7 Health Reasons to Include More Tomatoes in Your Diet

Updated on June 1, 2018
Tim Truzy info4u profile image

As a counselor, Tim has taught independent living skills (shopping, cooking, etc.) to his clients and students with disabilities.

Tomatoes come in a variety of sizes and colors.
Tomatoes come in a variety of sizes and colors. | Source

Enjoying Tomatoes

Tomatoes are one of the world’s healthiest and diverse foods. Tomatoes are loaded with compounds which support many body functions. Grown in many varieties,, tomatoes can be prepared in various ways. Some people may eat tomatoes raw, such as in sandwiches or in salads. Others may like tomatoes in stews or soups.

Regardless of your preference for digesting these vegetables, washing tomatoes before you eat them is a good idea because of the levels of pesticides used to grow them. Also, people using beta blockers may want to consult their physician before eating this member of the nightshade family. In addition, individuals with certain gastrointestinal symptoms and diseases may wish to avoid tomatoes in foods. Nevertheless, this nutritious vegetable is ranked in the top five of fresh market foods sold in the United States. Frequently considered a fruit, tomatoes are also called vegetables when discussing cooking. I will use both descriptions of the tomato in this article.

As a counselor, I taught my students about agriculture, and we discussed the different ways to enjoy the nearly twenty thousand varieties of tomatoes. Indeed, my students were fascinated by the versatility and nature of tomatoes in many dishes. Since the tomato comes in different sizes and shapes, a person can find one type that he/she prefers. Here are some of the health benefits of the plant that we discussed. Below are seven reasons to consider munching on these tasty nutritious power houses on a regular basis.

Poll

In what way do you enjoy eating tomatoes?

See results
The red color of most tomatoes comes from the antioxidant compound lycopene.
The red color of most tomatoes comes from the antioxidant compound lycopene. | Source

Seven Reasons to Include More Tomatoes in Your Diet

  • Vitamins and Minerals – Tomatoes are packed with vitamins, including: Vitamin C, Vitamin K, and Vitamin B6. Some of the minerals present in tomatoes are: copper, magnesium, potassium, iron, and traces of other metals. By changing the type of tomato you consume, you can vary the amount of minerals and vitamins you intake as well as other healthy substances. Cooking tomatoes can produce the best results for health.
  • Antioxidants and Other Healthy Compounds – When you eat a tomato, the body receives plenty of antioxidants, which play a part in controlling cell damage. Tomatoes are rich in flavonoids and carotenoids, which are phytonutrients, common in most plants. Some of these carotenoids are: lutein, gamma-carotene, and an extensive group of polyphenols.

This unusual looking tomato is of the heirloom variety Cherokee Purple.
This unusual looking tomato is of the heirloom variety Cherokee Purple. | Source
  • Preventing High Blood Pressure – Tomatoes are high in potassium, a mineral associated with widening of the arteries. Research has found less than 2% of Americans intake enough potassium daily. By reducing sodium intake and increasing potassium by eating tomatoes, a person would be helping reduce the possibility of developing the condition of hypertension (high blood pressure.) In addition, consumption of potassium is related to lessening the potential for developing kidney stones, preventing muscle deterioration, and preserving bone density. Tomatoes also contain calcium and other compounds associated with muscle response and healthy bones.
  • Controlling Constipation – Tomatoes are high in fiber and water. Some people refer to tomatoes as a “natural laxative.” Consuming tomatoes may contribute to regular bowel movements.

Local farmer's markets are a good place to find different types of tomatoes.
Local farmer's markets are a good place to find different types of tomatoes. | Source
  • Skin and Eyes – The antioxidants in tomatoes assist with protecting the eyes from light damage. Intake of the antioxidant, zeaxanthin, plentiful in tomatoes, was found to be related to a decrease in the occurrence of diseases such as macular degeneration and cataracts. Eating tomatoes is great for your vision. Furthermore, your skin benefits from including tomatoes in your diet. The body requires high Vitamin C content to make collagen for nails and connective tissues. Tomatoes provide this vitamin to your body.
  • Diabetes – Adding tomatoes to meals can help control diabetes because of the plentiful fiber in the vegetable. Studies have shown increasing fiber intake for people with Type I diabetes reduces blood glucose levels. People with Type II diabetes benefited with better insulin levels when consuming tomatoes, according to research.

