RDA (about 4700 mg)
0.98 mg of Iron = 4.6% of RDA (about 21 mg)
1.38 g of Protein = 3.78% of RDA ( about 55 g)
Top 10 Healthy Tomatoe Recipes
The Tomato Apple Drink is a simple treat of tomatoes and apples sweetened with honey, while the Garlicky Lentil and Tomato Soup is a more sumptuous fare made with masoor dal and tomatoes, without any unhealthy thickeners. The Tomato Onion Raita is an easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy accompaniment that is nonetheless very healthy.
The Kerala Style Tomato Dal, made of toovar dal and tomatoes in coconut gravy, is another tasty dish that gives you a nutrition boost. The Tomato Cucumber Onion Salad is super fast to make and its low carb, low fat and diabetic friendly.
These and many more tomato-based delights await you in this article, and on our website and mobile app. Bring home a basketful of tomatoes and get started!