We all know that tomatoes are healthy. But did you know they can help you lose weight, too?
According to a new study, just one glass a day can trim your waistline and help you drop some noticeable pounds.
It sounds too good to be true, right?
Well, it’s not! Over the course of the eight-week study, women who drank just half a pint of tomato juice every day saw an inch-loss from their waist – and they didn’t make any other dietary, fitness or lifestyle changes either!
Sounds like a pretty easy weight loss plan if you ask me.
Let’s take a more in-depth look at these amazing fruits (yes, tomatoes are a fruit!), and learn more about why they’re so great for your health (and your waistline.)
Tomatoes and Weight Loss
There are dozens of reasons tomatoes can help you shed weight and slim down. First off, they’re extremely low in calories. A medium-sized tomato only has a mere 22 calories – and that’s for the whole thing! It can fill you up, give your plenty of nutrients and help you keep your daily caloric intake low, which is a must if you’re looking to drop a few pounds.
They are also low in fat and in carbohydrates. So whether you’re cutting down on fats, carbs or both, tomatoes are the perfect choice for any diet you may be following.
Tomatoes are also full of fiber, which fills you up, staves off cravings and keeps you from overeating (and taking in too many calories.) Fiber can also keep your digestive system healthy – a must if you want your body to properly process and absorb nutrients from the foods you eat.
Though tomatoes do have some natural sugars, they are still very low on the glycemic index. This means they will not have a significant effect on your blood sugar levels and that your body won’t release insulin – a hormone that causes fat storage (and weight gain.)
Health Benefits of Tomatoes
Though tomatoes have some amazing weight loss benefits, they’re also just plain good for your body. In fact, according to a 2013 study, they can even reduce your risk of heart disease by a whopping 25 percent. This is due to their high amounts of lycopene – and important antioxidant. Other studies have linked tomatoes and tomato juice to lowering risks of cancer, osteoporosis, arthritis and more.
Tomatoes are also very hydrating, thanks to their high water content. As you probably know, hydration is crucial to your health, and it’s what keeps your systems and organs ticking. As an added bonus, water also helps you feel full, so this could help keep you from overeating, too.
It’s probably not surprising, but tomatoes are very high in nutrients, including beta carotene, vitamin E, vitamin A, vitamin Ki, all the B vitamins, iron, magnesium and phosphorus. These improve overall health and can even improve the look and strength of your hair, skin and nails.
Thanks to this high nutrient content, tomatoes are also a great immune system booster. Additionally, they can lower blood pressure and reduce inflammation, a great benefit for those with chronic pain or joint issues.
Get More Tomatoes
If you want to get healthy or simply shed a few pounds, consider working more tomatoes into your diet. A daily cup of tomato juice is a quick and easy way to enjoy the benefits, but just make sure you buy pure tomato juice – nothing with added sodium, sugar or flavoring. These will actually add calories and negate any health and weight loss benefits.
You can also slice up tomatoes and eat them alongside eggs and avocados for breakfast, throw them on a salad at lunch time, add them to a sandwich, or find ways to work them into your dinners. They’re great cut up on tacos, mixed in with a grilled veggie medley or even skewered and grilled.
My favorite way to get plenty of tomatoes? Make a fresh pico de gallo. With onions, peppers, cilantro, lime and jalapenos, pico is a powerhouse of veggies and nutrients! Plus, it’s pretty delicious, too.
Whenever possible, avoid buying canned tomatoes, and opt for fresh, organic ones instead. Organic is important because tomatoes are very thin-skinned. If they are treated with herbicides or pesticides, they very easily soak those chemicals in, and once eaten, they could impact your hormone levels. Your hormones play a key role in your ability to lose weight and process calories, so keeping them in check is very important.
If organic tomatoes aren’t available, consider eating only the innards of the tomato or, at the very least, wash the tomato very thoroughly before consuming.
What’s your favorite way to eat tomatoes or serve them to your family? Share your answer in the comments.