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Tomato

Tomato, a pulpy nutritious fruit commonly eaten as a vegetable, is another wonderful gift of the mayans. This humble vegetable of central america has seized the attention of millions of health seekers for its incredible phyto-chemical properties. Interestingly, it has more health-benefiting compounds than that of an apple! botanically, tomate belongs to solanaceae or nightshade family of common vegetables, which also includes chili peppers, potato, eggplant, etc.
This exotic vegetable of all seasons is native to the central america and was cultivated by the aztecs centuries before the spanish explorers introduced it to all over the world. Many hundreds of cultivar varieties with different type and size, either organic, hybrid or genetically modified are being in use. Most cultivars produce red fruits; however, a number of cultivars with yellow, orange, pink, purple, green, or white colors are also a common scene. Heirloom tomatoes tend to produce more natural and flavorful fruits. Heirloom types are becoming increasingly popular, particularly among organic producers. They are now grown worldwide as the front line vegetable in line with onions, chili, potato.etc.
Cherry tomatoes (solanum lycopersicum var. Cerasiforme) are small, round, cherry-sized fruits of the same solanaceae family. They are quite popular in mediterranean regions, feature commonly in italian and greek cuisine.
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Health benefits
Tomatoes are one of the low-calorie vegetables; hold just 18 calories per 100 g. They are also very low in any fat contents and have zero cholesterol levels. Nonetheless, they are an excellent sources of antioxidants, dietary fiber, minerals, and vitamins. On account of their all-round qualities, dieticians and nutritionists often recommend themain cholesterol controlling and weight reduction diet-programs.
The antioxidants present in tomatoes are scientifically found to be protective of cancers, including colon, prostate, breast, endometrial, lung, and pancreatic tumors. Total -orac (oxygen radical absorbance capacity) in this vegetable is 367 amol te/100 g.
Lycopene, a flavonoid antioxidant, is an unique phytochemical present in the tomatoes. Red varieties are especially concentrated in this antioxidant. Together with carotenoids, lycopene may help protect cells and other structures in the human body from harmful oxygen-free radicals. Studies have shown that lycopene protects the skin fromaultra-violet (uv) rays and thus offers some defence against skin cancer.
Zea-xanthin is another flavonoid compound present abundantly in this vegetable. Zea-xanthin helps protect eyes from "age-related macular related macular disease" (armd) in the elderly persons by filtering harmful ultra-violet rays.
The vegetable contains very good levels of vitamin a, and flavonoid anti-oxidants such as i plus-minus and b-carotenes, xanthins and lutein. Altogether, these pigment compounds are found to have antioxidant properties and take part in vision, maintain healthy mucus membranes and skin, and bone health. Consumption of natural vegetables and fruits rich in flavonoids is known to help protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.
Additionally, they are also good source of antioxidant vitamin-c (provide 21% of recommended daily levels per 100 g); consumption of foods rich in vitamin c helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful free radicals.
Fresh tomato is very rich in potassium. 100 g contain 237 mg of potassium and just 5 mg of sodium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure caused by sodium.
Further, they carry average levels of vital b-complex vitamins such as folates, thiamin, niacin, riboflavin as well some essential minerals like iron, calcium, manganese and other trace elements.


Notice
The information and reference guides on this website are intended solely for the general information for the reader. It is not to be used to diagnose health problems or for treatment purposes. It is not a substitute for medical care provided by a licensed and qualified health professional. Please consult your health care provider for any advice on medications