  • Heart Protection – Choline and folate are abundant in tomatoes. Folate plays a role in balancing protein breakdown. This is crucial in preventing heart attacks. Along with other compounds found in this vegetable, support for your heart can be obtained from increasing tomatoes in your diet. If you are using beta blockers for a heart condition or any medical reason, check with your doctor before consuming tomatoes. This has to do with the interaction between beta blockers and potassium.

Poll

Have you ever considered growing tomatoes in a garden?

See results
Although tomatoes are eaten in many parts of the world, they originated in the  Americas.
Although tomatoes are eaten in many parts of the world, they originated in the Americas. | Source

More Reasons to Add Tomatoes to Your Meals

For nearly two centuries, tomatoes were often considered poisonous to people. Scholars speculate the primary factor influencing this thinking happened to be that the tomato belongs to the night-shade family of plants, which includes peppers, . potatoes, tomatoes, and the egg plant. Cultivated by the original dwellers of South America, Solanum lycopersicum (the tomato plant), was brought to Europe by the Spanish. Now, the red “berry” of the tomato plant is found worldwide in countless foods with potent health properties. In fact, some estimates suggest tomatoes are the most produced fruit in the globe, possibly for many of these health benefits.

Although one particular compound found in tomatoes may not prevent the onset of any physical condition, the “synergistic” effect of these substances benefit many groups. Lycopene, and fiber, along with the high content of beta-carotene found in tomatoes, have been associated with a reduction in men developing prostate cancer. For pregnant women, tomatoes offer a nutrition filled snack. Calcium and other nutrients found in the fruit are important for the mother and growing baby. In spite of the health benefits related to digesting tomatoes, consulting with your doctor before making dietary changes is essential.

References

Health Properties of Tomatoes - WebMD. Retrieved May 22, 2018, from: https://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/health-properties-tomatoes#1

Tomatoes 101: Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits – Healthline. Retrieved May 28, 2018, from: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/foods/tomatoes#section4

Why tomato is the world's favoured fruit - BBC News - BBC.com. Retrieved May 21, 2018, from: www.bbc.com/news/health-39139660


Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Tim Truzy info4u profile imageAUTHOR

      Tim Truzy 

      4 months ago from U.S.A.

      Thank you, brother. It's funny, but we just ate the biggest healthiest Greek salad my wife could put together. We added grape leaves to the mix along with plenty of tomatoes. It was fabulous.

      Thank you for taking your valuable time out of your busy schedule with your family and work to give this a read.

      Always appreciated,

      Sincerely,

      Tim

    • Sean Dragon profile image

      Ioannis Arvanitis 

      4 months ago from Greece, Almyros

      My dear brother, Tim, you always find the ways to help in so many ways! Your article is significant because tomatoes are really a gift from Paradise for our health. Here in Greece tomatoes are part of every day's meal. Greek salad with tomatoes, cucumber, onions, olive oil, oregano and feta cheese is our special salad, and it is a super healthy plate.

      Well done my brother!

      Sean

    • Tim Truzy info4u profile imageAUTHOR

      Tim Truzy 

      4 months ago from U.S.A.

      According to all the research I read about tomatoes, Ms. Dora, they rank as one of the world's "super" foods. Nature is an awesome force.

      Thank you for reading and commenting on one of the great foods of the world.

      I am always honored by your comments.

      Sincerely,

      Tim

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      4 months ago from The Caribbean

      I love tomatoes. Thanks for the information on their nutritional value and how to use them.

