TOMATO : HEALTHY FOOD FOR THE HEART
The tomato which is processed into a variety of dishes (such as soups, sauces and juice), is also widely known as a fruit that is rich in nutrients. Well, what kind of nutrients and vitamins do tomatoes contain? What are its benefits?
Although low in calories – about 22 calories in a medium-sized tomato – its nutrient content is very high. Tomatoes contain a spectrum of nutritive properties:
- High in fiber and thus good for digestive health.
- Rich in a variety of vitamins including Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Folic Acid.
- High in Alpha-lipoic acid which is required to metabolize sugar into energy.
- Contains Choline, which enables the functioning of the nervous system and helps reduce inflammation.
- Abounding in antioxidant compounds such as lycopene, beta-carotene and lutein, which can help prevent cell damage caused by free radicals.
This extensive combination of its varied nutritive properties makes tomatoes a heart-healthy food. One study showed that the consumption of tomato juice can help reduce the formation of plaque in blood vessels in diabetics. It is believed to be helpful in lowering the risk of heart attack and stroke. In addition, the lycopene found mainly in tomatoes is also known to improve the blood vessel function in patients with heart disease.
In addition to eating tomatoes as a heart-healthy diet, following a healthy lifestyle is clearly important to keep the heart healthy. Limiting the intake of fried foods and fats, regular exercise and avoiding stress would obviously all be beneficial to the health of the heart.