Are Tomatoes Good for You? Its Benefits and Side Effects
Tomatoes have vital nutrients which are beneficial for the body, but excessive consumption of this vegetable can have some adverse effects on our body. Let’s understand the importance of tomatoes in our life through this blog.
Tomato is one of the most versatile fruits used as a vegetable all over the world, belonging to the nightshade family of Solanaceae. Some people prefer it raw, while others like to cook it with vegetables and spices. It grows in clusters of small to medium, round, and red fruits. The flesh of this vegetable is soft and pinkish red and has a slightly sweet taste. Tomatoes are known as “Tomate” in French, “Tamatar” in Hindi and “Pomodoro” in Italian. Its scientific name is Solanum lycopersicum.
Nutritional Values of Tomato
Tomatoes contain 95% of water content and the remaining 5% is carbohydrates and fiber. It has a good amount of vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin K, while other vitamins such as vitamin B6, folate and thiamine are also present. Minerals such as potassium, manganese, magnesium, copper and phosphorus are found in tomatoes. This vegetable also contains fiber and protein as well as a number of other organic compounds such as lycopene which is very beneficial for our health.
Health Benefits of Tomato
- Good for skin-Lack of vitamin C can be bad for your skin, making it vulnerable to sun damage, pollution, and smoke. Vitamin C prevents skin disorder from developing as it facilitates the production of collagen, which is an essential component of skin, nails, hair and connective tissue.
- Helps in Type1 diabetesPeople with type 1 diabetes have lower blood sugar levels when they eat high-fiber foods such as tomatoes.
- Reduces high blood pressureTomatoes contain potassium, a vasodilator that lowers pressure in blood vessels and arteries. It helps in increasing blood flow and reduces stress on your heart. Thereby eliminating the risk of high blood pressure.
- Prevents urinary tract infectionTomatoes have diuretic properties which facilitate the formation of urine in our body. It helps remove toxins, as well as excess water, salt, and uric acid. This reduces the occurrence of diseases such as urinary tract infection and bladder cancer.
- Prevent gallstonesIncluding tomatoes in your diet helps prevent gallstones. This is due to the presence of a number of essential vitamins and minerals in this vegetable.
- Improves digestive healthTomatoes contain a healthy amount of fiber, which adds bulk to stool, allowing it to move more smoothly through the digestive tract. This prevents constipation and other complications. The fiber content aids in the secretion of gastric and digestive juices which helps stimulate peristaltic motion in the smooth digestive muscles.
- Improves visionVitamin A is a powerful antioxidant that fights harmful free radicals that can damage our eyes. Vitamin A in tomatoes protects against macular degeneration and night blindness, and improves our vision.
- Good for heart-Consuming tomatoes is good for the heart due to the presence of fiber, choline, potassium and vitamin C. Maintaining a high potassium to sodium ratio is helpful in preventing cardiovascular disease. Regular consumption of tomatoes helps reduce triglycerides and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol in the blood.
- Eliminates the bad effects of smoking-Smoking can cause lung cancer. Including tomatoes in your diet will help prevent this dangerous disease due to the abundance of vitamin A. Nitrosamines are the main carcinogens in cigarettes. The coumaric acid and chlorogenic acid found in tomatoes help eliminate the harmful effects of these carcinogens.
Uses of Tomato
- Applying tomato juice to the skin helps remove oil and keeps it fresh for longer.
- Applying tomato juice to the scalp and hair helps to get rid of itchy scalp and dandruff.
- This vegetable is widely used in the preparation of salads and sauces.
- Fruit, leaf and vine of tomatoes are used to make medicine.
Side Effects of Tomato
- Tomatoes are naturally acidic. So, after eating too many tomatoes, you may experience acid reflux or heartburn.
- Excessive consumption of tomatoes can cause swelling and joint pain because they contain an alkaloid called solanine.
- A compound called histamine in tomatoes can cause skin rashes or allergic reactions. So, if you are allergic to tomatoes, you may experience swelling of the mouth, tongue and face, sneezing and sore throat.
- Tomatoes contain lycopene. Lycopene is good for your body, but if more than 75 mg is taken per day, a person can suffer from lycopenodermia. Lycopenodermia is a skin disease that occurs when excess lycopene causes skin discoloration.
Where is it found?
Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, West Bengal, Bihar, Gujarat, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh and Haryana are major tomato producing states in India.