Amazing Health Properties of Tomatoes
The humble tomato is loaded with a ton of health benefits. Brimming with antioxidants and vitamins, they are also incredibly versatile to cook with. From salads and stews, to delicious pasta sauces, the health benefits are undeniable.
Lets have a look at some of the health benefits you can enjoy.
1. Tomatoes help prevent different types of cancer.
A number of studies indicate that the high levels of lycopene in tomatoes help reduce your chances of developing prostate, colon and stomach cancer. Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant that works to slow the growth of cancerous cells. The lycopene is at its most potent when cooked, making sauces and soups a powerhouse of antioxidants.
2. Tomatoes are good for your heart
With the Vitamin B and potassium found in tomatoes, they are very effective in reducing cholesterol and lowering blood pressure. This in turn helps reduce the chances of heart attacks and strokes.
3. Tomatoes contain powerful antioxidants.
Tomatoes contain high levels of both Vitamin C and Vitamin A. The combined effect of these vitamins and the beta-carotene help eliminate free radicals in the blood. It’s these free radicals when remaining in the body too long, lead to cell damage. It should be noted that whilst cooking tomatoes releases lycopene, it also decreases Vitamin C. Therefore it’s best to vary your intake with both raw and cooked tomatoes.
4. Tomatoes are good for your eye health.
The Vitamin A and beta-carotene found in tomatoes is great for improving your eye health and sight. Vitamin A helps protect the surface of the eye called the cornea, which is essential for good vision. This combination of vitamins and other antioxidants, help play an important role in decreasing the risk of vision loss.
5. Tomatoes lower high blood pressure
Consuming tomatoes on daily basis reduces the risk of developing high blood pressure. This is in part, due to the good levels of potassium. Potassium is a vasodilator, meaning that it reduces the tension in blood vessels and arteries, thus increasing circulation and reducing stress on the heart.
Why not try this delicious low-fat tomato and basil soup recipe below.
Roasted Tomato and Basil Soup
- 1kg Fresh vine tomatoes, halved
- 2 Large cloves of garlic, peeled and left whole
- 2 Large Shallots, halved lengthways
- 1tbsp olive oil
- 500ml Vegetable stock
- Small bunch of basil, roughly torn (including stalks)
- Salt and Black Pepper to taste
- Pinch of Cayenne pepper
- Teaspoon of sugar
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F.
- Place the tomatoes, shallots and garlic cloves in a roasting tin. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper and roast for 30 minutes.
- When they have started to char slightly around the edges, transfer the tomatoes, shallots and garlic to a blender. Add the vegetable stock and roughly torn basil. Blend until smooth.
- Transfer to a pan, add the sugar and cayenne pepper. On a low heat, simmer for 10 minutes, season to taste before serving.
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