The debate over tomatoes has been a longstanding discussion on whether the produce is a fruit or a vegetable. However, its classification does not matter nearly as much as its health benefits. Tomatoes are nutrient-dense superfoods that are an important inclusion in any diet.
What are Tomatoes?
The tomato can be thought of as a “functional food.” The red, juicy produce gains this name as it actually goes beyond basic nutrition and has the capability of preventing chronic disease and delivering a variety of additional health benefits.
While the food is now considered a superfood of sorts, a mere 200 years ago, it was actually thought to be poisonous in the U.S. At any rate, the glossy red or yellow produce contains pulpy, edible innards and is generally eaten as a vegetable and in salads. Technically speaking, though, the tomato is a fruit as it comes from a flowering plant and has seeds. Yet, the low sugar content and the lack of sweetness characteristic of the tomato make it difficult to view as a fruit.
Health Benefits of Tomatoes
Whether fruit or vegetable, the tomato offers an array of health benefits and is a food that should be eaten regularly. Tomatoes offer a healthy dose of vitamins and minerals per serving and are naturally low in calories.
In addition to its clean nutritional profile, tomatoes also contain an assortment of vitamins and minerals. A typical serving of the fruit contains such nutrients as vitamins A and C, folate, and potassium. Likewise, the fruit is also a good source of thiamin, vitamin B6, magnesium, copper, and a variety of other nutrients. Plus, with their high water content, tomatoes are a relatively filling food.
With all of these nutritional benefits, tomatoes are an effective health source and supplement. Regularly consuming tomatoes can reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Additionally, tomatoes can be used to help manage blood pressure, blood glucose levels, constipation, skin disorders, and depression. Tomatoes are also a good source of folic acid, which helps support healthy development during pregnancy.
A beautiful, fresh food source, tomatoes do more than add taste and color to a meal. Tomatoes are an excellent source of nutrition that can treat and prevent a wide range of health conditions.