Tomatoes are often mistakenly referred to as a vegetable when actually they are a fruit from the nightshade family. These are a group of plants that produce fruits and vegetables that contain alkaloids, a type of chemical that can be toxic if consumed in large amounts. Other members of the nightshade family include aubergines, peppers and potatoes.
As tomatoes ripen, the amount of alkaloids decreases which makes them safe to eat. There is a large variety of different types of tomatoes, from small cherry tomatoes to large beefsteak, and they can be prepared in different ways - stewed, raw, juices, purees and soups. They also come in different colours, such as traditional red but also yellow, purple and orange.
Tomatoes are a very nutritious fruit high in fibre, potassium, vitamin C and a group of plant chemicals called carotenoids. These are pigments that give tomatoes their vibrant colours and provide numerous health benefits thanks to their antioxidant effects. Keep reading to find out more about the health benefits of tomatoes.
Better heart health
Tomatoes are rich in potassium, an important mineral for good heart health. According to research, a diet high in potassium is associated with a lower risk of stroke and heart disease. This is because potassium helps control the electrical signals that maintain a healthy heartbeat. It also helps lower blood pressure by reducing the effects of sodium.
Tomatoes contain a carotenoid pigment called lycopene, which is responsible for giving them their red colour. Lycopene helps reduce levels of bad cholesterol while increasing levels of good cholesterol, helping lower the risk of heart disease.
Improves skin health
Carotenoids found in tomatoes are powerful antioxidants that can help protect the skin from UV damage from the sun. One study found that people who consumed 40 grams of tomato paste daily for 10 weeks had 40% less sunburn. Tomatoes are also high in vitamin C, which helps maintain healthy skin.
Protects the eyes
Carotenoids can also help support good eye health and protect against eye diseases and vision impairments. This is because they are found in high concentrations in the macula of the eye, where they absorb 90% of blue light to help reduce oxidative damage, a major contributor to vision loss.
Help prevent cancer
Oxidative stress caused by an excess of harmful free radicals in the body can damage cells and contribute to inflammation and the development of cancer. Antioxidants like carotenoids can help reduce oxidative cell damage to protect against cancer. Observational studies have found an association between a high intake of tomato products and a lower risk for cancer.
Tomatoes are a type of fruit that contain important antioxidant compounds called carotenoids which provide several health benefits. They help lower blood pressure to reduce the risk of heart disease, prevent vision loss by protecting the eyes from light damage, reduce the risk of cancer and protect the skin from UV damage.
Tomatoes also benefit heart health because they are high in potassium, which helps reduce the risk of heart disease. They also provide a good source of folate to support healthy pregnancies.
Taking a daily multivitamin is a great way to ensure you are obtaining all of the essential vitamins and minerals that are found in tomatoes, plus many more. New Leaf’s Multivitamin Gummies are filled with a nutritious blend of Vitamin C, Vitamin B12, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B6, Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Folic acid, Biotin, Zinc, and Iodine to support overall better health.