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GROW YOUR OWN - 3 pack Áfylling - TOMATOS

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Tomatoes 101: Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits The tomato ( Solanum lycopersicum ) is a fruit from the nightshade family native to South America. Despite botanically being a fruit, it’s generally eaten and prepared like a vegetable. Tomatoes are the major dietary source of the antioxidant lycopene, which has been linked to many health benefits, including reduced risk of heart disease and can...
Tomatoes 101: Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits The tomato ( Solanum lycopersicum ) is a fruit from the nightshade family native to South America. Despite botanically being a fruit, it’s generally eaten and prepared like a vegetable. Tomatoes are the major dietary source of the antioxidant lycopene, which has been linked to many health benefits, including reduced risk of heart disease and cancer. They are also a great source of vitamin C, potassium, folate, and vitamin K. Usually red when mature, tomatoes can also come in a variety of colors, including yellow, orange, green, and purple. What’s more, many subspecies of tomatoes exist with different shapes and flavor. This article tells you everything you need to know about tomatoes. Nutrition facts The water content of tomatoes is around 95%. The other 5% consists mainly of  carbohydrates  and  fiber . Here are the nutrients in a small (100-gram) raw tomato ( 1 Trusted Source ): Calories:  18 Water:  95% Protein:  0.9 grams Carbs:  3.9 grams Sugar:  2.6 grams Fiber:  1.2 grams Fat:  0.2 grams Carbs Carbs comprise 4% of raw tomatoes, which amounts to fewer than 5 grams of carbs for a medium specimen (123 grams). Simple sugars , such as glucose and fructose, make up almost 70% of the carb content. Fiber Tomatoes are a good source of  fiber , providing about 1.5 grams per average-sized tomato. Most of the fibers (87%) in tomatoes are insoluble, in the form of hemicellulose, cellulose, and lignin ( 2 ). SUMMARY Fresh tomatoes are low in carbs. The carb content consists mainly of simple sugars and insoluble fibers. These fruits are mostly made up of water. Vitamins and minerals Tomatoes are a good source of several vitamins and minerals: Vitamin C.  This vitamin is an essential nutrient and antioxidant. One medium-sized tomato can provide about 28% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI). Potassium.  An essential mineral,  potassium  is beneficial for blood pressure control and heart disease prevention ( 3 Trusted Source ). Vitamin K1.  Also known as phylloquinone, vitamin K is important for blood clotting and  bone health  ( 4 Trusted Source ,  5 Trusted Source ). Folate (vitamin B9).  One of the B vitamins, folate is important for normal tissue growth and cell function. It’s particularly important for pregnant women ( 6 Trusted Source ,  7 Trusted Source ). SUMMARY Tomatoes are a good source of several vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C, potassium, vitamin K, and folate. Other plant compounds The content of vitamins and plant compounds in tomatoes can vary greatly between varieties and sampling periods ( 8 ,  9 Trusted Source ,  10 Trusted Source ). The main plant compounds in tomatoes are: Lycopene.  A red pigment and antioxidant, lycopene has been extensively studied for its beneficial health effects ( 11 Trusted Source ). Beta carotene.  An antioxidant that often gives foods a yellow or orange hue, beta carotene is converted into vitamin A in your body. Naringenin.  Found in tomato skin, this flavonoid has been shown to  decrease inflammation  and protect against various diseases in mice ( 12 Trusted Source ). Chlorogenic acid.  A powerful antioxidant compound, chlorogenic acid may lower blood pressure in people with elevated levels ( 13 Trusted Source ,  14 Trusted Source ). Chlorophylls and carotenoids like lycopene are responsible for the rich color of tomatoes. When the ripening process starts, the chlorophyll (green) is degraded and carotenoids (red) are synthesized ( 15 Trusted Source ,  16 Trusted Source ). Lycopene Lycopene  — the most abundant carotenoid in ripened tomatoes — is particularly noteworthy when it comes to the fruit’s plant compounds. It’s found in the highest concentrations in the skin ( 17 Trusted Source ,  18 Trusted Source ). Generally, the redder the tomato, the more lycopene it has ( 19 Trusted Source ). Tomato products — such as ketchup,  tomato juice , tomato paste, and tomato sauces — are the