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Wednesday, 15 May 2019

Tomatoes and their health benefits


Nicola Shubrook is a nutritional therapist, she writes:

"Juicy and sweet, fresh tomatoes are a delicious addition to salads, while the canned variety can be used to make delicious sauces for pasta dishes, stews and curries. But did you know that tomatoes also pack a whole host of health benefits too?

Although often treated as a vegetable in cooking, the tomato is actually a fruit that belongs to the nightshade family, along with aubergines, peppers and potatoes. They come in a range of sizes and varieties from small cherry to big beef, and traditionally they're red in colour but you can also get tomatoes in yellow, green, purple and orange. 

What is the nutritional profile of tomatoes?
Tomatoes are mainly a carbohydrate with some fibre, but they are best known for their vitamin and mineral content which includes calcium, magnesium, beta-carotene (which becomes vitamin A when consumed), vitamins C and E, some B vitamins and vitamin K.

Are tomatoes good for heart health?
A hundred grams of tomatoes would provide about 6% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of potassium for adults. There is evidence that higher dietary potassium intake is associated with lower rates of stroke and may be associated with lower rates of heart disease. Tomatoes also contain a compound called lycopene, which also gives them their red colour, and there is growing research into its properties and potential for reducing ‘bad’ cholesterol (LDL) and reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Are tomatoes good for your eyes? 
Tomatoes contain a group of phytochemicals called carotenoids, including lycopene, lutein and beta-carotene. These compounds are important to maintain eye health and may protect against age-related macular degeneration and other eye diseases.

lovely roast tomatoes, see recipe details here

Are tomatoes good for your skin?
The carotenoids found in plants, including tomatoes, may help prevent UV damage in humans. A 2006 study found that after a 10-12 week study there did appear to be a decrease in sensitivity as a result of increasing dietary carotenoids. However, this is not to say that you won't burn if you eat lots of tomatoes – it's still important to follow guidelines and be careful in the sun to avoid UV damage. 

Can tomatoes help with blood clotting and wound healing?
Tomatoes are a good source of vitamin K which is necessary for blood clotting and wound healing, with 100g of tomatoes containing 6 mcg of vitamin K. There is also increasing evidence that vitamin K may be of benefit in bone and cardiovascular health too. The NHS recommends 1 mcg of vitamin K per kg of body weight and you should be able to easily achieve this through eating a varied and balanced diet.

Can tomatoes help reduce menopausal symptoms?
A 2015 study by the Nutrition Journal found that tomato juice intake did help alleviate some menopausal symptoms such as anxiety, resting energy expenditure and heart rate. This study was carried out on 95 women aged 40-60 years old and they had to consume 200ml of unsalted tomato juice, twice daily, for eight weeks. While this was a small trial, the results are encouraging and warrant further research into this area.

Is it better to cook tomatoes or eat them raw?
Research suggests that processing and cooking tomatoes can increase their nutritional value, in particular, their antioxidant activity and lycopene compounds."
You can see Nicola's original article, with all related research links here

searching for tomato recipes
here are some

Summer Tomato Pie : Low Carb
see more details here


Tomato Curry : It's a fresh and delicious Vegetarian / Vegan dish
see more details here


Tomato Soup with onions, carrot and celery
see more details here


A variety of articles and recipe ideas are within this blog, not all may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.

All the best Jan

38 comments:

John M said...

I'm planting two varieties of tomatoes this year, along with cucumbers and basil.

Catarina said...

I love soups!!!

Valerie-Jael said...

Tomatoes are delicious in all recipes and just as they are, a very versatile fruit. Valerie

mxtodis123 said...

I love tomatoes but they say they are not good for people with arthritis. I eat them anyway though. Love any kind of tomato.

sage said...

I can’t figure out how to put a phone here... but was going to put on here with my tomatoes that are already about 2 inches and growing! Love ‘em.

www.thepulpitandthepen.com

Tom said...

...tomatoes, I sure love them.

William Kendall said...

I like them, particularly as part of a dish.

Anonymous said...

And soon garden free tomatoes!

Amy Purdy said...

I love sliced tomatoes with salt and pepper, and I made a really good tomato basil salad the other day.

