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Tomato or tamatar-- 6 amazing health benefits of this wonder food

A popular ingredient in food preparations across the world, tomatoes are loaded with nutrients that make it extremely healthy.

Written by Sameer Jha |Updated : January 23, 2015 4:16 PM IST

Widely consumed for their juicy nature and tangy flavour, tomatoes are a common ingredient largely used in food preparations in almost every Indian household and in cuisines throughout the world. Loaded with nutrients, this superfood offers a range of health benefits apart from adding colour and taste to your food. Here are some of its top health benefits you would be surprised to know about.

1# Lowers heart disease risk: Tomatoes contain many vitamins and antioxidants that prevent cholesterol build-up, but they especially contain lycopene which has been associated with preventing the formation of oxidised LDL and their uptake by macrophages present inside the arterial wall [1]. Apart from reducing LDL levels, compounds like lycopene, beta-carotene, folic acid, potassium, falvonoids, vitamin C and vitamin E help reduce platelet aggregation and blood pressure. Read more about foods that reduce cholesterol and keep heart disease at bay.

2# Helps prevent cancer: Tomatoes have a lot of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory benefits that makes it great for preventing cancer. A largest prospective study in male health professionals revealed that consuming 2-4 servings of tomato sauce every week resulted in 35% risk reduction of total prostate cancer and a 50% risk reduction of advanced prostate cancer [2,3].

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3# Helps weight loss: Tomatoes are extremely low in calories with a 100g serving containing just 18 calories. Also, it has fibre which helps you feel fuller thus ensuring that you do not overeat.

4# Prevents constipation: Constipation is caused due to food stuck in your colon and can be an extremely unpleasant condition to deal with. Tomatoes contain a lot of water and fibre that helps clear the food stuck in your colon thus curing constipation. Read more about foods that can help cure constipation.

5# Prevents early ageing: As we age, our skin undergoes free radical damage that can lead to the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. Even though this process is inevitable, tomatoes contain antioxidants that delays it.

6# Improves vision: Even though tomatoes are not as rich a source of Vitamin A as carrots, they are still a good source of the nutrient. Vitamin A helps in preventing vision disorders like age-related macular degeneration which people suffer from in old age.

All of these reasons make tomato a great food that you should definitely stock up on the next time you go to a supermarket.

Image source: Getty images

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  1. Rao AV. Lycopene, tomatoes, and the prevention of coronary heart disease. Exp Biol Med (Maywood). 2002 Nov;227(10):908-13. Review. PubMed PMID: 12424333.
  2. Er V, Lane JA, Martin RM, et al. Adherence to dietary and lifestyle recommendations and prostate cancer risk in the Prostate Testing for Cancer and Treatment (ProtecT) trial. Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention. Published online July 13 20143.
  3. Giovannucci E. A review of epidemiologic studies of tomatoes, lycopene, andprostate cancer. Exp Biol Med (Maywood). 2002 Nov;227(10):852-9. Review. PubMed PMID: 12424325.

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