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Posted: October 28, 2012

Tomatoes are therapeutic

By Anne Davis

Eight Reasons to add tomatoes to your diet (and one reason why you may want to cut them out!)

  1. Tomatoes help keep blood sugar in balance as they are a good source of chromium, a mineral known to enhance the action of insulin.
  2. Tomatoes can improve your vision. The vitamin A in tomatoes can improve vision and help prevent night blindness. Recent research indicates that including tomatoes in your diet may help reduce the risk of macular degeneration, a serious and irreversible eye condition
  3. Tomatoes can make your hair strong and shiny – another benefit of vitamin A.
  4. Tomatoes contain lots of water and fiber. They are a “filling food,” or one that fills you up fast without adding a lot of calories or fat.
  5. Tomatoes protect your skin. Beta-carotene helps protect skin against sun damage and lycopene also makes skin less sensitive to UV light damage, a leading cause of fine lines and wrinkles.
  6. Tomatoes build strong bones. Vitamin K and calcium help to strengthen and repair bones. Lycopene can also improve bone mass and stave off osteoporosis.
  7. Tomatoes are a natural cancer fighter. Lycopene helps to reduce the risk of prostate, cervical, mouth, pharynx, throat, esophagus, stomach, colon, rectal, prostate and ovarian cancer. The antioxidants (vitamins A and C) in tomatoes help to neutralize free radicals which cause cell damage.
  8. Tomatoes are heart healthy! The potassium and vitamin B found in tomatoes help to lower both blood pressure and high cholesterol levels.

One final note to arthritis sufferers:

While tomatoes are high in anti-inflammatory agents (bioflavonoids and carotenoids), they also contain tomatin, an alkanoid that can build up in your system and cause inflammation of the joints.  If you suffer from arthritis, you may want to give tomatoes a pass.

Anne Davis is a writer, blogger, artist and photography buff.  Born in Quebec, she now lives in Kimberley, BC where she is editor of and contributor to the City of Kimberley’s Active Community Guide and webmaster for the city’s websites.

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