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Tomatoes Are Really Good For Your Gut Health: Here’s Why

The carotenoids found in tomatoes, such as lutein and lycopene, are very important to our health. These carotenoids are also associated with properties that can prevent prostate cancer. By consuming tomatoes on a regular basis, you can ensure that your body receives an array of nutrients that will assist in its optimal function [1].

According to a recent study, tomatoes may improve gut health. The study was conducted on piglets fed a tomato-supplemented diet for 14 days, which resulted in a shift in the balance of gut bacteria in favour of a healthier, more beneficial strain [2].

So why use piglets for the study?

There is evidence that the gastrointestinal tracts of pigs and mice are more similar than the gastrointestinal tracts of humans [3].

Tomatoes And Gut Health

Here are the major findings from the study:

Point 1: After 14 days of feeding the study subjects tomatoes, the researchers observed a shift in the proportion of Bacillota ("bad") bacteria to Bacteroidota ("good").

Point 2: In both types or lineages of bacteria, known as phyla, a large number of bacteria are present, some of which are beneficial to the pigs, demonstrating the benefits of a tomato-rich diet on digestion and gut health.

Point 3: It was found that the tomato group exhibited a greater bacterial diversity, which may indicate a healthier phenotype (phenotype refers to an individual's observable characteristics, such as height, eye colour, and blood type).

Point 4: However, it was also pointed out that even two individuals or one individual on different days may not have identical germs in the gut. Gut microbes are so dynamic that even if you are stressed out for an hour, your microbes may be different. This highlights the limitations of the findings as well as the need for further research into the correlation between tomatoes and gut health.

Other health benefits of tomatoes:

  • Including tomatoes in the diet may help prevent cancer, maintain healthy blood pressure, and reduce blood glucose levels in people with diabetes [4].
  • The carotenoids in tomatoes, such as lutein and lycopene, are proven to protect the eyes against light-induced damage [5].
  • Tomatoes are often described as a laxative fruit and are rich in water and fibre. Eating foods high in water and fibre can help you stay hydrated and maintain normal bowel movements [6].

On A Final Note...

Tomatoes are nutrient-dense superfoods that have many health benefits. They support healthy skin, weight loss, and heart health.

Story first published: Monday, November 21, 2022, 10:18 [IST]
Read more about: tomato gut health digestion
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