    • Tim Truzy info4u profile imageAUTHOR

      Tim Truzy 

      4 months ago from U.S.A.

      Thank you, Manatita for your wonderful comment. Tomatoes are exquisite - especially when I read about all of the benefits they can add to our lives. My wife adds tomatoes to almost every dish we have. It's one of those fruits which compliments about everything it touches.

      Thanks again.

      Sincerely,

      Tim

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 

      4 months ago from london

      Excellent article! The lycopene is good for the eyes. I take it raw or on salads. It is quite customary for it to come with beans and toast. But I don't great if I have it fried.

    • Tim Truzy info4u profile imageAUTHOR

      Tim Truzy 

      4 months ago from U.S.A.

      Of course, Abwilliams. The Bible. A big garden with wonderful flowers and vegetables. Smiling with your grandchildren. Holding tight to ideas and principles you cherish - Some people may not think that is healthy, but that is a wonderful way to get through this life every day.

      Much respect,

      Sincerely,

      Tim

    • Tim Truzy info4u profile imageAUTHOR

      Tim Truzy 

      4 months ago from U.S.A.

      Hi, Abwilliams,

      Nothing like a "amata samage." I'm a southerner. It's almost a right of passage to have those; you and I both know that. In fact, I had one with my breakfast this morning.

      I hope your tomato plants turn out well after all of the rain you guys got in Florida. I was watching the news about the wave of rain coming through. We are getting some of it right now.

      If you were close, dear friend, trust me - we would visit. You are a wonderful soul.

      God bless you and your family.

      Sincerely,

      Tim

    • Tim Truzy info4u profile imageAUTHOR

      Tim Truzy 

      4 months ago from U.S.A.

      Thanks, Coffeequeeen,

      My grandfather had a farm and occasionally he grew them for the local market. Tomatoes are one of those foods which are loaded with goodness. I can't get enough of them in all sorts of ways. My wife swears I'm going to turn into a tomato. (lol)

      Thanks again for reading and providing a great comemnt.

      Sincerely,

      Tim

    • abwilliams profile image

      A B Williams 

      4 months ago from Central Florida

      P.S. My 'favorite' is not the way to go, if you are going healthy! LOL

    • abwilliams profile image

      A B Williams 

      4 months ago from Central Florida

      Our tomatoes are coming in right now and if you lived a little closer, I'd share a few pounds with you Tim!

      We have four varieties this year and they are doing very well, (we are having to pick them before they ripen on the vine, due to heavy rainfall over the past couple weeks) We love our tomatoes.

      My all time favorite; room temperature sliced tomatoes on white bread with Duke's mayo, salt and pepper. Yummy!

      Great article!

    • Coffeequeeen profile image

      Louise Powles 

      4 months ago from Norfolk, England

      I've never tried growing my own tomatoes, but I like eating them. I didn't realise they had so many health benefits though.

    • Tim Truzy info4u profile imageAUTHOR

      Tim Truzy 

      4 months ago from U.S.A.

      Perhaps, there is another benefit to tomatoes often over looked. It involves the psychological aspect of feeling good about doing something positive for your body. Also, growing tomatoes can be a rewarding task. Watching a tomato plant bear fruit is a wonderful experience. Research has suggested cultivating positive feelings about life contributes to good health. This could be accomplished through growing tomatoes or other plants, if you have the space and energy.

      I have planted tomato plants and observed in wonder as the beautiful fruit grew day by day.

      My grandmother used to say, "Watch what the animals eat. They know what's healthy normally." During one particular morning, my wife and I looked out at our garden, and there, nibbling with something that could only be described as pleasure, was a deer. It seemed to love our tomato plant.

      Of course, we could fence off the garden and take all kinds of precautions, but we figured the deer wanted to eat healthy as well.

      Thanks for reading and commenting on this article.

      Sincerely,

      Tim

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, caloriebee.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://caloriebee.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)