Tomato ketchup: five surprising health benefits
Tomato sauce does wonders for the flavor of a plate of spaghetti or a slice of pizza, but the red sauce also provides essential nutrients.
A cup of tomato sauce contains a quarter of your recommended daily intake of vitamin A and fulfills half of your daily need for vitamin C.
Tomatoes are also naturally rich in the antioxidant lycopene. Depending on how it's prepared, tomato sauce also provides fiber.
1. It reduces risk of prostate cancer
Eating tomato sauce two or more times a week reduces a man’s risk of developing prostate cancer by around 20 per cent, according to a 2002 American study of 47,000 men.
Earlier research suggested it was lycopene, an antioxidant found in tomatoes, which cut the cancer risk.
2. It increases sperm count
Lycopene, which gives tomatoes their red color, could also boost male fertility, a study published earlier this year found.
Researchers found the antioxidant could increase sperm count by up to 70 per cent, increase swimming speed and reduce the number of abnormal sperm.
3. It cuts cholesterol
Tests carried out by Finnish scientists found that ketchup could cut low-density lipoprotein, aka ‘bad cholesterol’.
Volunteers in the 2007 study, who added ketchup to their three daily meals, saw their total cholesterol levels drop by six per cent over six weeks and their low-density lipoprotein levels drop by 13 per cent.
4. It improves your eyesight
As well as being high in vitamin C and low in fat, ketchup contains vitamin A, which is key for a healthy immune system and, perhaps crucially, good vision.
5. It makes actually healthy food bearable to eat
Let’s be honest here - despite the health benefits above, ketchup is also packed with sugar and salt, so it's possibly not the best thing for a serious health kick. Tomato growers have also argued that people would need to eat a whole bottle of the sauce a day to see many of these benefits.
Other Tomato Health Benefits
Diets that are rich in tomatoes have also been proven to decrease the odds of certain neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease. Multiple studies have also shown that tomato consumption is linked to a lower risk of obesity.
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All the tips mentioned here are strictly informational. This site does not provide medical advice.
Consult with your doctor or other health care provider before using any of these tips or treatments.
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