Ah, the nutritional power of the tomato.
Not that we need another reason to eat tomatoes beyond their unique and incredible taste. But we do have one: nutrition.
Tomatoes are packed with nutritional value, offering a third of your daily dose of Vitamin C in just one cup. Biotin – the B-complex that keeps your skin radiant and your blood sugar balanced – is abundant in tomatoes, which offer nearly a quarter of your daily value (DV) in a cup.
In fact, take a look at everything you’re getting from just one cup of tomatoes:
Molybdenum is necessary for the proper functioning of at least seven different enzymes – enzymes that our body systems rely on for support. One cup of tomatoes: 20% DV.
Vitamin K, named after the German word koagulation for blood clotting (the good kind, that helps us heal when we get a cut, for example), also helps our bones stay healthy and acts as an antioxidant, preventing or stopping cell damage caused by too many oxidants. Vitamin K in a cup o’ tomatoes: 16% DV.
Potassium helps us maintain normal blood pressure and keep our kidneys strong. Spoiler: Tomatoes have more potassium than bananas per calorie! 12% DV.
Copper – yes, copper! – is an important mineral that plays a central role in building strong tissue, maintaining adequate blood volume and generating energy inside your cells. 12% DV.
Manganese is another mineral that we only need a little bit of – but it’s a very important bit. Bone production and skin health rely on this trace mineral. 11% DV.
And there are more:
Overall, tomatoes are linked to strong bones and a healthy heart.
Lycopene, a powerful antioxidant famously abundant in tomatoes, contributes to both bone and heart health.
Lycopene helps to prevent bone loss and the bone disease osteoporosis. When there’s an imbalance of a certain chemical species (an ensemble of chemically identical atoms, molecules, etc.) called reactive oxygen species, or ROS – oxidative stress can occur, causing the bone loss or weakness. Lycopene prevents the production of these ROS things, preventing the oxidative stress.
Lycopene also has something to do with happy blood. By lowering cholesterol and triglycerides (fat in the blood), and by preventing the unwanted clumping (koagulation!) of cells in the blood, tomatoes contribute to a healthy cardiovascular system. They reduce our risk of heart disease by promoting health within the blood and circulatory systems.
No matter how deeply you dig into the biological and chemical benefits of tomatoes, there is one experiment that even the least scientific of us will appreciate: eating them.
Eating nutrient-abundant plant foods like tomatoes just plain feels good.
So eat your veggies – the organic and delicious ones, of course – and feel good.