Whether you eat them in a salad, as a meal topping or on their own, tomatoes provide the body with plenty health benefits. They’re packed with nutrients that fight inflammation, improve heart health and even reduce the risk of cancer. Botanically speaking, tomatoes are considered a fruit. Technically speaking, they’re classified as a vegetable, belonging to the nightshade vegetable family. Tomato nutrition includes Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Vitamin K, potassium, manganese and folate, among other vitamins and minerals. Some powerful tomato benefits include the ability to improve skin, bone and eye health while protecting the body from disease.
1. Provides the Body With Cancer-Fighting Antioxidants
Tomato benefits include the ability to provide the body with powerful antioxidants that protect against disease and reduce the risk of cancer. Research has shown that men who eat tomatoes on a regular basis are less likely to develop prostate cancer. As a cancer-fighting food, tomato nutrition contains a carotenoid antioxidant called lycopene. Lycopene is known for its anti-cancer abilities. (1)
2. Acts as a Natural Anti-Inflammatory
Tomato benefits include the ability to fight inflammation. The powerful antioxidants in tomato nutrition work to lower disease-causing inflammation in the body and reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes and arthritis.
3. Helps Improve Heart Health
Tomato benefits include a healthy heart. The antioxidants in tomatoes, including lycopene, help fight free radicals to protect the heart from damage caused by oxidative stress. Research has shown that eating tomatoes on a regular basis can help reduce cholesterol, lower high blood pressure and improve blood vessel health. The antioxidants in tomato nutrition help reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. Tomatoes can also help combat low potassium, which can lead to blood pressure problems. (2)
4. Helps Protect Vision and Eye Health
Tomato benefits include the ability to protect vision. Tomato nutrition include lutein, a carotenoid that protects the eye’s retina from damage caused by age, UV light radiation and oxidative stress. Studies have shown that lutein may work as a natural treatment for macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in older adults. (3)
5. Benefits Skin Health
Tomato benefits include the ability to strengthen, hydrate and protect the skin. The Vitamin C and other powerful antioxidants in tomatoes help improve the skin’s immunity, elasticity and appearance. Tomato benefits also include the ability to protect the skin from damage caused by UV rays and environmental toxins.
6. Protects Bone Health
Tomato benefits include the ability to protect bone health. The lycopene they contain helps to slow aging effects and reduce the risk of age-related bone loss. Tomato benefits also include the ability to strengthen the bones. They contain Vitamin K, manganese, phosphorus and other nutrients that help reduce the risk of bone diseases, fractures and osteoporosis.