It may be considered controversial, but the tomato is the latest superfruit. Yes, you read that correctly. Despite being prepared and eaten much like a vegetable, tomatoes are, in fact, fruit and have quite a few health benefits. Many of these benefits come from the presence of a nutrient called lycopene though there’s a load of other nutrients that contribute to the tomato’s immense benefits as well.
Good for skin and hair
Tomato-based foods rich in lycopene and other plant compounds may protect against sunburn – in fact lycopene can be found in many facial cleansers. A 2011 study found that the combination of tomato paste and olive oil boosted the production of pro-collagen, a molecule that helps to keeps the skin firm.
Helps with Bone Strength
Tomatoes are loaded with two nutrients that help build strong bones: Vitamin K and Calcium. According to United States Department of Agriculture, hundred grams of tomatoes contain 110 mg of calcium and a similar amount of vitamin K.
antioxidants such as Vitamin C
One medium-sized tomato can provide about 28% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) of vitamin C, with 13.7mg of it found in 100g of tomato. Vitamin C helps repair and maintain cartilage, bones and teeth, to heal wounds and to form scar tissue, making it a highly important part of your everyday diet.
Strengthens your eye health
Lycopene is also good for your eyes as well (this nutrient really seems to help everything, doesn’t it?). Tomatoes also contain lutein and beta-carotene which reportedly support vision and protect against eye conditions including cataracts and macular degeneration.
A small tomato (100 grams) has roughly 1.2 grams of fiber and is made up of about 95% water. The fluid and fiber in tomatoes may be helpful if you’re prone to constipation.
A Super Food indeed
As you can see, lycopene has so many health benefits for us, and with tomatoes are the major dietary source of the antioxidant lycopene. How can you add more tomatoes into your daily diet?