Celebrate health with tomatoes

Tomatoes are now hot-favourites thanks to the much-talked about Tomato Festival in Spain as shown in the movie Zindagi Milegi Na Dobaara. But take a break from your favorite actors soaking in the 'tomato fun.' It's time to know the health benefits of this rich easily available vegetable.

Tomatoes contain a lot of vitamins A and C, mostly because of beta-carotene, and these vitamins act as an anti-oxidant, working to neutralize dangerous free radicals in the blood stream. Free radicals in the body can be flushed out with high levels of Lycopene, and the tomato is so amply loaded with this vital anti-oxidant that it actually derives its rich redness from the nutrient. These dangerous free radicals can cause cell damage. Also, remember that cooking destroys much of vitamin C, so stick to raw tomatoes for these benefits. So, do remember to carry a tomato-cucumber sandwich in your tiffin box.

Because of all that vitamin A, tomatoes are also an excellent food to help improve your vision. This also means tomatoes can help your eyes be better about night blindness.

Various studies have shown that because of all that lycopene in tomatoes, the red fruit helps to lessen the chances of prostate cancer in men, and also reduces the chance of stomach cancer and colorectal cancer. Lycopene is considered somewhat of a natural miracle anti-oxidant that may help to stop the growth of cancer cells. And, interestingly enough, cooked tomatoes produce more lycopene than do raw tomatoes, so enjoy that tomato soup!

Heart troubles:
Due to potassium and vitamin B, tomatoes help to lower blood pressure and to lower high cholesterol levels. This, in turn, could help prevent strokes, heart attack and other potentially life-threatening heart problems.

Skin care:
Because of high amounts of lycopene, tomatoes are excellent for skin care. Make sure the inside of the tomato skins are against your skin, and let this be there for at least 10 minutes. Then wash off. You face will be cleaner and give a shiny look.

Remember all that vitamin A in tomatoes? Well, it's good for keeping your hair strong and shiny, and its also good for your eyes, teeth, skin and bones.

Tomatoes have a fair amount of vitamin K and calcium, both of which help to strengthen bones.

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