Tomatoes: The humble superfood in your salad

Pomegranates, pumpkin seeds, green tea, goji berries and, most recently, beetroot have all jostled for position at the top of the superfood tree. But never has the case for the superfood crown been argued more persuasively than it has now for the humble tomato.

In his new book, The Red Bodyguard, pharmacist Ron Levin has, for the first time, collated decades of research confirming the powerful health-giving credentials of this everyday fruit.

Tomatoes contain high levels of beta-carotene, an antioxidant that supports the immune system and helps maintain healthy skin and tissue lining. They are packed with antioxidant flavonoids and vitamin E, both of which are essential for heart health, and are a good source of potassium. One medium-size tomato provides 50 per cent of the recommended daily dose of vitamin C; they contain no saturated fatty acids, are low in salt, starch and sugars, high in dietary fibre and have a low glycaemic index.

But that's not all. Tomatoes are the richest source of an exceptionally potent antioxidant called lycopene - the pigment that gives them their deep red colour. A single lycopene molecule can neutralise 13 free radicals which, if allowed to build up, can cause cell damage and trigger cancer - that's twice the free radical busting power of beta-carotene, another powerful antioxidant.

Source - Telegraph

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