richest dietary sources of lycopene in the Western diet, providing over 80% of dietary lycopene in the United States ( 20 Trusted Source ,  21 Trusted Source ). Gram for gram, the amount of lycopene in processed tomato products is often much higher than in fresh tomatoes ( 22 Trusted Source ,  23 Trusted Source ). For example, ketchup boasts 10–14 mg of lycopene per 3.5 ounces (100 grams), while one small, fresh tomato (100 grams) holds only 1–8 mg ( 24 ). However, keep in mind that ketchup is often consumed in very small amounts. Thus, it may be easier to bump up your lycopene intake by eating unprocessed tomatoes — which also have far less sugar than ketchup. Other foods in your diet may have a strong effect on lycopene absorption. Consuming this plant compound with a source of fat can increase absorption by up to four times ( 25 Trusted Source ). However, not everyone absorbs lycopene at the same rate ( 26 Trusted Source ). Even though processed tomato products are higher in lycopene, it’s still recommended to consume fresh, whole tomatoes whenever possible. SUMMARY Lycopene is one of the most abundant plant compounds in tomatoes. It’s found in the highest concentrations in tomato products, such as ketchup, juice, paste, and sauce. Health benefits of tomatoes Consumption of tomatoes and tomato-based products has been linked to improved skin health and a lower risk of heart disease and cancer. Heart health Heart disease  — including heart attacks and strokes — is the world’s most common cause of death. A study in middle-aged men linked low blood levels of lycopene and beta-carotene to increased risk of heart attacks and strokes ( 27 Trusted Source ,  28 Trusted Source ). Increasing evidence from clinical trials suggests that supplementing with lycopene may help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol ( 29 Trusted Source ). Clinical studies of tomato products indicate benefits against inflammation and markers of oxidative stress ( 30 Trusted Source ,  31 Trusted Source ). They also show a protective effect on the inner layer of blood vessels and may decrease your risk of blood clotting ( 32 Trusted Source ,  33 Trusted Source ). Cancer prevention Cancer  is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells that spread beyond their normal boundaries, often invading other parts of the body. Observational studies have noted links between tomatoes — and tomato products — and fewer incidences of prostate, lung, and stomach cancers ( 34 Trusted Source ,  35 Trusted Source ). While the high lycopene content is believed responsible, high-quality human research needed to confirm the cause of these benefits ( 36 Trusted Source ,  37 Trusted Source ,  38 Trusted Source ). A study in women shows that high concentrations of carotenoids — found in high amounts in tomatoes — may protect against breast cancer ( 39 Trusted Source ,  40 Trusted Source ). Skin health Tomatoes are considered beneficial for  skin health . Tomato-based foods rich in lycopene and other plant compounds may protect against sunburn ( 41 Trusted Source ,  42 Trusted Source ). According to one study, people who ingested 1.3 ounces (40 grams) of tomato paste — providing 16 mg of lycopene — with  olive oil  every day for 10 weeks experienced 40% fewer sunburns ( 43 Trusted Source ). SUMMARY Studies show that tomatoes and tomato products may reduce your risk of heart disease and several cancers. This fruit is also beneficial for skin health, as it may protect against sunburns. Commercial ripening process When tomatoes start to ripen, they produce a gaseous hormone called ethylene ( 44 Trusted Source ,  45 Trusted Source ). Commercially grown tomatoes are harvested and transported while still green and immature. To make them red before selling, food companies spray them with artificial ethylene gas. This process inhibits the development of natural flavor and may result in tasteless tomatoes ( 46 ). Therefore, locally grown tomatoes may taste better because they’re allowed to ripen naturally. If you buy unripened tomatoes, you can speed up the ripening process by wrapping them in a sheet of newspaper and keeping them on the kitchen counter for a few days. Just make sure to check them daily for ripeness. SUMMARY Tomatoes are often harvested while still green and immature, then ripened artificially with ethylene gas. This may lead to less flavor development, resulting in bland tomatoes. HEALTHLINE NEWSLETTER Get wellness tips to help you meet your next milestone

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