Tomatoes contain the carotene lycopene, one of the most powerful natural antioxidants. In some studies, lycopene, especially in cooked tomatoes, has been found to help prevent prostate cancer, but other research contradicts this claim. Lycopene has also been shown to improve the skin's ability to protect against harmful UV rays. A study done by researchers at Manchester and Newcastle universities revealed that tomato can protect against sunburn and help keeping the skin looking youthful. Natural genetic variation in tomatoes and their wild relatives has given a genetic plethora of genes that produce lycopene, carotene, anthocyanin, and other antioxidants. Tomato varieties are available with double the normal vitamin C (Doublerich), 40 times normal vitamin A (97L97), high levels of anthocyanin (resulting in blue tomatoes), and two to four times the normal amount of lycopene (numerous available cultivars with the high crimson gene).
It helps to prevent or treat different types of anemia. It may play a role in the prevention of some types of cancer, including lung, prostate and colon cancer. It can be helpful in preventing the damage caused by free radicals to body tissues leading to premature aging and many chronic degenerative diseases. It helps in digestive function.
It can be added to the diet in many different ways. Raw tomatoes can be chopped, sliced or grilled and added to omelets, salads, sandwiches and main dishes. Pureed or chopped tomatoes can be used as a base for gravy based dishes.