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Health tommato

Recent research has led nutritionists to dub tomatoes – the vibrant, tangy and juicy fruit – as the new super food.

Here are the four reasons you should add tomatoes to your diet:

1. Prevents cancer. Loaded with lycopene, regular consumption of tomatoes, along with broccoli, is believed to reduce the chances of contracting a range of cancers. Lycopene also decreases the skin’s sensitivity to ultra-violet light,
one of the primary causes of skin cancer in women.

2. Alleviates chronic symptoms. Due to the presence of chromium, tomatoes regulate blood sugar levels, reduce insulin resistance and increase the efficacy of diabetic medications. If you suffer from rheumatoid arthritis or any other autoimmune disease, adding tomatoes – which contain significant amounts of anti-inflammatory agents – to your diet will relieve joint stiffness and muscle fatigue.

3. Good for your brain, heart and bones. Rich in potassium, intake of cooked tomatoes has been linked to improved brain function. Low in sodium, saturated fats and cholesterol, a tomato-based diet is recommended if you are at risk of, or suffering from, cardiovascular disease. And if you have crossed the 35 year mark, drink a glass of fresh tomato juice regularly; the vitamin K and calcium present in tomatoes will strengthen and repair your bones, preventing osteoarthritis.

4. Improves eyesight and digestion. Chock-full of vitamin A, tomatoes fight the free radicals in the bloodstream that cause cell damage. They also prevent age-related macular degeneration and boost eyesight. Furthermore, the high fibre and water content of tomatoes promotes digestion, improves the metabolism while leaving you feeling fuller for longer, a blessing for people looking to shed a few pounds.

NB: If you have a history of kidney stones, eat tomatoes in moderation.

– Dr Samia K. Babar
The writer is Director, Health Awareness Society.