Tomatoes are rich in carotenoids, especially with beta-carotene and alpha-tocopherol, which destroy free radicals and thus defend the body against tumor formation. In addition, this vegetable is a true mine of vitamins. Tomatoes have high concentration of vitamin C, B, E and K. They are even full of minerals, mainly copper, potassium and sodium, but also magnesium, calcium and iron.
People who often enjoy foods rich with these antioxidants rarely suffer from certain types of cancer, coronary heart diseases, strokes and cataracts.
Studies, which have been recently carried out in UK, have shown that carotenoid dye lycopen that turns tomatoes red, prevents certain forms of cancer because it reduces the damage caused by free radicals. Tomatine, which is also in tomatoes, acts against many bacteria, viruses and fungi.
Researchers from Harvard University have also found that men who have eaten ten units of foods with tomatoes each week – tomatoes are namely richest food source of lycopene – have lower risk of developing prostate cancer. Lycopene might also be effective against gastric cancer and gastrointestinal cancer diseases in general.
Low in calories
Tomato is a low-calorie food, since 100 g of tomatoes has only around 17 kcal or 73 kJ and is therefore very useful in a low calorie diets.
100 g of tomatoes contain 1715 mcg of carotens, 1 g of fibers, 1,2 mg of vitamin E, 17 mg of vitamin C, 250 mg of potassium, 0,5 g of iron, some copper and a lot of lycopene – an antioxidant which has the characteristic to inhibit the proliferation of cancer cells!
Fresh tomato cocktail
You will need:
- 2 green chili peppers
- A little basil
- 400 g of tomatoes
- 400 ml of orange juice
Cut the green peppers in half, remove the seeds and then cut them into cubes. Add the chopped peppers and basil to the mixture of orange juice and tomatoes. Add salt and serve it cooled.