The tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) is a fruit from the nightshade family native to South America. Although botanically a fruit, it’s generally eaten and prepared like a vegetable. Tomatoes come in a variety of colors, including yellow, orange, green, and purple, although red is the most widely known. There are many subspecies of tomatoes with different shapes and flavors. Here’s a guide to some of them.
BENEFITS: Tomatoes provide significant amounts of Vitamin C (28% of the RDI in one medium-sized tomato); Potassium, an essential mineral, beneficial for blood pressure control and heart disease prevention; Vitamin K1, also known as phylloquinone, important for blood clotting and bone health. Folate (vitamin B9), important for normal tissue growth and cell function, particularly important for pregnant women; Lycopene, an antioxidant that has been extensively studied for its beneficial health effects; Beta carotene, an antioxidant that is converted into vitamin A in the human body; Naringenin, a flavonoid found in tomato skin that has been shown to decrease inflammation and protect against various diseases; Chlorogenic acid, a powerful antioxidant compound that may lower blood pressure in people with elevated levels.
USES: Tomatoes can be washed and eaten just as they are, peeling and all. They are a staple ingredient in all kinds of salads, soups, and sauces. Canned tomatoes and tomato products are widely available, but you can also use fresh tomatoes, as in this homemade Italian Tomato Sauce.
|NUTRITIONAL FACTS||1 SMALL (100 G) RAW TOMATO CONTAINS|
WARNING: There is a positive association between eating tomato and uric acid levels similar to that of consuming seafood, red meat, alcohol or sugar-sweetened drinks. See details at this link: Tomatoes and gout