Tomatoes are a mildly sweet citrus fruit, although they are often thought of as vegetables and used in salads. While some people adore their natural sweetness and use them on everything from sandwiches to casseroles to pizzas - benefits of tomatoes to count a few!! Others dislike their relatively slimy texture and acid present in tomato. Whether you love or hate them, however, benefits of eating raw tomatoes includes providing essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients that can deliver a number of profound health benefits. There is no dearth of uses of this versatile tomato. Tomato juice benefits are making it immensely popular as a health drink; regular tomatoes, mainly cherry tomatoes are used in the preparation of salads and sandwiches. Besides consuming, tomato for skin does the wonders.
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Nutrients In Raw Tomatoes
There are enormous benefits of eating raw tomatoes. A medium-sized raw tomato contains less than 30 calories, very little fat, no cholesterol, over 1 gram of dietary fibre and a variety of essential nutrients. For example, the same tomato provides about 40% of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C and approximately 20% of vitamin A. The most abundant nutrient in tomatoes, and perhaps the one most associated with health benefits is lycopene. Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant and the main reason why tomatoes are red.
Health Benefits Of Tomatoes
The established health benefits of cherry tomatoes are primarily related to the antioxidant activity of lycopene, beta-carotene and vitamins C, A and E, as well as the presence of soluble fibre.
2. Controlling Blood Pressure and Cholesterol:
Other benefits of eating tomatoes include reduced risk of heart disease, atherosclerosis and high blood pressure. The soluble fibre in raw tomatoes contributes to lower blood cholesterol levels and reduced risk of clogged arteries.
3. Prevent Cancer:
The lycopene in tomatoes has also been credited with preventing certain types of cancer. Diets rich in tomato-based products maintains steady amounts of lycopene, which reduces chances of pancreatic cancer by 31% less than those who had both high and low carotenoid intakes. For women, high concentrations of carotenoids in tomatoes may protect them against breast cancer.
4. Fights Minor Infections:
Furthermore, any fruit or vegetable high in vitamin C stimulates immune response and reduces the risk and duration of minor infections, such as the common cold.
5. Boost Your Folate Intake:
Folate or folic acid isn’t just for boosting your chances of fertility. This B vitamin also fights fatigue. One cup of tomato juice has 48.6 mcg of folate.
6. Prevent Eye Diseases:
The vitamins such as vitamin A, flavonoid B complex, thiamine, folates, niacin, etc. are also present in cherry tomatoes that help cure skin and eye diseases.
7. Good for Bones and Teeth:
Being rich in Calcium, cherry tomatoes tend to improve bone strength and bone formation in the body. It is also beneficial in maintaining the teeth in a healthy state.
8. Cell Repair and Muscle Building:
Raw tomatoes is a naturally rich source of protein, which is good for cell repair and muscle building.
9. Less Fat Content:
Other basic nutrients include 4 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of protein, 18 calories and 0 grams of saturated fat. This vegetable can be eaten in good amounts due to the lower rate of calories in a raw tomato.
10. Prevent Blood Clots:
Along with Vitamin C, lycopene and niacin, there are many benefits of eating raw tomatoes. However, the seeds are surrounded by a mucus layer. The layer has been patented as Fruitlow by researchers. Tomato seeds help prevent blood clots.
Raw tomato seeds’ lycopene and beta-carotene eradicate free radicals. This, in turn, helps arrest inflammation. Tomato seeds are thus an effective anti-inflammatory agent.
12. Boost Immunity:
Raw tomato seeds and flesh have been credited as immunity boosting agents. They help avoid common cold and influenza, especially for males. Tomato seeds are excellent sources of the antioxidant lycopene and beta-carotene. Thus, they are effective immunity boosting agents.
13. Improve Eyesight:
Raw tomatoes and their seeds contain high amounts of Vitamin A. Vitamin A has often been associated with excellent eyesight, and a deficiency of this vitamin causes night blindness. Tomato seeds thus help improve eyesight.
[Read: 10 Benefits of Tomato Juice]
Tomato For Skin
In this section, we would be making you aware of the benefits of tomatoes for the skin. Tomato for the face is a miracle. Tomato face pack is the best way to utilize tomato for the skin. Collagen, the connective tissue in our skin that helps with firmness, suppleness, and constant renewal. It is believed that consuming cherry tomato and tomato products will give you a healthy and beautiful skin. Benefits of tomatoes for skin include the following:
1. Treat Open Pores:
Add four drops of raw tomato juice to 1 tablespoon of water, apply it on your face with the help of a cotton ball. Gently massage your skin with this tomato face pack and leave it on for 15 minutes. Regular application of this will shrink the pore size.
2. Glowing Skin:
Applying tomato juice or rubbing tomato halves on the skin evens out the skin and revives the glow giving you a healthy looking skin. It contains a high amount of Vitamin C, which is known to brighten the skin.
3. Prevent Signs of Aging:
Tomatoes and its products enable the skin to absorb oxygen and prevent the signs of ageing. It provides an amazing natural skin treatment that can make the skin look younger and healthy with less effort.
4. Act as Natural Sunscreen:
According to various studies, tomato contains an antioxidant called lycopene which acts as a natural sunscreen. This provides the skin protection from harsh UV rays.
