A Lagos-based nutritionist, Grace Odinaka, said on Saturday that good consumption of tomatoes could help in reducing the risk of having cancer.
Ms. Odinaka, who is also the Chief Executive Officer of Divine Release Nursing Home, Ojo, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
She said a lot of people had relegated the importance of tomatoes and that some, especially children, were fond of picking them out of their meals.
Ms Odinaka said that tomatoes contained Lycopene, an antioxidant, which researchers agreed, had powerful anti-cancer properties.
She said that the properties were especially helpful in warding off prostate cancer and in reducing the risk of heart disease and premature aging.
According to her, mothers, as care givers in the home, should encourage good consumption of tomatoes and vegetables for adequate nourishment.
She said that tomatoes could be consumed as appetisers, juice, sauce or soup and were rich in Vitamins A, B and C.
“This vegetable is poor in calories, so there is no need to worry about your excess calories, tomatoes will not add any more.
“It is the perfect vegetable for a diet and is rich in about 90 per cent of water which helps you to eliminate toxins while you are on a diet,” she said.
She noted that while most individuals preferred to consume juices made up of chemicals, big red cherry tomatoes could be squeezed as juice and served as a very healthy drink.
Ms Odinaka said it was also good to serve tomatoes in salad or mix them with other vegetables or sandwiches.
She, therefore, urged mothers to discourage their wards from throwing out tomatoes or onions from their meals as these served as healthy nutrients needed for their growth.
The nutritionist admonished everyone to eat healthy foods necessary to help fight ailments.