The Tomato - is it a fruit or is it a vegetable? What we do know is they are full of health benefits.....and to settle the misconception it is a fruit.
Tomatoes contain Lycopene, a phytochemical which is a strong antioxidant which is acquired through diet. Lycopene can be found in many fruits and vegetables that are red in colour but none are as highly concentrated as in the tomato. Unlike other nutrients in other fruit and vegetables that diminish when cooked and not eaten fresh lycopene increases in bio availability when the tomato is cooked.
Lycopene has been researched for its apparent health benefits and early research suggests that its consumption has a positive effect on cardiac health, diabetes, osteoporosis, male infertility and most importantly for it’s supposed anti cancer properties.
As well as containing high concentrations of lycopene tomatoes contain a good amount of calcium and vitamin k both of which are good for maintaining bone health and are essential in the process of strengthening and repairing the bones.
They also contain an abundance of vitamins but unlike lycopene when the tomato is cooked the vitamin C content is destroyed so this should be taken into account.
As mentioned earlier tomatoes are good for cardiac health - this is due to them containing vitamin B and potassium which help to reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels. They also contain a mineral called chromium which is effective at controlling blood sugar levels so is particularly useful for diabetics.
So as we can see the Tomato is a very useful fruit (.....or is it a veg) to include in your diet.
FitMag Top Tip!
If you’re not keen on eating tomatoes raw as many people are not, here are several very easy ways to get it into your diet!
- Slice it and add into your salads, brown sandwiches and brown baguettes.
- Chop them up and cook with peppers, red onions and mushrooms to accompany your meals
- Add to a blender as part of a smoothie, you will be surprised how good this tastes!