5. Act as Stress Reliever:
Tomato extract is often used in luxurious body massage oils to combat visible sign of stress on the skin. Tomato extract is also used in eye creams, which, along with other essential ingredients, leaves the eyes looking fresh and revitalized.
6. Fight Cellular Damage:
Consumption of at least 16 milligrams of lycopene in form of tomato juice every day reduces the number of free radicals in the body to give you a youthful skin. It fights cellular damage and reddening of the skin and also retains the moisture, thus preventing fine lines and wrinkles.
7. Natural Bleaching Agent:
Tomato is considered as a natural bleaching agent and is a very effective natural face pack for lightening the skin tone.
a. Prepare a face pack by mixing 1 teaspoon of oatmeal, 1 teaspoon of yoghurt and 2 teaspoons of tomato pulp.
b. Apply it on the face and neck and leave it for 20 minutes. Oatmeal will gently exfoliate the skin, while yoghurt and tomato will help to clear the blemishes. This improves the complexion.
8. Prevent Sunburn:
According to Prevention Magazine, tomato juice benefits in naturally protecting against sunburn. Sunburnt skin can also be treated by applying tomato on the affected parts.
9. Smooth Skin:
Tomato juice benefits enhance when used with honey. The tomato face pack made by combining these two helps you to get smooth and glowing skin.
10. Remove Dead Skin Cells:
Tomato can greatly help you to remove dead skin cells.
a. Grind tomatoes in a mixer with the seeds and add 1 teaspoon of sugar to it.
b. Apply it on the face and massage gently in circular motion.
Tomato For Hair
Not only benefits of eating raw tomatoes add charm to our health and nutritional values, it also benefits of tomatoes all add glitter to your hair. Raw tomato contains important nutrients like Vitamin A, B, C, and E, which are excellent stimulants for healthy hair. Some of the benefits of tomatoes for hair include these below.
1. Help Fight Hair Loss:
Tomatoes are considered to be an excellent cure for hair loss. It is believed that application of cherry tomato pulp on the scalp can prevent hair loss.
2. Condition Hair:
They provide natural shine to the hair and makes it soft and manageable. Take a few drops of tomato oil in your hand and apply it on your hair. This will act as a leave-in conditioner and will keep the hair manageable and frizz free.
3. Treat Dry Hair:
Mix tomato puree with oil and apply it on the hair. Leave it for 20 minutes and then wash it off. This will make the hair super smooth, shiny and flexible as it contains high amounts of protein in it. Tomatoes help to lock the much-needed moisture in the hair to prevent it from dry.
4. Treat Dandruff And Itchy Scalp:
Tomatoes are very useful for curing itchy scalp and dandruff. Itchy scalp and dandruff lead to other scalp problems, like eczema and scalp psoriasis. Tomato contains a high amount of Vitamin C, which fights dandruff and provides collagen for proper tissue development of the scalp.
Selection Of Tomatoes
Tomatoes are available all year round in both fresh and preserved form. There are thousands of varieties of tomatoes which are available in various shapes, sizes, and colours.
Two common shapes of tomatoes are round or pear-shaped, and cherry-sized – cherry tomato. Select tomatoes that are rich in colours like deep red, vibrant oranges, or tangerines.
Tomatoes are also available in yellow and purple colours, but these are less acidic and thus don’t have much flavour as acid present in tomato give its tangy flavour
They should be well shaped, devoid of any dent, cracks, or bruises.
The skin should be taut and not shrivelled or wrinkled. Fresh and ripe tomato yield to slight pressure and emit a sweet fragrance.
How To Include Tomato In Your Diet
Stuffed tomatoes served hot or cold. Cut off the top and the inside of the tomato (like a mini bowl), add meat, rice, spices and herbs then cooked in the oven.
2. Spiced up:
Slice tomatoes, add some salt, cumin and a little olive oil. Eat as it is, fresh.
Along with some peppers, onions and a little garlic, put some tomatoes in the oven and grill them well until the skin peels off and until the pepper skin are a little black (peel that off too when cooked). Then roughly mix all the ingredients in a food processor. Add olive oil, a little salt, chopped parsley and a good amount of cumin.
Cut the tomatoes in 2 halves, add some garlic, basil and a little olive oil. Put them on aluminium paper and grill on the Bbq.
5. Cheesy Nibbles:
On a toothpick insert an olive, a mini cheese, a cherry tomato and one fresh basil leaf or mint leaf. Serve fresh.
6. Soup Time:
Start frying 1 shallot and 1 onion in olive oil. Add 4 potatoes cut into cubes, 1 zucchini cut into pieces and a can of peeled tomatoes, salt, and paprika pepper. Then add a low salt vegetable broth until you cover all the vegetables. Cook half an hour.
Blend and add a little fresh cream.
7. Fresh On Bread:
Cut 8 tomatoes into small pieces and mix with 1/3 of a cup of fresh basil, 1/4 cup of low fat shredded cheese, 2 cloves of garlic (minced), 1 tablespoon of vinegar, 1/2 a tablespoon of olive oil, a pinch of salt, pepper. Refrigerate for 2 hours then serve on toasted baguette bread.
8. Rainbow Salad:
Buy different types of tomatoes; red, yellow, dark, orange etc and prepare a great colourful salad with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.