Tomato sauce is a popular sauce made from tomatoes, usually cooked and sometimes spiced.
Tomato sauces vary in consistency from liquid to near-solid and in color from deep red to orange-red, yellow-orange, and even greenish-yellow.
Tomato sauce is a very healthy sauce that can be used in diverse ways.
You can take tomato sauce with pasta dishes such as spaghetti, macaroni, and lasagna; meat dishes such as hamburgers, meatballs (with ground beef or pork), meatloaf, tacos, and burritos; pizza, sandwiches, hamburgers (such as McDonald’s Big Mac); French fries; hot dogs; potato chips; on eggs, toast, rice, and fish.
In Nigeria, tomato sauce is known as Nigeria stew which is usually eaten with white rice or used for jollof rice.
Also, it can be used in making stews like beef stew or chicken pot pie or on top of pizza crusts before adding toppings such as cheese or peppers,
Today, you will find out some fantastic health benefits of tomato sauce you don’t know about.
7 Health Benefits of Tomatoes Sauce
Although tomato sauce varies in terms of it’s ingredients and preparation. The main ingredient which is tomatoes, forms the huge part of it’s nutritional value and is the basis of the following health benefits of tomato sauce.
1. Lowering the risk of cancer
Tomatoes sauce is an excellent source of beta carotene and vitamin C, which helps to lower the risk of cancer in an individual.
A recent study shows that those who consume high amounts of tomato boost their levels of beta carotene, which helps prevent tumor development in prostate cancer.
Also, a study was carried out, which shows that consumption of beta carotenes helps to reduce the risk of colon cancer.
Furthermore, tomatoes contain Vitamin C and antioxidants that help protect against cell damage caused by free radicals. This makes them helpful in fighting cancers such as prostate cancer and breast cancer.
2. Contains antioxidant properties
80% of dietary lycopene consumed in the US is obtained from tomato products, of which tomato sauce is a major one.
Tomato sauce contains lycopene, a carotenoid that may reduce the risk of heart disease by preventing LDL cholesterol from oxidizing and forming plaque in arteries.
Lycopene also helps protect against prostate cancer and breast cancer.
3. Lowers cholesterol levels
Tomato sauce contains potassium, which helps lower blood pressure and wards off heart disease by lowering bad cholesterol (LDL) levels and raising good cholesterol levels (HDL).
A study stated that consuming eight ounces of tomato sauce daily significantly reduced total cholesterol levels by 8 percent after 12 weeks compared to those who consumed no tomato products.
Also, it is helpful to patients suffering from hypercholesterolemia.
4. Maintains blood pressure levels
Tomatoes contain potassium, which can help maintain healthy blood pressure levels already within normal range, and magnesium and calcium, both essential minerals for regulating blood pressure levels.
However, note that most canned tomato sauces, pasta sauces, and tomato juices are high in sodium. This means they can raise your blood pressure, especially if you already have high blood pressure.
Hence, homemade tomato sauce with other healthy ingredients is better for your blood pressure.
5. Improves eye health
Tomatoes sauce contains zeaxanthin and lutein — antioxidants that may protect against age-related macular degeneration (AMD) — a leading cause of blindness in older people.
6. Reduced risk of heart disease
The lycopene in tomatoes may help reduce your risk of heart disease by lowering blood pressure and decreasing cholesterol levels.
A study has shown that individuals who consumed tomatoes or tomato juice had a lower risk for cardiovascular disease than women who didn’t consume these foods.
7. Improved immune system function
Lycopene has been shown to help boost the immune system and fight off infection by inhibiting viruses such as HIV and some types of influenza A (H1N1).
Tomato sauce contains the three major antioxidant vitamins, beta-carotene, vitamin C, and vitamin E, which effectively improve your immune system.
Tomatoes sauce is very healthy, but you must be cautious about the brand of processed tomato sauce you use. Some of the processed tomato sauces in the market are filled with high sugar, sodium, and unhealthy additives or preservatives. Always ensure caution buying tomato sauce from the grocery store.
However, it is more preferably you make the sauce at home. Homemade tomato sauce has been said to have higher nutritional content than canned, processed ones.
You can enjoy the health benefits of tomato sauce when you prepare it with healthy ingredients like sautéed garlic, onions, and olive oil.
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