R's Rue said...

I love tomatoes.

Sandy said...

LOVE tomatoes in many forms, will have to check out your roasted recipe, they look luscious. I love them cooked, I love them raw, but am a snob about good tomatoes and hate to get them when their hard and barely red.

Christine said...

so many benefits

Miss Val's Creations said...

These dishes look amazing. We are growing tomatoes and the plants are looking great. Fingers are crossed for a nice harvest!

DVArtist said...

Yum I make my own tomato juice and soup. I use a lot of tomatoes so this is good news.

Margaret-whiteangel said...

Tomatoes are a wonderful fruit and used in so many ways.

Iris Flavia said...

Thank you, I always though raw is the right way to go!
I´m not really a fan but eat them just for the health benefits. (Did I admit this openly??? ;-)...)

mamasmercantile said...

Homemade tomato soup is my go to recipe when we have excess tomatos. A firm favourite.

Nadezda said...

I love tomato soup, but have never fried them, should try!
Thanks for so much information, happy week.

Jo said...

I love tomatoes so it's good to know that they're good for you.

My name is Erika. said...

I knew tomatoes were good for you, but not that they were that good for you. It will be nice when gardens start producing fresh ones, guess that is still a couple of months away. Happy Thursday! hugs-Erika

Caty said...

Your article is very interesting Jan !! Thanks so much for sharing it with us.
I love tomatoes, and I prepare them in any form, they taste so good and are so healthy !
I wish you a very nice day,
Big hugs, Caty

Aritha said...

I love them baked with cheese. When I eat them without baking they give me itch in my mouth. That's not funny.

Sussi said...

like them very much!

baili said...

this is treasured post dear Jan!
thank you for sharing incredible information about my favorite fruit plus veggie

even when i was in school ,in break times i used to buy one tomato and eat which would surprise my class mates :)
i absolutely love it in each form raw or cooked

Ygraine said...

I adore tomatoes! And how brilliant is it to know that, not only do they taste absolutely delicious, but that they are also very good for us too!
As always, your recipes look amazing!😊😊
Thank you so much for sharing!

Have a great day!

Author R. Mac Wheeler said...

They're a carb!! Who knew!

;O)

DeniseinVA said...

One of my all time favorite foods is the tomato, in any shape or form. Very interesting to read about it and those recipes are once again on my list of things to make. Thanks Jan and have a great weekend :)

Sue said...

Ooh I love tomatoes, and although cooked ones may be better for you, you can't beat picking and eating them straight from the plant. Ours will be going in soon! Have a very happy week, Sue xx

Martha said...

Tomatoes are wonderful, and very versatile!

Crafty Green Poet said...

I eat a lot of tomatoes and it was interesting to read so many of the ways they're good for us

Teresa said...

Los tomates me encantan. Besitos.

Debbie said...

some great information about tomatoes, i am a tomato LOVER!! i had my first tomato sandwich of the season and it was awesome!!!

Carol Blackburn said...

Even if tomatoes weren't good for you, a bit always adds such a nice touch of color to any recipe. I do love tomatoes.

sandy said...

those tomatoes ...wow, gotta make them.

Magic Love Crow said...

Very interesting! Thank you so much Jan!!! Big Hugs!

https://linsartyblobs.blogspot.com said...

I like tomatoes but they're not good for my acid reflux.

Lowcarb team member said...

https://linsartyblobs.blogspot.com said...
I like tomatoes but they're not good for my acid reflux.

Hello Lin
Your comment and reply here is why I always say "A variety of articles and recipe ideas are within this blog. Please note, not all may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter."

Yes, tomatoes can cause or worsen GERD symptoms. If you have frequent acid reflux, you should reduce or eliminate your intake of them and other foods:

This article here may be of interest to you
7 Foods to Help Your Acid Reflux

https://www.healthline.com/health/gerd/diet-nutrition#foods-to-avoid

Once again, many thanks for your comment.

Thanks too to all who have taken the time to comment and share thoughts, it is appreciated.

All the best Jan

FlashinScissors said...

I love tomatoes and found this really interesting!
The recipes look most delicious too!
Barbara xx