Tomato is a fresh fruit belonging to the nightshade family but widely mistaken by most people as a vegetable. It turns red upon maturity, but can take on various colours like green or yellow.
Tomatoes have wonderful nutritional values, but sadly, not a lot of people are aware of the health benefits of this fruit.
Nutritional Facts of Tomato.
• The tomatoes’ primary content is composed of water, while the remaining portion consists of fibers and carbohydrates.
• Has high carbohydrates concentrates after water and consists of natural simple sugar like glucose and fructose; it’s fibers like liguin and cellulose are mostly insoluble in water.
• Tomatoes are also rich in vitamins and minerals, including vitamins C, K and B9. These vitamins have antioxidant properties, facilitate blood clotting, and boost bone health. Vitamin B9 (folate) increases tissue growth and improves functioning of body cells.
• Antioxidant properties in tomatoes reduce oxidative stress in cardiac diseases. The antioxidant compounds in tomato include vitamin C, folate, vitamin K and potassium.
•Lycopene is a principal antioxidant component present in tomatoes. It contributes to the red colour of the fruit. However, the redness of mature tomatoes is due to chlorophyll, and carotenoids. As the tomato fruit ripes, the green chlorophyll changes to red carotenoids.
Health Benefits of Oxidant Compounds Present in Tomato
The compound responsible for the antioxidant property of tomatoes is lycopene.
• It lowers the risk of cardiac disease and cancer.
• Improves the tonality of the skin, and ultimately influence skin health.
• Lycopene reduces the concentration of bad cholesterol, which can help take cardiac attack.
• Beta carotenes, also present in tomatoes, is converted to vitamin A in the body.
•Naringen, a compound found in tomato skins help decrease inflammation and protect against diseases.
• Chlorogenic acid exerts antioxidant properties and decreases blood pressure in hypersensitive persons.
In conclusion, the health importance of tomatoes and its dietary benefits is good for the growth and prevention of various diseases in human. Eat a fresh tomato today.
Written by by Afolabi Monsuru Abiola