Tomatoes are not only versatile and delicious fruits for cooking, they are also a real treasure trove of nutrients. There are (at least) five reasons why you should include them more often in your diet.
To avoid depression
Enjoy tomatoes or tomato preparations such as mash, sauces and juices every day and you will reduce your risk of developing depression by 52 percent. Scientists say that this is due to lycopene, which reduces oxidative stress or damage to healthy brain cells.
To protect yourself from cancer
Women who eat a lot of foods with lycopene are 39 percent more likely not to get kidney cancer. They may also have a reduced risk of developing postmenopausal breast cancer because lycopene affects weight-regulating hormones.
To prevent wrinkles
The skin of people who consumed 55 grams of tomato paste a day for 12 weeks had significantly higher levels of procollagen, a molecule that helps prevent skin aging – this was proven by an English study. The study also found that participants’ skin had 33 percent higher natural sun protection. Scientists say this is a result of the lycopene content in tomatoes.
To reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes
Drink 280 ml of tomato juice every day. After two months, the level of adiponectin (a protein with hormone function that reduces the risk of developing type 2 diabetes) will increase by 25 percent. So say Taiwanese scientists.
To reduce the likelihood of heart disease
If you take 8 mg of lycopene (two medium-sized boiled tomatoes) every day, you will reduce your risk of heart disease by 25 percent. In addition, tomatoes are an excellent source of acid, which reduces the amount of lipids, such as cholesterol and fats, in the blood. The latter cause arteriosclerosis and clog blood vessels. Experts recommend that you drink 500 ml of tomato juice or 50 g of tomato paste a day to improve heart health.