With high levels of Vitamin C, Vitamin E, manganese and beta-carotene, tomatoes are one of the healthiest foods in the world. They have been heavily linked to aiding heart health and providing bodies with cancer-fighting antioxidants as well. Tomatoes have also proven to be a great supporter of overall bone health.
Cardiovascular System Benefits
Few body systems rely more on the presence of antioxidants than the cardiovascular system, which includes the heart and blood vessels. Tomatoes excel at providing antioxidants for the heart based on their abundance of Vitamins C and E alone. What truly sets the tomato apart in terms of contributing to heart health, however, is the presence of carotenoid lycopene, which helps to lower the threat of lipid peroxidation in the bloodstream. Over time, the process of lipid peroxidation can lead to the blocking of blood vessels, and regularly consuming tomatoes are an excellent way to reduce this risk. Tomatoes have also been shown to significantly reduce total cholesterol levels, further benefitting the body’s cardiovascular system.
Because of the presence of alpha-tomatine in tomatoes, they have proven to be a very effective way for men to fight the risk of prostate cancer by slowing the metabolism in any potential cancerous cells in the prostrate as well as killing already existence prostate cancer cells. While other types of cancer have not been researched quite as extensively, the presence of Vitamin C in tomatoes ensures that they can indeed assist the body in the process of fighting off the types of cells medically proven to potentially cause cancer. In addition to helping combat colon cancer, diets that include high tomato consumption have also been shown to lower the risk of lung and stomach cancer as well.
The antioxidants in tomatoes are good for more than fighting cancer and supporting the cardiovascular system — they help to strengthen bones as well. A study at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto found a clear link between lycopene consumption and improved bone health. Tomato lycopene plays a critical role in the health of bone tissue and also prevents bone loss as well as osteoporosis. Lycopene may also be beneficial to those with an already existing case of osteoporosis, as it reduces oxidative stress. Tomatoes may even serve as an alternative form of medication for reducing the risk of osteoporosis as well as managing an already existing case.
Cherry tomatoes plant by Leon Brooks