How nutritious are tomatoes
January 30, 2009
The tomato is loved by all those who enjoy cooking as it not only thrills the taste buds but also add color to the dinner table. The benefits of tomatoes are in fact, not restricted to gastronomy alone. Tomatoes are found to contain certain elements that help in fighting diseases.
Tomatoes are found to be high in the antioxidant vitamins such as beta-carotene, vitamin C and vitamin E. Apart from these essential nutrients, carotenoid lycopene is also present in tomatoes.
The presence of these nutritious components gives tomatoes a place of prominence in the diet of heart patients. Tomatoes are found to check the occurrence of many coronary ailments. Though tomatoes are also in potassium, they are extremely low in the sodium content. The deceased level of sodium makes tomatoes appreciated by people with high blood pressure and body fluid retention.
Unlike most of its canned vegetable cousins, tomatoes do not loss much of their nutritious content even when they are canned. Studies indicate that canned and cooked tomatoes are relatively high in their lycopene content, when compared to raw tomatoes. However, it is important to ensure that the canned tomato variety that you buy from markets is free from added sodium.
This is because, as tomatoes get cooked their cell walls get battered and thereby the concentrated carotenoids get released. Eating tomatoes along with small amount of fat enables easy absorption of lycopene by the body. Tomatoes are also found to prevent cell damage considerably. The tomato is an excellent source of vitamin C and vitamin A.
However, recent studies indicate tomatoes are not absolutely free from negative aspects. The glycoalkaloids present in tomatoes are believed to result in arthritis. Tomatoes are also considered to contain certain elements that favor the growth of cancerous cells. However, scientific proofs that back these beliefs are yet to come to light.
that On the minus side, as a nightshade relative, tomatoes contain glycoalkaloids, which some people believe contribute to arthritis symptoms. Research, however, has not backed this up.