The tomato has numerous beneficial properties as it is rich in minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants. It is an excellent ally of the line because it is low in calories and represents the Mediterranean diet king. Let’s find out the characteristics and benefits of tomatoes. You say tomato and think of pasta. Or pizza. Which are delicious but not always so perfect for our well-being. While the tomato is, this flaming red fruit, which we usually consider a vegetable, is a real concentrate of beneficial substances. Here we take care of all its nutrients, which we get by eating it. But knowing that it is also fantastic for external use: smooth and silky skin, tamed hair, sunburn under control, it can be a real beauty kit. If your question like, “are tomatoes good for you”. Then you are in the right place.
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Are tomatoes good for you and your family?
Go ahead to modern, in all sauces – literally! By choosing the best and perhaps least known varieties, to prepare a fantastic puree and knowing that as far as industrial products are concerned, starting from 25 August 2018, all the packages of tomato derivatives will have to show the identity card on the label. But let’s go back to the naked and pure fruit. Here’s what it gives us.
Lycopene for the heart – are tomatoes good for you
Let’s start with the best known, lycopene, which many will have heard of due to the numerous studies relating to its health effects. It is a colored pigment that gives the tomato its beautiful red color and is also found in other vegetables: watermelon, blood orange, red and pink grapefruit, papaya, etc. Why is it so valuable? Because it protects against cell aging and degenerative diseases, especially those of the heart and blood vessels. Lycopene is a carotenoid with an intense antioxidant action, which reduces atherosclerotic plaque formation in the vessels (fat deposited). Therefore the cardiovascular risk” explains the expert Krizia Ferrini, contacted as a nutritionist of the SmartFood project at the IEO (European Institute of Oncology) in Milan.
Better cooked or concentrated – are tomatoes good for you
Raw tomatoes, especially ripe ones, are a good source of lycopene. But to better absorb this carotenoid, it is preferable to eat them cooked, smoothed, or in juice. For example, tomatoes stewed for about twenty minutes, the classic puree, sauces, and concentrate. “The bioavailability of lycopene is 2-3 times greater in the sauce and over 20 in the tube preparation compared to raw tomatoes”, says Krizia Ferrini.
The reason? “Why the heat degrades the rigid cell wall of lycopene and facilitates its assimilation by the body. The same effect is achieved with blending. But there is also another trick, add olive oil (better extra virgin) to the tomatoes. Lycopene is a lipophilic molecule, which binds to fats: therefore, it dissolves well in the oil and is absorbed in more significant quantities. “So our tomato sauce is perfect with a little oil or, for something different, a fresh gazpacho with avocado slices, rich in good fats.
Betacarotene for the skin
Tomatoes are suitable for the heart but not only. They are also a panacea for skin and vision health. Thanks to vitamin A, or rather its precursor beta-carotene, a carotenoid is talked about a lot, especially in summer, because it protects the skin from the sun’s rays and promotes tanning. The body transforms beta-carotene into vitamin A, which is precious for cell membranes and mucous membranes and essential for the proper functioning of the retina. This already formed vitamin found only in foods of animal origin, so tomatoes should not be missing in vegans’ diet.
Few calories, lots of water and vitamins
Are you on a diet? Tomatoes, very rich in water (94%), are also low-calorie (less than 20 calories per 100 g) and diuretics, without forgetting vitamin C’s richness, especially of ripe ones, minus the salads. Remember that both A and C thermolabile vitamins damaged by heat: to make an adequate supply. Therefore, it is better to eat raw vegetables, which are also rich in potassium.
“Dried tomatoes deserve a special mention, as they have a different concentration of minerals due to drying,” says Ferrini. “They are an excellent source of calcium, phosphorus, and even iron: to make the latter easier to absorb, it is advisable to add a few drops of lemon juice or small pieces of zest because Vitamin C increases their bioavailability. A recipe to prepare them dried tomato hummus. A light variant of the classic chickpea-based sauce “.
Tumors: protective effect for some types – are tomatoes good for you
Finally, the protective effect of tomatoes against tumors, particularly that of the prostate, has been confirmed by the latest scientific studies. Thanks to the lycopene, the risk lowered. Besides, the tomato is very rich in fiber (1 / 100g), protective against colon and breast cancers.
Pay attention to seasonality.
The tomato is therefore so rich in benefits that it fully deserves the definition of a superfood. The only contraindications are for those with allergy problems. Because the family to which it belongs to the Solanaceae can be allergenic. Pediatricians do not recommend it to children before the year. Attention also to the tomato’s acidity.
If on the one hand, it promotes digestion, on the other. It is not suitable for those suffering from gastritis. Returning to the benefits, to fully enjoy it. It is essential that the tomatoes are in season, of local varieties, rather than imported and grown in greenhouses. It seen that our typical cultivars. The DOP and IGP but also other less known ones. It has a higher concentration of micronutrients,” concludes Krizia Ferrini. So tomatoes, yes, but not all year round. I hope your question is “are tomatoes good for you” is solved. Thanks for reading….