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BENEFITS OF CONSUMING TOMATOES
Tomatoes are a nutritional powerhouse, due in part to their high amount of lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that gives tomatoes their red color, and may lower the risk of heart disease, improve vision, lower ‘bad’ cholesterol, and even decrease the risk of 9 common types of cancer.
They’re nutrient-dense and low in calories—a cup of tomatoes has only 32 calories! In addition to lycopene, the ruby-colored fruits are also loaded with vitamins A and C.
Lycopene boosts pro-collagen, the molecule that keeps your skin firm and youthful looking. The same molecule may also help prevent sunburn. A small study showed that women who ate 55 grams of tomato paste each day had a 33 percent increase in skin protection against ultraviolet (UV) exposure.
The succulent fruit appears to be a boon to brain health. Researchers looked at over 1,000 men to see if higher levels of lycopene in their blood serum reduced the risk of stroke—and sure enough, it did.
A study showed a link between eating tomatoes and a lowered risk of osteoporosis, the brittle bone disease that affects abut 10 million Americans, and can lead to bone fractures, disability, and deformity. The paper also reported that tomato consumption also helps ward off photoaging from UV light, cognitive dysfunction, and cardiovascular disease, the leading killer of Americans.
Lycopene is not the only disease-fighting ingredient in the tasty red fruit. It’s counterintuitive, but early research indicates that foods which contain small amounts of dietary nicotine, including tomatoes and peppers, may help prevent Parkinson’s.
Tomatoes are literally part of a dream diet: The healthiest sleepers consume more lycopene, compared to people who skimp on slumber or snooze too much.