What Makes Tomatoes a Superfood?

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red tomatoes lined up with grass beside themLike many fruits and vegetables, tomatoes are very nutritious. They can be eaten a variety of ways, such as raw, in soups or stewed, etc. The health benefits derived from eating tomatoes can vary depending on the type and size of the tomato. A good example of this is the cherry tomato, although smaller, it has a higher content of beta-carotene than regular tomatoes. 

Tomatoes can help combat free radicals that are known to cause cancer due to their vitamin C and antioxidant content.

Two plant compounds that have been linked to prostate cancer prevention is lycopene and beta-carotene. Tomatoes contain both.

Tomatoes also contain fiber, potassium, vitamin C, and choline to support heart health. Potassium is also linked to reducing the risk of muscle deterioration and reducing the risk of kidney stones.

The folate found in tomatoes helps to balance homocysteine levels. This can help to reduce the risk of a heart attack or stroke. 

The combination of lycopene, lutein, and beta-carotene found in tomatoes have been shown to protect the eyes against light-induced damage, the development of cataracts, and age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

Written By

Cheri Bennett, N.C. Cooperative ExtensionCheri BennettNutrition Educator, Extension Program Assistant Call Cheri E-mail Cheri N.C. Cooperative Extension, Union County Center
Posted on Feb 16, 2021
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