High In Antioxidants
Tomatoes are very rich in three common, yet very powerful, antioxidants: vitamin C, vitamin A and beta-carotene. They also contain good amounts of manganese and vitamin E. However, it is the tomato’s rich concentration of the antioxidant compound lycopene that makes it a real star in the antioxidant world. Lycopene is associated with reduced risk of heart disease, lower cholesterol levels, anti-inflammatory properties, and the prevention of age related diseases such as macular degeneration.
Lycopene, vitamin C and the other major antioxidants found in tomatoes are known to improve cardiovascular health by adding oxygen to the blood stream, improving blood flow and circulation, lowering cholesterol levels and improving fat blood profiles.
Antioxidants like lycopene may be essential in maintaining healthy bones because they help prevent oxidative stress to the bones. The high levels of potassium found in tomatoes may also promote good bone health.
Tomatoes contain several carotenoids considered to be effective anti-inflammatory agents. Vegetables with high levels of antioxidants are also considered beneficial to the body’s inflammation system.
Tomatoes are rich with potassium, a vitamin often found deficient in the human diet. Low levels of potassium have been associated with high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, arthritis, cancer and digestive disorders.
Research has linked the antioxidants in tomatoes with reduced risk of macular degeneration. Lycopene and vitamin A are thought to have the most positive effects on the eyes.
Tomatoes are a good source of the mineral chromium, which may help diabetics regulate blood sugar levels.
A few studies have linked tomato consumption with reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease and increased neurological function. However, more studies are needed to prove this connection.