Tomatoes are sweet and juicy addition to our diet. More than their good taste, they are high in lycopene, a plant compound that benefits a range of bodily systems. Tomatoes are also rich in natural vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin A, C, B1, B3, B5, B6, B7, and vitamin K as well as chromium, choline, folate, iron, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc.
When it comes to eye health, several factors, including genetics and lifestyle, affect the health of our eyes, and a healthful diet can help keep our eyes working their best. Adding tomatoes to our diet is one way of boosting our intake of nutrients that greatly benefits our eyes (1).
Tomatoes are loaded with lycopene, lutein, and beta-carotene. Study shows that these powerful antioxidants can protect our eyes against light-induced damage, the development of cataracts, and age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and other eye conditions (2).
Individuals with high dietary intake of the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, which are both present in tomatoes, had a 35 percent reduction in the risk of neovascular AMD according to a study (3).
Moreover, tomatoes also contain vitamin A which is known to be necessary for good vision. It plays a role in eye development. According to the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University, this vitamin is needed to keep the retina working correctly and for low-light and color vision (4).
Other Health Benefits We Can Obtain From Tomatoes
Great source of vitamins – Tomatoes can supply about 40% of our daily recommended minimum of vitamin C. It has potassium, a key nutrient for heart function; vitamin A which supports immunity, vision, and skin health; and vitamin K, which is good for our bones (5) .
May help with diabetes management – A study revealed that regular consumption of cooked tomatoes for 30 days can decrease lipid peroxidation – a chain reaction in which substances called free radicals to attack fat and protein DNA, thereby leading to damage that increases the risk of heart disease. This is particularly important, because diabetes doubles the risk of stroke and heart attack (6).
Heart health – A 2011 review of studies found a positive relationship between lycopene and reduced risk of heart diseases (7).
Constipation – Tomatoes are high in water content and fiber that may help hydration and support normal bowel movements (8). One medium-sized tomato contains 1.5 grams of fiber.
How To Enjoy All The Benefits Of Tomatoes
- Dress fresh greens or steamed veggies with sundried tomato pesto, or drizzle it over broiled fish.
- Add fresh tomatoes to omelets and salads.
- Serve them sliced, drizzled with balsamic, and garnished with fresh basil, sea salt, and cracked black pepper
- Add them to wraps or sandwiches.