Asthma : Vitamin C , present in fruits and vegetables , is a powerful antioxdant and anti-inflammatory. This anti-inflammatory activity may influence the development of asthma symptoms. A large preliminary study has shown that young children with asthma experience significantly less wheezing if they eat a diet high in fruits rich in vitamin C.
Cancer : Tomatoes contain lycopene -an antioxidant similar in structure to beta-carotene . Most of the lycopene in our diet comes from tomatoes, though traces of lycopene exist in other foods. Lycopene inhibits the proliferation of cancer cells in test tube research.
Tomatoes are also a source of beta-carotene. The strong association between increased intake of beta-carotene from food and a reduced risk of lung cancer does not necessarily mean that supplementation with natural beta-carotene supplements would reduce the risk of lung cancer. Dietary beta-carotene may be a marker for diets high in certain fruits and vegetables that contain other anticancer substances that may be responsible for the protective effects. Until more is known, doctors are advising smokers to avoid all forms of beta-carotene supplementation-even natural beta-carotene.
Capillary fragility : Eating plenty of flavonoid - and vitamin C -rich fruits and vegetables helps to support the structure of capillaries.
Cataracts : Some, but not all, studies have reported that eating more foods rich in beta-carotene or vitamin A was associated with a lower risk of cataracts. Synthetic beta-carotene supplementation has not been found to reduce the risk of cataract formation. It remains unclear whether natural beta-carotene from food or supplements would protect the eye or whether beta-carotene in food is merely a marker for other protective factors in fruits and vegetables high in beta-carotene.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) : In one survey, researchers gathered information from nearly 400 people (half with MS) over three years. They found that consumption of vegetable protein, fruit juice , and foods rich in vitamin C, thiamine , riboflavin , calcium , and potassium correlated with a decreased MS risk.
Night blindness : Low intake of fruits and vegetables containing beta-carotene, which the body can convert into vitamin A , may contribute to a vitamin A deficiency.
Pap smear : Most dietary studies have found that women receiving high amounts of nutrients from fruits and vegetables have less risk of cervical dysplasia . Protective effects may be especially strong from diets high in dark yellow and orange vegetables ( carrots , winter squash , etc.) and tomatoes.
Health benefits and concerns for vegetables : Many health benefits and concerns associated with this food are applicable to other vegetables. Read about health benefits and concerns for vegetables for a full description.