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Tomato Health Benefits

The tomato is the fruit of the plant Lycopersicon esculentum. Botanically speaking, tomato is not only a fruit, but also a berry since it is formed from a single ovary. Originally, tomato was named after the food family to which it belongs, the Solanaceae (sometimes called “solanoid” or “nightshade”) family.

 

Tomatoes are native to South America, but are now grown widely across the world. Tomatoes contain a high volume of water, and they’re refreshing in salads on hot days.

 

They’re low in calories too, with around 14 kilocalories per 100g approximately one and a half classic tomatoes, or five to six cherry tomatoes.

 

Despite the popularity of the tomato, only 200 years ago it was thought to be poisonous in the U.S., likely because the plant belongs to the nightshade family, of which some species are truly poisonous.

 

Lycopene is the antioxidant that gives tomatoes their rich red colour. Tomatoes account for 80 percent of lycopene consumption. The fiber, potassium, vitamin C and choline content in tomatoes all support heart health.

 

An increase in potassium intake along with a decrease in sodium intake is the most important dietary change that a person can make to reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease.

 

Eating foods that are high in water content and fiber like tomatoes can help to keep you hydrated and your bowel movements regular. Fiber is essential for minimizing constipation and adding bulk to the stool.

 

Tomatoes are high in important antioxidants such as vitamin C and Vitamin A. These vitamins work to fend of DNA damage from free radicals. Consequently, tomatoes may help to ward off age related diseases such as atherosclerosis and diabetes.

 

A person, who drinks 8 ounces of low sodium tomato juice a day, can prevent inflammatory diseases like osteoporosis and Alzheimer’s. Tomatoes work against impotency and help increase the sperm count.

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